Davies Arnold Cooper media unit jumps ship for Reynolds

Davies Arnold Cooper (DAC) is losing its entire media and defamation department as lawyers leave its dwindling common law unit.

Keith Mathieson, head of media and defamation, partner Maddie Mogford and assistant Kirsty Watt are all joining Reynolds Porter Chamberlain‘s media and communications department under the leadership of Liz Hartley.

Mathieson and Mogford both joined DAC three years ago from Oswald Hickson Collier, which merged with Crockers in 1997 to become Crockers Oswald Hickson.

Hartley says: “We are absolutely delighted that they are joining, they are an exceptionally good fit with their clients in media and insurance.”

Reynolds’ media department, which was originally set up in 1997 by Hartley, will now house six partners and six assistants once the DAC departees arrive on Friday.

Nick Richards, senior team leader in the common law unit, is also leaving the firm for Barlow Lyde & Gilbert with his assistant Anna Read.

The departures are a further blow for DAC which last month lost Malcolm Henke, head of its common law department, along with motor unit head Simon Curtis and senior team leader David Pipkin, who all left for Barlow Lyde & Gilbert.

This was closely followed by four more departures including another team leader Adrian Cotton, assistant to Henke Stephen Howcroft and the revelation that Henke was considering bringing legal action against the firm for breach of contract (The Lawyer, 1 May).

Richards, who is 16 years qualified, says he is moving to Barlows for “career progression” and will be joining the firm as a solicitor.

Barlows declined to comment on the arrival of Richards and Read.

Although Richards was previously a partner at his former firm Eatons, he says he is happy staying at associate level, stating: “I have been there and done that.”

Within the past five months, DAC has also lost its head of banking Chris Sykes, partner John Hayward and two assistants to Osborne Clarke in January.

DAC refused to comment.