Osborne Clarke loss prompts focus shift

Osborne Clarke is set to refocus its media finance team following the departure of film finance partner Phil Alberstat. The Canadian lawyer is leaving the firm in December to join the William Morris talent agency in Los Angeles as a film agent.

Osborne Clarke will be left without a specialist film finance partner following Alberstat’s departure.

Corporate partner Adrian Bott, who said the split with Alberstat was “entirely amicable”, said the firm had been rationalising its approach to media for several months.

Bott added that although the firm would continue to advise on film finance, the emphasis was now likely to shift to areas such as publishing, advertising, marketing services, interactive media and radio. Film finance work will be handled primarily by a number of associates, including Estelle Overs and Live Jansen.

Alberstat told The Lawyer that his decision to leave Osborne Clarke was partly a lifestyle change, but was also driven by a wish to be closer to the industry. He will be working for William Morris Independent, the independent film-focused division of the Motion Picture Group, itself part of the William Morris Agency.