Penfold’s move represents continued growth in Heller Ehrman’s London office, which opened in early 2007 and now has 24 lawyers, including 11 partners.
London partner Richard Eaton told The Lawyer: “Unlike anyone else in the City we advise everyone from two guys in a garage with a good idea to FTSE100 companies. The two guys in a garage have one asset – their IP. We will help them protect the IP.”
Penfold was a partner at Harbottle & Lewis in London prior to joining DLA Piper as a partner in 2004 shortly before the firm expanded its technology, media and communications team massively with an 11-partner raid on Denton Wilde Sapte.
Heller is also transferring Kirt Shuldberg, a partner in the firm’s corporate practice in San Diego, to London.
Heller has lost nearly 50 partners to rivals during the last two years, sparking a speculation in the US that the firm was seeking a merger. The most recent rumour regarding Baker & McKenzie has refused to die after both sides refused to initial denials.
A DLA Piper spokesperson wished him well.