Influential IP boss quits FFW board

Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) IP/IT head Mark Abell has resigned from the firm’s management board in a move seen as representing a loosening of the practice’s grip on the firm.

Abell, one of the highest-profile partners at the firm, will retain his role as head of IP/IT, which contributes around a third of turnover – the same proportion as the whole of corporate.

An FFW source said: “There was a view that the IP and tech side of the firm headed by Mark Abell had taken over. Other areas weren’t happy.

“There’s been a process of loosening the IP and ­technology grip on the firm. It’s resulted in a number of changes at management level.”

That said, Abell has been replaced on the board by unsuccessful managing partner candidate Michael Chissick, a technology ­partner. Chissick lost out
to public and regulatory ­partner Matthew Lohn in the managing partner ­election in October.

Lohn said: “We are, as all businesses are, reviewing our strategy in the global marketplace. We felt we needed the next generation.”

Abell still heads the firm’s international strategy ­committee and said he stood down from the board to focus on pushing FFW’s global expansion plans, ­particularly in Germany, and to concentrate on his position as head of IP/IT.