Day wins showdown for SJ Berwin top job

SJ Berwin has elected Rob Day as its new managing partner after he beat ­fellow corporate partner Perry Yam in the second round of voting.

Day will take over from incumbent Ralph Cohen on 1 November after Cohen decided to stand down from the role 18 months earlier than planned.

Three candidates were initially in the running for the job, but litigation ­partner Hilton Mervis dropped out of contention after finishing third in last week’s first round of voting.

The end of the election process is expected to see merger talks with Proskauer Rose take centre stage once more. The two firms have been in negotiations over a potential tie-up since May.

“It was an excellent process,” said one SJ Berwin partner on the election. “I think Rob was the person everyone expected to get it and he did, but there was a feeling that a contested vote would be interesting in terms of the merger and where it was going. Having that discussion was ­important.”

Day spent time as interim managing partner at the City firm in 2009 while Cohen was on sabbatical.

“I’m proud to have been elected by the partners of SJ Berwin,” he said. “I have a clear strategy for the firm, which I’ll be discussing in further detail with my ­partners and our clients over the week ahead.”