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SJ Berwin has elected Rob Day as its new managing partner after he beat fellow corporate partner Perry Yam in the second round of voting.
Day will take over from incumbent Ralph Cohen on 1 November after Cohen decided to stand down from the role 18 months before his term ended.
Three candidates were initially in the running for the job but litigation partner Hilton Mervis dropped out of contention after finishing third in last week’s first round of voting (18 October 2010).
The end of the election process is now expected to see merger talks with Proskauer Rose take centre stage once more. The two firms have been in negotiations over a potential tie-up since May (6 May 2010).
“It was an excellent process,” said one SJ Berwin partner on the election. “I think Rob was the person everyone expected to get it and he did, but there was a feeling that a contested vote would be interesting in terms of the merger and where it was going. Having that discussion was important.”
Day spent time as interim managing partner at the City firm in 2009 while Cohen was on sabbatical.
He commented: “I’m proud to have been elected by the partners of SJ Berwin. I have a clear strategy for the firm which I’ll be discussing in further detail with my partners and our clients over the week ahead.”
Proskauer has also recently elected new management after Joseph Leccesse became the firm’s youngest ever global chairman last month, replacing Allen Fagin (5 October 2010).