SJ Berwin partner jumps ship as overhaul gets going

SJ Berwin partner jumps ship as overhaul gets going” />SJ Berwin has lost real estate partner Sally Pinkerton to Wragge & Co, three months into a full-scale review of the department.

The team launched the internal review late last year in a bid to pinpoint which areas of the practice will be scaled back and which areas will continue to be developed.

In a move similar to that taken by Linklaters last year, SJ Berwin ultimately hopes to develop a more profitable real estate practice.

SJ Berwin senior partner David Harrel told The Lawyer: “The review is
all about focusing our approach to the property market, which is one of our industry areas.” The review is not expected to be completed until March.

Harrel admitted that there may be some further departures from the firm if practices do not fit with the firm’s strategy, although he denied that any partners would be pushed, and he said that Pinkerton left of her own accord.

Pinkerton will be Wragges’ second full-time property partner in London, after the high-profile hire of Gerald Bland in 2002. It is part of the firm’s drive to bulk up both property and its London office.

Clients Pinkerton has previously acted for include US opportunity fund Peabody Trust and developers Hines and Stannifer.

At the same time, SJ Berwin has also lost funds partner John Daghlian to O’Melveney & Myers, and competition partner Tom Usher to the Edinburgh office of Dundas & Wilson. It is the first competition partner Dundas has taken on.