SJ Berwin wins Samsonite from Skadden

<a class=SJ Berwin wins Samsonite from Skadden” class=”inline_image inline_image_left” src=”/pictures/web/images/13444_5_samsonite.gif” />SJ Berwin has taken over from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom as lead external counsel for luggage maker Samsonite following its takeover by CVC Capital Partners last year.

Skadden had been Samsonite’s main firm for 15 years until CVC’s $1.7bn (£950m) buyout last summer. SJ Berwin advised the private equity house, while Skadden acted for Samsonite.

The deal saw SJ Berwin win its first major mandate from CVC, elbowing Clifford Chance out of the way in the process. Unusually, the firm won the work through its Milan office, which opened in ;2005. ;SJ ;Berwin ­capitalised on connections between the private equity group and Italian corporate partner Alberto Morano.

SJ Berwin is now Samsonite’s main law firm for the UK, although the company uses different firms for other jurisdictions. The company picked Baker & McKenzie to handle its French work following a beauty parade last year.

Samsonite’s corporate headquarters and legal team moved to London from Denver as part of the CVC deal. Since that time the company has hired a ­general counsel for Asia, taking in-house lawyer Cynthia Lau from a Hong Kong ­conglomerate.