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Berwin Leighton Paisner's (BLP) projects practice has been thrown into disarray after it lost its second partner this year.
Tom Wexler has left the firm to become the first London partner hire for newly merged Anglo-Canadian firm Fasken Martineau Stringer Saul.
BLP finance head Simon Allan said: "People's decisions to leave are made for a variety of reasons, but these things happen and it would be unrealistic to expect 100 per cent retention."
Wexler's departure from the BLP projects team follows that of partner Jonathan Simpson in January, who left the firm for the London office of US firm Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker (The Lawyer, 15 January).
Both partners left BLP after short stays. Wexler only joined the firm from Ashurst in July 2005, while Simpson joined in October 2005 from the London office of Dewey Ballantine.
Wexler would not comment on BLP, but said: "Most of my expertise is in mining, and Fasken Martineau gives me a better platform for that. Also, Fasken has more of a US presence [than BLP] and an office in South Africa, which are more relevant jurisdictions for my practice."
As first reported by The Lawyer (4 December 2006), London-based £8.5m life science specialist Stringer Saul merged with one of Canada's largest firms, Fasken Martineau DuMoulin, late last year.