SJ Berwin's role in advising Lion Capital (the former European arm of Hicks Muse Tate & Furst) on the £102.5m acquisition of noodle bar chain Wagamama is further evidence of how the City firm is muscling in on a client once synonymous with Weil Gotshal & Manges.
The separation of Hicks Muse's US and European arms in January saw the end of Weil's monopoly over the private equity house's European work after it advised the Texan arm of Hicks Muse on the divorce. The move resulted in Weil being forced to share Lion Capital's legal work with SJ Berwin.
Since then, SJ Berwin has picked up two high-profile mandates. The private equity house used SJ Berwin on the Jimmy Choo buyout. Weil, which claims to have scooped several mandates from Lion Capital, has yet to complete a successful deal for the private equity house.