Media firms form double act

A SPECIALIST defamation firm which counts Private Eye among its clients is merging with well-known media practice Davenport Lyons.

Four partners and five fee earners from Wright Webb Syrett's litigation department will make the short trip from Soho Square to the Davenport Lyons Old Burlington Street offices, also in the West End, on Monday next week.

Private Eye, The Daily Express and the Daily Mirror are among the clients Wright Webb will bring with them.

Three further partners from Wright Webb, to be incorporated into Davenport Lyons, will not be joining the new firm although theatre specialist Barry Shaw, the senior partner, is to be a consultant.

Davenport Lyons senior partner Leon Morgan says the firm was interested in Wright Webb for several years and had an informal association with it.

He says it was the strength of the firm's litigation department, headed by Kevin Bays, which attracted his firm, prompting merger talks last year.

Company commercial firm Davenport Lyons specialises in film, TV, music and publishing. Its litigation department will double in size with the incorporation.

Morgan says the Wright Webb team will complement its own litigation department, boosting business for the firm.