MEDIA lawyer Tony Morris this week joins specialist firm Marriott Harrison from City lawyers Cameron Markby Hewitt.
Morris, who was head of the multi-media team in the intellectual property department at CMH, believes the future for specialist lawyers is in niche practices.
“It's quite difficult to be part of a small department at a big firm,” he says.
“The tide is moving away from the mega-firm. The 1990s is the era of the niche practice.”
Morris, who takes with him a broad range of clients in the record, music, video, television, radio and computer game industries, joins an 18-partner firm known to be particularly strong in television and film.
“His reputation in the music industry adds a new dimension to the firm's capabilities,” says Marriott Harrison's managing partner Frank Bloom.
The firm boosted its presence further at the end of last year by recruiting Peter Dally from Denton Hall.
He joined as a partner specialising in media project financing and European co-productions.
Morris, joint founder of Brafman Morris, joined CMH as a partner six years ago when the two firms merged.
Guilherme Brafman, member of and spokesman for the firm's intellectual property department, says Morris was part of a large intellectual property team which will not be significantly affected by the move.
“The only area of our practice which is materially weakened is the music side, which we acknowledge, but we have no plans to fill that hole,” Brafman says.
CMH recently lost the head of its environmental department, Andrew Bryce, who left to set up his own niche practice.