City firm Barlow Lyde & Gilbert is broadening its corporate practice through the appointment of an IT team in Oxford.
The team will set up an office in Oxford Business Park, giving Barlows a UK presence outside London for the first time.
ve will also make Barlows the first City firm with a presence in Oxford.
Corporate lawyer Tony Duncombe joins as a consultant and IP and IT lawyer Janita Good joins as a partner. They bring with them a team of five associates.
All the lawyers come from niche practice Duncombes which specialises in corporate work for technology-based clients but which will disband after the move.
The Oxford office will serve existing clients including Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers and ICL, as well as give the firm access to a network of new clients.
"Our focus is on the underlying business carried out by IT companies," says Barlows head of commercial David Strang. "We are involved in the nuts and bolts type of stuff. The implementation of IT equipment around the globe is handled by our clients."
But Barlows will broaden out its IT services to include biotech, patent and licensing work.
Although the firm has partners who do solely IT and IP work, the lawyers work within the corporate and finance team.
"The new office has wider implications for the corporate department," says Barlows head of corporate John Longdon. "Getting IT contract work will allow us to get into private equity and joint venture work in Oxford. It will also look good with our US and overseas clients."
When the IT team joins at the beginning of May there will be 18 partners and two consultants in Barlows' corporate department. It is not yet known how many will be based in Oxford.
The Oxford office will be fully integrated with the London office and Strang says there are plans for further expansion.