Three leave BLP after global strategy disagreements

Berwin Leighton Paisner

‘s (BLP) project finance team suffered three more partner losses last week (11 December).

Partners Agnieszka Klich, Jon Nash and Sohail Barkatali are the latest to leave the firm, moving to Chadbourne & Parke‘s London office, as first revealed on www.thelawyer. com (11 December).

The three-partner team is the latest in a number of losses for the firm’s projects group. The other losses include Jonathan Simpson, who left to join Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker in January, and Tom Wexler, who joined Canadian firm Fasken Martineau in May.

A former partner said: “To have a successful international strategy you need to develop strong ties with a few different firms. BLP chooses to try and build relationships with too many. This clearly hasn’t worked and so people have decided to move on.”

The project finance group, which is divided into sub-groups of energy, transport, government projects and oil and gas, is striving to win international as well as domestic work.

BLP has created a five-partner international management team headed by partner John Taylor dedicated, which is to strengthening relationships with firms in various jurisdictions.

BLP managing partner Neville Eisenberg said: “It’s [the team’s] job to nurture these relationships. Obviously some relationships develop quicker than others, but we’ve got fantastic feedback from clients and we’re seeing success with international project finance as well as domestic.”

Although BLP has experienced a number of partner losses since the international strategy was launched, Eisenberg insists it is an effective strategy that continues to be successful for the whole firm.

“To move to an international arena you have to have defined groups within projects and you have to leverage off the reputation you’ve built in the domestic market,” he said. “It’s a gradual process, but we’ve done this, particularly in the Middle East and Asia.”