Up-and-coming funds star Nigel van Zyl has quit SJ Berwin for the City firm’s former merger suitor Proskauer Rose, bringing fellow funds partner Oliver Rochman with him.
Van Zyl, a private equity fund formation expert, joins partners Peter McGowan and Robert Barry in the US firm’s funds team. He is understood to have resigned yesterday (26 July), but the timescale of the departure is not known.
Van Zyl made partner at SJ Berwin in 2007 and had been linked with firms including Clifford Chance, where he was tipped as a candidate to fill the gap left by the funds team headed for Weil Gotshal & Manges (13 June 2011). Rochman has been a partner since May this year (6 May 2011).
SJ Berwin was in protracted merger talks with Proskauer last year in a six-month courtship that was seen as unsettling for the British firm. Negotiations were called off in November (12 November 2010).
Last month competition head Stephen Kon is understood to have resigned from the firm after being voted into the partnership at Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, only to be persuaded to stay (14 July 2011).
Jonathan Blake, senior partner st SJ Berwin, said: “Whilst we’re sorry that they’re [van Zyl and Rochman] leaving, we remain the undisputed market leader for funds with more partners and associates dedicated to this area in the UK and across Europe than any of our competitors.
“Our deep expertise across a very broad team has been built over many years and we’re committed to maintaining and developing that for the benefit of our clients.”