SJ Berwin split as election exposes pre-merger rift

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  • The merger between Berwins and Proskauer is doomed, surely. Berwins is split from top to bottom and who's to say that the Proskauer partners are united. Rob Day would do better to focus on getting Berwins back on track rather than lead them into a merger of questionable benefit.

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  • this is the opportunity to do some cherry picking as there are a lot of talented partners there

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  • Not surprising the real estate lawyers are concerned about US tie up - look what happened to the Titmuss Sainer real estate team after they became Dechert. US firms don't appreciate what they regard as "dirt lawyers". Expect to see some good people get on the first bus outta there.

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  • The whole Proskauer process has gone on too long. It would be a lot better if the whole things hadn't been played out in the media for the last 6 months and had been kept behind closed doors. Now, sadly, I'd imagine that Proskauer can more or less dictate terms and say take it or leave it

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  • SJ Berwin has two possible routes ahead, merger or mediocrity.

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  • SJ Berwin was a get-rich-quick vehicle designed to ride the boom years. It a harder market where legal excellence is required, it has struggled. That is the real reason for the merger.

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  • @ Stig - At least SJ Berwin invested in the business during the boom years, such as through office openings.
    The firm is now in a difficult position, a lot bigger than the UK-only corporate firms but a lot smaller than the biggest international firms. It really has no option but to merge, the question is with whom.
    If they can get Proskauer to agree to a merger then they will have done very well and will have safeguarded a large number of jobs and careers at SJ Berwin.

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  • In a free market jobs must go if the demand isn't there. Merging to safeguard them is law firm management of the Gordon Brown school. He's toast. Let the chips fall where they may.

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  • These comments are all a touch melodramatic. The reality is that SJB is absolutely fine and back on an upward trend. There's no two way split, and Perry and Rob didn't run on anti and pro merger tickets.
    I don't expect any of that to make the headlines though... it's not as interesting as the melodrama.

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  • The fact that talks have dragged for nine months without resolution combined with the departure of so many recently would indicate a large division. Without a US capability, its corporate funds and M&A are not a "seamless" service and cannot hope to compete with the more aggressive US firms that are pushing into the London market. The merger would also mean that associates are remunerated better for the hours they do there..

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