DLA deals blow to SJ Berwin

DLA has poached SJ Berwin private equity partner Andrew Harris.
DLA voted Harris into the equity last Friday (18 June), just a week after private equity partner Andrew Carpenter quit for O’Melveny & Myers.

Two of Harris’s key clients are Englefield Capital and Graphite Capital. It is thought that he was one of the biggest billers in SJ Berwin’s private equity department last year.

Harris’s departure will be a blow to SJ Berwin, which has struggled with an unsettled private equity department in the wake of the departure of John Daghlian to O’Melveny.

It has also had to contend with the saga of the so-called ‘Olswang two’. Two salaried partners, Perry Yam and Jonathan Pittal, were poised to defect to Olswang, but SJ Berwin fought a rearguard action and offered the pair equity if they stayed.

DLA has been in negotiations with Harris for months, so he was not intended as a direct replacement for Carpenter. DLA senior partner Nigel Knowles said: “Harris has a great name in the private equity market.”

Harris and SJ Berwin could not be reached for comment.