Hewlett-Packard (HP) has boosted its UK in-house team with the hire of four new lawyers, poaching outsourcing specialist Andrew Howe from rival Fujitsu Services in the process.

Howe was an IT outsourcing lawyer in Fujitsu’s UK public sector business unit. He will join the Europe, Middle East and Africa (Emea) legal team at outsourcing arm HP Services.

The former Emea head of legal for HP Services Ed Rockwell will move to the company’s Palo Alto base to become global general counsel.

James Ormrod, HP’s UK general counsel, said: “Andrew’s in a team aligned to providing legal support to Emea-based outsourcing deals. The person that hired him, Ed Rockwell, is moving from the Emea role to a new role in the Palo Alto headquarters.

“He’s going to be the primary lawyer for HP Services at a worldwide level, so he’ll have a continuing interest in legal support services in the Emea region.”

Ormrod went on to say that the HP legal team will also welcome a trio of lawyers before the end of 2007.

“We’ve hired three new lawyers who’ll be joining us over the next couple of months and we’re looking to hire an additional lawyer,” he said.

The new additions will give HP a UK legal team of 10 lawyers overall and ushers in a rare period of hiring for the company. Between 2003 and 2006 HP cut its UK legal team by around a fifth, from seven lawyers and 20 contract managers to six lawyers and 15 contract managers, as part of a worldwide cost-cutting initiative.

Fujitsu is now looking for a replacement in the public sector team, which is led by Andrew Hooles. Over the summer Hooles’ group grew with the hire of Olswang technology partner Clive Davies. Fujitsu also hired CMS Cameron McKenna partner and head of technology, media and telecoms David Roberts to head its private sector team.