Masons loses third IT partner

Masons has lost its third IT partner in less than 12 months

Partner Richard Stephens has quit the firm for Field Fisher Waterhouse, following Andrew Smith and George Wheeler-Carmichael out of the firm.

Smith left for Nabarro Nathanson in late 2001 and Wheeler-Carmichael joined DLA earlier this year. The IT department is left with 11 partners.

Stephens said: “Masons is a good firm, but largely split between construction and IT. Field Fisher Waterhouse fills in the gaps. Masons doesn't have an IP practice, for example, which I think is essential if you're going to practise IT.”

Masons' head of business services and IT Rob McCallough said: “We're an IT projects-based practice, not an IP practice seeking to do some IT work.”

In November 2001, Masons became the first firm to initiate a redundancy programme, slashing 18 staff from its UK offices. Profits per partner have tumbled 17 per cent to £230,000.

McCallough said: “I'm sorry things didn't work out with Richard, but it's not because of any worries about redundancies.”

Stephens joined the firm from Stephenson Harwood 10 years ago. He starts at Field Fisher today (4 November), and will continue with a number of in-progress cases at his new firm.