Harbottles defiant over music defections

Harbottle & Lewis managing partner Lawrence Abramson has vowed to maintain a music practice at the firm despite the loss of both of its group heads in less than a year.

Last week James Sully, who counts the managers of Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand and David Gray as clients, said he was joining entertainment boutique Sheridans in September. Last year the then co-head of Harbottles’ music group with Sully, Anthony Bebawi, joined EMI Publishing.

Abrams said Harbottles “certainly will have a new head of music”. However, Sully’s exit, the latest in a long line of high-profile music partner departures from the firm, will inevitably raise questions about the long-term commitment of Harbottles to the sector.

Sheridans has been on a hiring spree recently, taking a film and TV team in November 2005 from The Simkins Partnership and enlisting rights specialist and former British Phonographic Industry director general Andrew Yeates as a consultant in April.