PARTNERSHIP 2008: Berwin Leighton Paisner: unreal estate

Berwin Leighton Paisner: unreal estate” /> Thursday, April 17th, 2008, 16.05
Berwin Leighton Paisner: unreal estate

By promoting two of its five new partners in the tax team, Berwin Leighton Paisner is underscoring its commitment to ascending the corporate food chain by increasing its tax leverage.

This year only one of the five promotions is in the firm’s flagship real estate department, suggesting an attempt to move away from its traditional reputation for property work. (The other two are in corporate finance and business & technology).

The emphasis on tax originates from a strategic review the firm undertook two years ago, which resulted in tax being earmarked as one of its ‘five pillars’ of strength.

As part of this macro-strategy, the firm lured Michael Wistow over from Clifford Chance last July to run the department, using its signature technique of wooing rainmakers from larger rivals with remuneration packages outside the lockstep structure.

Making up tax lawyers Elizabeth Bradley and Julian Hickey in this year’s round of promotions continues the emphasis.

But BLP managing partner Neville Eisenberg would challenge the view that this necessarily means real estate is being shunned.

“It may be easier to make a business case [for partnership] in a busy, growing department, but on the other hand if there aren’t any promotions in a particular department its not because we’re not busy growing it,” he says.

“With us the merit of the candidates is more important than any other consideration. If someone is committed to a career here then we will look to promote.”

The suggestion that property is far from being put on the backburner is supported by the fact that there is a strong property undercurrent in non-property departments.

While both Bradley and Hickey have corporate and structured finance experience, Bradley also covers property tax matters including VAT, capital allowances and stamp duty land tax.

This is also true of other corporate departments. Clients of the funds and investment management team, for example, have included ING Shopping Centre Fund Britannica and the HSBC Residential and Shopping Centre Funds.

So perhaps real estate remains less one of BLP’s five pillars, more its foundation.

Partnership prospects
Partnership prospects
Tax: Sunny
Real Estate and Everything else: Patchy

Previous Partnership 2008 blogs.

Lovells turns its nose up at its own – Tuesday, April 14th, 2008
Hammonds: Brum, building, a baby and a barrister – Tuesday, April 14th, 2008
Bird & Bird promotions: only two birds – Monday, April 14th, 2008
Eversheds Paris: female partners multiplying – Monday, April 14th, 2008
Eversheds female promotions dwindle – Friday, April 11th, 2008
Slaughter and May: ladies, long hours and longevity – Thursday, April 10th
Russell Jones & Walker: More to the core – Tuesday, April 8th
A&O in the Middle East: one new partner, back-up on the way – Monday, April 7th
Clifford Chance: Popham puts his money where his mouth isMonday, April 7th
Nabarro, Hunton & HosseiniFriday, April 4th
Addleshaws: managing associatesFriday, April 4th
Nabarro promotions down (under) Thursday, April 3rd
Hunton & Williams: The London eye Thursday, April 3rd
The corporate partnership: Superwomen only?Wednesday, April 2nd
Ashurst promotions: expectation management Wednesday, April 2nd
Pinsents’ Leeds’ ladies take the lead Monday, March 31st
Herbies…continued… Thursday, March 27th
Herbies shakes things upThursday, March 27th
Macfarlanes predicts a good yearThursday, March 26th
Burges Salmon talks the talkWednesday, March 26th
Trowers promotions dwindleTuesday, March 25th
Wragges’ ups the firm’s real estate profileThursday, March 20th
Olswang‘s year of change Thursday, March 20th
Camerons goes East Wednesday, March 19th
Ince & Co: happy days for men in boats Tuesday, March 18th
Freshfields refills partnershipMonday, March 17th