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New firm Tite and Lewis has opened its offices to begin what it hopes will be a profitable link up with Ernst & Young. Founding partners Christopher Tite and Mark Lewis have moved a team of 35 from their old firm Arnheim Tite & Lewis. Their former firm was attached to PricewaterhouseCoopers but the new one has got together with accountancy rivals Ernst & Young. Lewis says his firm is still a separate business and is not owned by Ernst & Young. “We value our independence and left PWC because of a disagreement about our strategy for the future. We didn’t make the decision lightly. Christopher and I set up the old firm in 1997 and we expanded to 60 lawyers in three years,” says Lewis. He says Ernst & Young wanted to form the link because Arnheim Tite & Lewis had proved it could create an effective legal team from a standing start. “The association will be great for us too. We will be able to take on the legal work for a lot of Ernst & Young’s clients who want an integrated service,” says Lewis. “We will also build relationships with law firms around the world who are connected to Ernst & Young through its EY Law network, including McKee Nelson in America. Almost all of our clients are international companies, so being part of EY Law will help us take on more business,” he adds. Lewis says the firm wants to double the number of its lawyers to 70 in a year, and 150 to 200 in three years. “We have to grow fast to become a major international firm. I think we can attract lawyers and partners who are tired of the normal City grind and are looking for a more entrepreneurial job.” Tite & Lewis specialises in corporate finance, and Lewis says he wants to expand its business in IT and e-commerce.

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