Three-partner H20 has set up an exclusive referral network with e-commerce firm McNeive Solicitors and sole practitioner and broadcast lawyer Sean McTearnan.
It is believed that this alliance between domestic media firms is the first of its kind. The alliance, named Legal Circle, will promote itself as a one-stop service for clients in publishing, broadcasting and new media.
“Now people can use our firms for the full Monty,” said H20 partner Paul Fox. “It gets us all out of having to pass work to bigger firms with the risk that they may try to snaffle our clients.”
H2O acts for clients such as The Times, Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble and the victims and victims' families affected by the Omagh bombing.
McNeive represents large e-commerce organisations including AOL Europe and ventures such as the Friends Reunited website.
McTearnan was head of legal at Carlton until 2001, when he set up his own non-contentious broadcasting and publishing practice in Suffolk. His clients include The Sunday Times.
This move heralds a renaissance for H20, where troubles began last December when intellectual property partners Catrin Turner and Eddie Powell and the rest of their team left for KLegal.
The remaining partners – Fox and media and human rights partner Jason McCue – then went through a series of merger talks with firms that included Charles Russell, Halliwell Landau and niche media boutique Schillings.
In February this year, H2O decided to go it alone. It became a three-partner firm with the promotion of senior assistant David Greenhalgh and left its Holborn base for the West End.