SJ Berwin property partner Edward Page is being tipped to become the firm’s next UK head of real estate amid speculation that current chief Simon Ricketts could stand down from the role.
Ricketts has not made a decision to exit the position but it is understood he could pass the reins on in the coming year, with the end of the current calendar or financial year seen as likely junctures.
The role is a senior job at the real estate-focused firm and has previously been filled by high-profile figures such as Bryan Pickup and former partner Jon Vivian.
There is no fixed term, with Pickup serving ten years from 1997 to December 2007 and Vivian from January 2008 until he left the firm to join Irwin Mitchell in 2010 (27 September 2010).
While Page is seen as the frontrunner, the other major contender for the practice head role is partner William Boss, with one option being Page and Boss sharing the job.
The appointment is selected by the whole partnership, but with extra weighting for the views of real estate partners.
A change would also prompt a shake-up of the firm’s management committee, on which Ricketts currently sits in his capacity as a practice leader.
Management of the firm’s property practice is split between Ricketts and international real estate head Pickup, whose clients include British Land and the Crown Estate.
Page is the firm’s relationship partner for British Land’s retail work and also handles Axa Real Estate.
SJ Berwin senior partner Stephen Kon said in a statement: ”Under the excellent management of Bryan Pickup, international head of real estate, and Simon Ricketts, London head of real estate, along with our other local office heads we have continued to deliver the very best service to our clients and maintain our pre-eminent position, despite challenging market conditions.
”We have no imminent plans to change the management of this team. Real estate is one of the firm’s great strengths, and we continue to strengthen the practice with the recent hire of Stephen Webb [as a partner from SNR Denton].”