Paul Killen is the first partner to quit BLP since the merger of Berwin Leighton and Paisner & Co went live on 1 May this year. But the former Paisners partner said his decision was entirely unrelated to the merger.
Killen said: “The merger made it more likely that I'd stay, but I'moving for a combination of reasons. As an employment lawyer, Osborne Clarke will always have a strong attraction, and when I spoke to [department head] Julian Hemming about the size and nature of the Bristol practice, the idea of moving out became very attractive.
“The employment team is a major profit centre within the firm, and as such there's clearly a lot of thought gone into developing it across the different offices. I wasn't particularly looking to leave and there were very few firms I'd have been interested in.”
“The employment team is a major profit centre and there's clearly a lot of thought gone into developing it”
Paul Kilen, Osborne Clarke
Killen specialises in dismissal, breach of contract and discrimination claims, as well as the management of employee relations and work relating to commercial and corporate work. He became a partner at Paisners in May 2000 and co-headed its employment practice with Alexandra Davidson prior to the merger.
Killen's arrival will bring Osborne Clarke's employment practice back up to three partners in Bristol, following the departure of Chris Southam to Speechly Bircham in September.
Killen said that Osborne Clarke had not hired him for his clients, most of which are City-based.
“Osborne Clarke stressed to me that the practice has a lot of work in Bristol,” he said. “They were looking for someone with experience of the City environment.”