Taylor Wessing LLP

  • Overview

THE SCOOP

The product of an Anglo-German tie-up, Taylor Wessing is particularly respected for its work in intellectual property, telecoms and media (clients include Associated Newspapers and BMG Music Publishing).  Also noteworthy are the firm's capabilities in real estate finance, particularly with regard to construction matters; its private client practice; and its patent litigation team, well known for its work in the life sciences arena.

Taylor-made

Taylor Wessing LLP came about through the 2002 merger of London-based Taylor Joynson Garrett and German firm Wessing-two firms centred around TMT matters.  With the merger, Taylor Joynson gained some 70 lawyers, and the combined entity began maximising its dual presence in the UK and on the Continent.  By the middle of 2009, the firm had expanded to include 10 offices in Belgium, Germany, France and the UK, plus a representative bureau in Alicante, Spain.  The firm's reach also extends to the Middle East and China, an office in Dubai, and representative offices in Beijing and Shanghai.

In 2009, the firm bolstered its China group with the addition of a three-lawyer team from Rödl & Partner; the new group will augment the firm's Munich and Beijing offices.  In May, the firm also solidified an alliance with Polish firm BSJP, a match-up which insiders speculate heralds a possible merger.

Masters and commanders

In November 2008, Martin Winter was re-elected to another term as senior partner, a post he has held since 2005.  In early 2009, Michael Frawley, the firm's UK managing partner, announced that he would be stepping down after serving an unprecedented two terms at the helm.  In March 2009, private equity partner Tim Eyles was elected managing partner.  Eyles has served on the international board since 2007, and since 1992 has held two four year terms as head of the firm's corporate group.  Eyles assumed the managing partner role at the beginning of June 2009.

Numbers game

For the 2007-2008 financial year, Taylor Wessing's global turnover grew by 15 per cent, while net profits shot up by 25 per cent.  The UK still accounts for more than half of the firm's total revenue, the majority of which is brought in by corporate work.  In recognition of Taylor Wessing's strong performance in corporate matters, particularly on the private equity and venture capital side, the firm was named "Law Firm of the Year" at the European Venture Capital Journal Awards in 2009.  In 2008, the firm acted on deals valued at more than £1.5 billion, with £430 million worth of funds raised in the UK alone.  On top of this, 2008 saw the firm double its number of private equity clients, adding such names as Bridgepoint, Greenhill Capital and Ion Equity.  The firm is also establishing a reputation advising cleantech funds, leveraging the strengths of its technology, climate change and environmental practices.

M&A matters for 2009 include advising voice automation technology provider Telephonetics in its £3.7 million acquisition of Eden Origin, a provider of business process management and enterprise application integration solutions.  In Paris, the firm acted for online holiday rentals business HomeAway Group during its acquisition of Homelidays, a leader in private vacation rentals.

Holiday sales

In April 2009, Taylor Wessing unveiled the measures it is employing to respond to the economic slump.  In addition to laying off some 20 employees, the firm is offering sabbaticals (at a 90 per cent pay reduction), voluntary redundancy options and a holiday purchase scheme which enables staff to purchase two weeks extra holiday for a 3.85 per cent salary cut.  Client secondments and transfers between practice groups are also in the plan.  Additionally, the firm is freezing staff salaries at current levels.

In April 2009, the firm queried its 2009 and 2010 intakes, asking for volunteers willing to push off their start dates for another year.  The firm will pay out an extra £7,500 to those who do defer.  More than 30 UK firms, including members of the Magic Circle and other top City and national firms, are deferring trainee start dates.La guerre est finie

In September 2008, Taylor Wessing's yearlong battle with US law firm Nixon Peabody came to an end.  The dispute concerned the crossover of 13 lawyers from Taylor Wessing's Paris office-including Paris managing partner, Arnaud de Senilhes-to Nixon Peabody, after merger talks between the two firms broke down in October 2007.  Taylor Wessing claimed that the hire was in breach of the parties' noncompete agreement, but a New York State judge dismissed the claim.  In total, Taylor Wessing lost 25 lawyers, leaving its Paris office staffed by eight partners and 27 associates.

But the firm has made efforts to fill the gap left by the defecting lawyers.  In January 2009, the firm brought in three lateral partners-Simon Christiaen, Evelyne Friedel and Valerie Aumage-who joined the Paris office from Landwell, Jones Day and Field Fisher Waterhouse, respectively.

Hot, hot, hot property

In March 2009, Taylor Wessing's hotels group advised BDL Management Limited on a management agreement for the new InterContinental Hotel in Edinburgh.  The 17-storey, five-star hotel will be the jewel in the crown of the £250 million Haymarket redevelopment.  Other hotel deals across the globe include advising Capricorn Hospitality Investments on a management agreement for the luxury Fairmont Hotel in Jaipur, India, scheduled to open in 2010.  In other property matters, in March 2009, the firm advised Brookfield Europe and Aldersgate Investments Limited on the £128 million refinancing of High Wycombe's Eden retail centre, a 77,000-square-metre shopping centre.

Top of the charts

In 2009, Taylor Wessing was named "UK Contentious IP Firm of the Year" by Managing Intellectual Property.  This honour follows a host of 2008 accolades for the firm's intellectual property team, including a No.1 ranking for contentious patent work by Managing Intellectual Property's World IP Survey; being named "European Life Science IP Firm of the Year" at the Managing Intellectual Property Awards, The Lawyer's "Technology Media Telecoms Team of the Year" and "Media Law Firm of the Year" at Germany's Juve Awards.  In other awards, Taylor Wessing's private client group was recognised as "Private Client Team of the Year" at The Lawyer Awards in June 2009.

Giving season

A December 2008 study found that Taylor Wessing is one of the most generous when it comes to charitable giving.  Governmental organisation Workplace Giving ranked the top 50 UK firms by the number of employees who subtract charitable donations from each pay cheque: Taylor Wessing and Mills & Reeve tied for the first spot, each with almost 25 per cent of staff making such donations.  In recognition of the firm's ongoing commitment to pro bono work, in particular organising and staffing a weekly legal advice clinic, Taylor Wessing won the award for "Best Contribution by a Law Firm" at the LawWorks pro bono awards 2009.



Taylor Wessing LLP


5 New Street Square
London EC4A 3TW
Phone: +44 (0)20 7300 7000
www.taylorwessing.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Private
  • UK Managing Partner: Tim Eyles
  • Total No. Attorneys 2009: 731

Major Office Locations

  • Brussels, Belgium
  • Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • Paris, France
  • Munich, Germany
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Frankfurt, Germany
  • Hamburg, Germany
  • Dusseldorf, Germany
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