Linklaters is continuing the shake-up of its intellectual property (IP) department as two partners leave the firm

Trademark specialist Tom Hope and patent litigator Robin Whaite are to leave at the end of the year, but as The Lawyer went to press their destinations had not been announced. Their departures leave the group with seven partners in London.

As part of the overall shake-up, global practice head Nigel Jones, who was seconded to the Cologne office in a bid to build the German patent litigation business to complement the existing trademarks practice, is to return to London next year.

The IP department has had to grapple with a number of issues, most notably the task of aligning its business with the core clients of the firm. Although it has a number of standalone brands clients such as Microsoft, Gucci and Adidas, the group is set to embark on a push for firm-wide referrals.

The group has also had to sort out its international integration following the firm's numerous mergers. IP group leader Anna Carboni said: “We've been trying to develop a pan-European practice that gives a particularly attractive offering for US and Japanese brands clients.”