This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2014
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The last year has been a busy one for Field Fisher Waterhouse, with a number of new hires, two mergers and the announcement and implementation of a school leavers’ programme at the firm.
|FIELD FISHER WATERHOUSE|
|Asset Recovery||2||Information Technology||15|
|Business Crime Defence||1||Life Sciences||3|
|Corporate Tax||1||Telecoms & Media||2|
|Environment||2||Trade & Customs||1|
The firm has seen a significant number of partner hires across the board, with new appointments in its finance, corporate, real estate, trade, tax and life sciences departments.
It has also undergone two mergers: the first with Ryser & Associates in Shanghai, which will be branded as Field Fisher Ryser; and the second with boutique firm Heatons in Manchester in early 2014, which will combine with the firm’s existing Manchester office.
2013 also saw the firm announce its Step2Success programme, which in October took on its first cohort of five post-A level students. The scheme offers an alternative route into the legal profession, with those selected able to qualify as lawyers within five years.
|Total Listings in WWL||Established||1989|
|Home jurisdiction||UK||Total size of firm||c. 390|
|Number of partners||150||Number of offices||8|
People and Practices
The firm is especially renowned for its information technology practice. Paul Barton advises clients on the procurement, licensing, development and outsourcing of computer systems and software, and is described as a “sharp legal mind”. Head of the firm’s privacy and information group Eduardo Ustaran has a “sterling reputation” for his privacy and data protection practice. Paris-based Bruno Ducoulombier specialises in telecoms, press and audio-visual communications and intellectual property, and offers both advisory and litigation skills to clients. Emmanuel Roger France heads the firm’s dispute resolution practice and is also highly recommended for his work in asset recovery and business crime defence. He focuses his practice on advising clients in preventing money laundering, insider dealing, bribery, cyber-criminality, accountancy fraud, and general criminal risks. Media and technology specialist David Naylor has experience in assisting clients with cross-border transactions and legal issues, and is “highly esteemed” by peers and clients alike.
Another area in which the firm impresses is franchise. Chris Wormald is joint head of the franchising and licensing group at the firm, as well as head of its retail sector group. He advises clients on all aspects of franchising, such as joint ventures and strategic alliances, re-engineering and international expansion. The “impressive” Shelley Nadler specialises in negotiating international and national franchise agreements for retailers, pubs and restaurants, and clients in the service industries, and is “a pleasure to work with”.
Trademarks is also a strong practice for the firm with one client describing the team as “offering a wealth of expertise”. Mark Holah is head of the trademarks and brand protection group, and focuses his practice on brand clearance, protection, exploitation and enforcement, both in the UK and internationally. Nick Rose leads the firm’s intellectual property and technology dispute resolution group, and specialises his practice in the media and entertainment, technology, retail and sports sectors. He is “well respected among peers” and builds “strong client relationships”.
Life sciences is a further field in which the firm excels. Alison Dennis is recommended for her regulatory practice and provides advice to clients in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries on all stages of the life cycle of their product. David Kent focuses his practice on the transactional side of life sciences and is commended for his “high-quality work”.
With a strong involvement in local community projects, Field Fisher Waterhouse aims to use its skills and resources to help people in need and improve access to justice. The Legal Advice Centre at Queen Mary University of London was set up in 2006 to provide free legal advice to the local east London community, and is London’s first undergraduate-led legal advice centre. The firm works with second and third-year law students to help them run the centre and provide legal advice to those in need. The firm is also involved with a numeracy scheme at a local primary school, where volunteers play numbers-based games with pupils and help fundraise for various other local causes.
In the coming year Field Fisher Waterhouse will continue to strive to offer its clients a full compliment of services at the highest level of quality. It will also focus on enhancing its new Shanghai office with the possibility of further mergers in the region and will be hoping to build on the success of its school leavers Step2Success scheme.
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