Berwin Leighton has been chosen to advise development consortium Southwark Land Regeneration on its contract to redevelop London’s Elephant & Castle area. The project, which is expected to take 10 years to complete, will cost in the region of £1bn. Southwark Land Regeneration is a consortium comprising Godfrey Bradman’s European Land and Frogmore Estates. It won the contract despite competition from some of the UK’s best-known property developers, including Land Securities, London & Amsterdam and Countryside Properties. The Berwin Leighton team advising Southwark Land Regeneration is led by Ian Trehearne and Simon Allen.

Allen & Overy partner Adam Cleal has stepped into the shoes of Rod Brown to lead its property department. Brown, whose five-year term as head of department finished earlier this month, will return to the company after a sabbatical. Cleal specialises in property finance, with particular emphasis on structured finance and securitisation.

Ward Hadaway has welcomed new partner David Crone, who will be joining the corporate finance department of the north east-based firm. Crone, who spent 13 years as a partner at Pinsent Curtis, joins from McGrigor Donald.

DLA is increasing its pro bono work and extending its relationship with the Prince’s Trust by recruiting Elaine Radford from Watson Farley & Williams as the Prince’s Trust coordinator. In the past two years DLA has donated around 2,000 hours of advice to the trust.

Wikborg Rein & Co, the Norwegian firm, is opening an office in Singapore. The office will specialise in shipping and be headed by new resident partner Dag Rommen. He joins from Evensen & Co, which will be dissolved, along with Tom Haug†rd Evensen. The firm has 43 partners and offices in Oslo, Bergen, London, Kobe and Singapore.

The American Bar Association is moving part of its annual conference out of London. The University of Cambridge will host the intellectual property lecture, organised by Cambridge firm Hewitson Becke + Shaw. The firm says the decision shows the eastern region’s increasing reputation for science and technology.

Michael Napier has beaten Robert Sayer in the Law Society presidential elections with a majority of almost two to one. Senior partner at Irwin Mitchell, Napier polled 12,233 votes compared to Sayer’s 6,334. The new Vice President will be David McIntosh, senior partner at Davies Arnold Cooper, Napier’s running mate, who polled 11,473 compared to Anthony Bogan’s 6,792. The current chair of the Mental Health Review Tribunal for Wales, Carolyn Kirby, takes up the post of Deputy Vice President.

The Bar Council has decided that chambers will be able to keep their Bar Marks even if they are merging with chambers that have not been assessed. This decision is in contrast to the Law Society’s assessment, Lexcel, which demands that both merging parties hold the quality award in order for it to be retained.

Baker & McKenzie is launching an in-house postgraduate diploma in advanced legal practice for junior associates. The diploma will be validated and run in association with the law faculty of the University of the West of England in Bristol. Initially the course will be open only to the corporate department.

Lee & Pembertons is set to divide into two specialist firms. The first, which will be called Pemberton Greenish, will be centred on property with a particular emphasis on urban estates and their requirements for tax, trust and litigation advice. The second, which will continue to use the name Lee & Pembertons, will concentrate on the existing private client practice of the firm. Completion of the demerger will take place on 31 October.

In the feature “The Italian Job” last week it was erroneously stated that founding partner Vittorio Grimaldi has left Grimaldi & Clifford Chance. He remains with the firm. We regret the error.