National law firm Shoosmiths is to add a leading publishing and digital media specialist to its commercial offering.
It has acquired Laurence Kaye Solicitors, a niche, three-solicitor firm.
Founder Laurence Kaye will join as a partner in Shoosmiths' national commercial team, in April. He will bring with him solicitors Mailin Bala and Sherif Malak.
Kaye was among the first UK lawyers to specialise in internet law, and he led the legal team on the initial development of Pottermore.com, the new digital home of author JK Rowling's Harry Potter books.
David Jackson, partner and head of Shoosmiths' national commercial team, said: "We've been looking to add expertise in publishing and digital media as part of the firm's wider growth strategy, and Laurie brings with him extensive knowledge and experience in this specialist field.
"Laurie has been described as being 'ahead of the online game', which is absolutely spot-on.
"His arrival will enable us to offer strategic insight and legal advice on our publishing clients' publishing-related matters, in addition to all other aspects of their commercial activities. He and his team also bring experience on other digital platforms too."
Established in 2002, Laurence Kaye Solicitors specialises in digital media, publishing, technology, intellectual property, data protection and e-commerce law.
It is top-ranked for media and entertainment and for IT in the current edition of legal directory Chambers, in which Kaye himself is described as a 'technology law leader' who delivers 'innovative business-facing solutions in managing copyright and licensing for the 21st century'.
Kaye advises and lectures regularly on digital media and e-commerce legal issues in Europe. He has worked closely on a number of key EU Directives, including the Copyright, Database and E-Commerce Directives; and is copyright adviser to the European Publishers' Council.
He said: "I'm excited to join Shoosmiths with my team. Our sector specialism combined with Shoosmiths' excellent commercial team opens up excellent opportunities for us and our clients and provides a real platform for growth.
"Many firms talk about client service; with Shoosmiths, it's clear to me that it's in the firm's DNA."
Shoosmiths' national commercial team has more than 40 contracts specialists, and clients include Hewlett-Packard, McDonald's and Volkswagen Group UK.