IP boutique Powell Gilbert has recruited Nokia’s former head of IP litigation as its seventh partner.
Finnish national Ari Laakkonen joined the firm yesterday from the London office of Bird & Bird, where he spent a year as senior European counsel.
“We’re looking to grow IT and electronics,” said founding partner Penny Gilbert. “We’re often characterised as being strong in life sciences – which of course we are – but it made sense to grow the other areas of IP litigation too.”
Nokia has become Bird & Bird’s most remunerative client in recent years on the back of a series of patent disputes and Laakonen has been involved in many of those cases before the Patents Court. Powell Gilbert will now hope to challenge Bird & Bird for some of that work.
The boutique was launched in March 2007 by five partners and five associates from Bristows. Since then it has expanded to seven partners and 15 fee earners. The firm is looking to recruit more associates following the capture of Laakkonen.