Olswang life sciences co-head quits for Clifford Chance in London


Clifford Chance (CC) has hired Olswang intellectual property (IP) partner and co-head of life sciences Stephen Reese as a partner in London.

Reese, who joined Olswang in 2002, runs the firm’s life sciences department alongside fellow IP partner Robert Stephen.

He is set to join CC next Monday (3 October), where he will sit within the corporate practice as a member of the IP team. He will work closely with IP head Vanessa Marsland.

Guy Norman, global head of CC’s corporate practice, said the firm’s clients are increasingly looking for advice on IP issues, as they are “ever more central to both M&A transactions and ongoing business”.

Reese advises on UK and European Union regulatory matters within the life sciences sectors, as well as trademark matters and patent cases.

His clients have included Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics, which Reese advised on a joint venture with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca last year, Swiss chemicals company Lonza Group and medical manufacturer Boston Scientific.

Reese’s departure will leave Olswang with 16 partners in its global IP practice.

CC’s IP team in London will consist of five partners, including Reese.

An Olswang spokesperson said: ”We can confirm that Stephen Reese will be leaving Olswang at the end of the month. We thank him for his contributions and wish him the best for the future.”

The news comes after Legal Week broke the news last week that Allen & Overy had hired two IP partners from Simmons & Simmons: Mark Heaney, who joined Simmons from US firm Baker Botts last year, and David Stone.

In July, A&O hired Simmons’ former London IP head Marc Doering, while in June it also took on Marjan Noor, who specialises in pharmaceutical patents, from Simmons. The magic circle firm is now aiming to bulk up its IP team in Germany and the US.

Reese’s exit comes as Olswang is on the hunt for a UK merger partner, in the wake of a number of exits in recent years.

Most recently, Olswang funds and regulatory partner Barry Stimpson joined Bond Dickinson’s corporate department. Stimpson had been a partner at Olswang since 2014 after joining from DAC Beachcroft. He joined Bond Dickinson in July after working as a consultant at Olswang until this month.

Other departures from the firm, which has recently been in discussions with CMS UK about a potential combination, include former London competition head Howard Cartlidge, who is set to join DWF in September; head of telecommunications Purvi Parekh, who left in August; and former head of corporate, private equity and venture capital Stephen Rosen, who joined Cooley’s new London office in January this year. He first confirmed his departure in March 2015.