BLP scoops MacGregor to head real estate team

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has sent shockwaves through the legal real estate market by scooping Clifford Chance’s Robert MacGregor as its new head of real estate.

MacGregor, the relationship management partner for Canary Wharf, is understood to have been offered a guaranteed £800,000 to leave Clifford Chance to oversee BLP’s real estate practice.

MacGregor was at the top of Clifford Chance’s equity structure, which stood at £630,000 in 2003-04.

The appointment is a coup for BLP’s real estate practice, which has suffered criticism in recent months for a perceived lack of management direction and a spate of departures, including those of real estate partners Daniel Lipman and Rachel Phillips.

It also signals an end to BLP’s protracted search for a new head of real estate, which started in March 2003 after the former head Phillip Bretherton stood down.

At the time, deputy head Claire Milton took on external client duties, with real estate partner Susan Millar looking after internal management.

MacGregor is understood to still be in negotiations with Clifford Chance regarding the timing of his exit, although his departure was announced to the firm’s real estate practice on Friday (15 October).

Clifford Chance senior partner Stuart Popham said the departure was amicable and the firm wished him well in his new role.

MacGregor was unavailable for comment.