BLP wins Richards Butler partner

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) is further ramping up its finance department with the hire of finance partner Michael Ewart from Richards Butler. It is the fifth partner hire for the finance department in the past year.

Ewart has advised clients including Lloyds TSB Acquisition Finance, Singer & Fried-lander and Sea Containers.

Managing partner Neville Eisenberg said that the hire was part of a strategic decision taken a number of years ago to grow the finance practice. “In overall terms, we want to create an equal balance between corporate, real estate and finance on both the contentious and non-contentious side,” he said.

At the same time, the firm is continuing to strengthen its relationship with Merrill Lynch. While it is already a long-standing adviser to the investment management arm of Merrill Lynch, BLP has recently received its first instructions from Merrill Lynch Real Estate Finance and Merrill Lynch Principal Investments.

The firm is advising the Real Estate Finance group on its first UK loan, and Global Prinicpal Investments in connection with a £96m property partnership deal.