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HSF boosts IP partnership

HSF boosts IP partnership

Herbert Smith Freehills has appointed two Sydney-based partners to its IP practice.

Rebekah Gay, who trained at HSF early in her career, has returned to the global firm as a partner from IP specialist Shelston IP.

Gay spent seven years at Shelston where she focused on patent litigation, including pharmaceutical patents.

HSF has also enticed one of its London-based partners, Joel Smith, to join the IP team in Sydney. He will support the IP group at a national level and work on IP disputes, IP corporate and trade marks on cross-border matters.

Smith is relocating to Sydney in December for a one-year secondment. His practice combines heavyweight contentious and non-contentious IP issues, including advice on protecting rights, licensing and disputes.

Sydney partner Sue Gilchrist leads the IP practice in Australia, which currently has five partners and 46 lawyers.

Gilchrist commented: “We look forward to welcoming Rebekah to our practice and working with Joel even more closely during his secondment with us. These appointments reflect the strength of our global IP practice, and will grow our capacity to advise our clients on strategic global IP disputes and transactions.”

HSF also boosted partner numbers in October by poaching corporate/M&A partner David Ryan from Baker & McKenzie and finance partner David Lyons from Norton Rose Fulbright.

However, the firm will lose two of its top players next year, announcing in September that joint-CEOs Gavin Bell and David Willis are leaving the firm on 30 April 2014. Bell had suffered a major health scare earlier in the year, which he confirmed to Lawyers Weekly was the catalyst to his decision to stand down.

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