Real estate heavyweight Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has staved off the threat of redundancy by upping its focus on the restructuring sector.
While real estate work has fallen off over the past year, and the firm posted flat income growth during the first six months of 2008-09, a ;growth ;in ;property restructurings has meant at least 30 real estate lawyers are now regularly involved in this area, according to restructuring head Ben Larkin.
BLP has retrained a further 16 lawyers from its banking, corporate and real estate teams and seconded them to the restructuring department. Utilisation levels in the enlarged restructuring group are at 118 per cent.
Managing partner Neville Eisenberg said: “There’s been less mid-market transactional work in real estate, but we’ve experienced a flight to quality that’s compensated. We’re ;working ;on ;the portfolios of big institutions and retailers and have a strong planning practice.”