Bond Pearce partner leaves to form KLegal competition group

KLegal, the associated law firm of accountancy giant KPMG, is taking on a partner from regional firm Bond Pearce to set up a competition practice.

Rob Murray is joining the firm as a director – the equivalent of salaried partner. Before becoming head of the EU/competition group at Bond Pearce two years ago he spent five years in Clifford Chance‘s Brussels office as an assistant. He specialises in competition law and international trade.

He will be the first director specialising in competition at KLegal and will work closely with the firm’s office in Brussels, which was set up earlier this year.

His clients include B&Q, Compaq Computer Europe and airline KLM.

KLegal intellectual property partner James Hodgson says: “The first reason for doing this was the UK Competition Act, which came into effect in May. Second, we need competition law advice for corporate, intellectual property and for most other things.

“Third, we needed to have somebody to work with KLegal International’s Brussels office and be the point of contact for them. And fourth, because KPMG thought it would be important to get a legal slant on competition issues.”

He says the plan is to take on at least another two solicitors to build the practice.

Murray says: “Competition and international trade represent a great fit with both KLegal International and KPMG because they require a multidisciplinary approach and are inherently international.”

The firm has also taken on a senior solicitor from Simmons & Simmons who will join as corporate director. Allan Rippon brings the number of lawyers to 54, with the goal being 100 by next spring.