SJ Berwin hires Beiten Burkhardt property chief

SJ Berwin has boosted its German property practice with the hire of partner Hans Thomas Kessler, director of real estate at Beiten Burkhardt.

Kessler is understood to be bringing a team of associates, although SJ Berwin is still in negotiations as to how many.

Senior partner Jonathan Blake said the appointment was “good news” for the real estate practice across the firm. “His team has significant international capability it its own right which fits well with our activities in Russia, the USA and China,” he said.

Kessler has experience of working in the Russian market and has been employed as a consultant for real estate funds in China.
He said: “We are pursuing the goal of offering the international real estate market a leading and integrated practice.”

SJ Berwin has invested heavily in its German practice during the last year. In the latest financial results for 2007-08, income from the country rose by 26 per cent.

Despite the property slump the firm’s real estate group saw turnover rise from 32m to 41m last year, with the German and French offices performing strongly. (17 September)