SJ Berwin has taken the unusual step of appointing a non fee-earning partner.
Head of knowledge management Simon Witney has been promoted to the partnership along with six other fee-earners in London.
Witney became the firm’s first head of knowledge management in January 2000. He was previously a fee-earner in corporate finance.
Witney says: “This sends out a signal that knowledge management is something the firm recognises as being of the utmost importance. One of the things we’ve always tried to do is to make sure our professional support lawyers are very closely integrated with our fee-earning teams. They’re as much a valued part of those teams as the fee-earners.”
Senior partner David Harrel says: “If an organisation which is basically selling its brains doesn’t invest in learning and the culture of learning, then it falls behind. Our knowledge is the thing that makes us valuable. Simon has always understood it in a way that some of us who are totally transaction-driven sometimes don’t.”