Ashurst property lawyer Sarah Sivyour (scroll down for video interview) was an associate in the team advising Sellar Property as developer of the Shard on real estate and planning, when the partner in charge of the project, Gary Watson, left the firm for Mayer Brown.
Following Watson’s departure, Sivyour was thrust into a leadership role. She became the main point of contact for clients on the deal for about 18 months until another partner, Martin Wright - who also left the firm to join Mayer Brown - took over as relationship partner.
Sivyour describes her time in charge of the project as “nerve wracking but fun”. The Shard involved more complexities than just its size and scale. Sivyour had to navigate tricky issues concerning its location. The building is above the underground line, and next to a rail line and bus station.
Sivyour made partner at Ashurst in May 2012. A big part of Sivyour’s promotion was recognition for her work handling the Shard deal, but it was not all because of this.
Sivyour has proved herself to be a client favourite time and time again. She has advised companies such as Cityhold - which she helped to buy 40 Holborn Viaduct, home to Irwin Mitchell, for £137.75m in August 2012 - Inter Ikea, Royal Mail, Greenhills and Lovell Partnerships.
Still, following her role on the Shard, few people would be as well prepared for the trials of partnership as Sivyour.