Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) may have sparked debate last week with its best attempts to impersonate Slaughter and May by moving into the same building as the heavyweight and its European best friends in Brussels.
But there are others in the industry starting to wonder if BLP is not just becoming an old boys’ club for ex-Clifford Chance people.
Certainly the hire of Robert MacGregor in 2004 to head real estate has proved a masterstroke, but since then the strategy has moved on to hiring whoever BLP can prise away from the firm.
First MacGregor took his most trusted assistants, then came securitisation star Paul Severs, who is on a £1m-plus remuneration package similar to the £1.3m-plus package that generated so many headlines for MacGregor in 2004.
After that Clifford Chance stalwart Wendy Miller joined as head of real estate litigation, and now the firm has again dipped into its favourite hunting ground for senior associate Robert Bindless, who will work closely with both MacGregor and Severs to build the links between real estate and finance.
Talk about punching above your weight, but BLP certainly still has some way to go.Get the latest news and an irreverent commentary delivered to your desktop every Wednesday by subscribing to Lawyer News Weekly.