Legacy LG loses entire Tite & Lewis team as remaining two quit for Wedlake Bell

Legacy Lawrence Graham (LG) has lost the final two partners who joined the firm from legacy Tite & Lewis in 2004, with head of corporate finance Christopher Tite leaving the firm for Wedlake Bell.

Tite and real estate partner Louise Gowman started at Wedlake Bell earlier this month, as LG combined with Wragge & Co to form Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co (1 May 2014). 

LG acquired Tite’s five-partner firm Tite & Lewis (T&L), the former law firm of accountancy giant Ernst & Young (EY), in 2004 (1 November 2004). The exit of Gowman and Tite mean none of these partners remain at LG.

Of the five partners, three quit in 2006 – co-founder Mark Lewis left for BLP, outsourcing partner Tim Pullan for Experian, and IT outsourcing partner Jon Edgell for Morrison & Foerster (24 July 2006). 

One of the issues at the time of the LG and T&L merger was understood to be remuneration. When T&L was linked to EY partners were thought to have been paid around £650,000 a year plus bonuses, while LG’s top of equity was £615,000. 

T&L was cut loose by EY in April 2003, but secured extremely favourable terms in the separation, including the write-off of an overdraft that stood at £22m.

It is not known if Tite and Gowman chose to leave LG because of its decision to merge with Wragge & Co, which staff on both sides were told about in November (18 November 2013).

LG recently made up five partners to coincide with the merger, including one from real estate, one from dispute resolution, one from private capital and two in the corporate practice group (29 April 2014).

Wedlake Bell has also added RPC IP partner Clive Thorne to its roster. Thorne, a former Baker & McKenzie associate, is understood to have joined the firm with immediate effect. 

Wedlake Bell managing partner Martin Arnold said the recruitment “places us in a strong position to realise our future growth plans across key practice areas”.