Top FFW partner suspended
08 February 2013
Field Fisher Waterhouse
has, for the first time in its history, suspended one of its partners.
Mark Abell, Head of IP and Tech, is by his own reckoning
the "highest qualified lawyer
" in his field. Oooh. He's got a doctorate in International Franchising*
and so calls himself Dr Abell. And despite the massive amount of money he brings into the firm, he seems to have wound up many of his fellow partners. Their private bickering has become increasingly public over recent months, and when Abell announced last Friday that he had "outgrown
" the firm and was off to Bird & Bird
, FFW promptly suspended him
||Hey nonny nonny, I'm off to Bird & Bird |
FFW has had a tough time recently, with partners at each others' throats
and two merger attempts - first with LG
and then with Osborne Clarke
going by the wayside. Insiders told RollOnFriday at the end of last year
that a number of partners
would have to leave before anyone would consider a merger, and to
expect some high level departures in the new year. And so it has come to
pass. One source said that Abell's suspension was accompanied "by the sound of champagne corks popping
". Although the fizz may be drowning their sorrows if a chunk of his team and clients follow him.
The suspension was clearly designed to prevent (or at least delay) this. RollOnFriday understands that when combined with gardening leave, FFW can keep Abell out of gainful employment for at least another year. Expect more hissy fits over the next few months while a deal is hammered out...
A spokesman for the firm said that "we confirm that Mark Abell has resigned from the partnership of Field Fisher Waterhouse to join another firm. To protect the interests of the firm, the supervisory board has suspended Mark from the partnership
*and is also fluent in Japanese and a former trucker, RoF fact fans.