SJ Berwin private equity partner scoops TDR COO role

Private equity house TDR Capital has swooped on SJ Berwin to hire corporate finance partner Blair Thompson as the group’s chief cooperating officer (COO).

Thompson, who specialises in private equity funds formation and investment funds, will join TDR on 1 May in the newly created position of COO, which is understood to include responsibility for external legal advice.

TDR has historically used a range of firm’s including Linklaters, Ashurst and Simpson Thatcher, but has also instructed SJ Berwin in the past.

Most notably the firm advised TDR on the £166m acquisition by a management buy-out vehicle (backed by funds managed by TDR) of Elliott Group from The Davis Service Group last year.

Incoming senior partner Jonathan Blake said the firm hoped to capitalise on Thompson’s move to develop the firm’s relationship with TDR. “We very much hope our relationship increases.”

Thompson’s departure leaves SJ Berwin’s funds formation team with five partners, although Blake said the firm expected to make-up “several” funds specialists into the partnership from 1 May.

Thompson has been with SJ Berwin since 1997 and a partner at the firm since 2002. Prior to joining SJ Berwin, he worked for New Zealand firm Buddle Findlay after qualifying as a solicitor and barrister in his home country in 1995.