SJ Berwin makes real estate promotion after defections to Irwin Mitchell

SJ Berwin has promoted a real estate associate to partner outside of its regular promotions round following the loss of four partners from the group to Irwin Mitchell in the autumn.

Darren Rogers will move into the partnership with immediate effect, bringing the partner headcount in the City firm’s European real estate team to 18.

In September, then real estate chief Jon Vivian headed a four-partner team, including Jo Footitt, Lewis Myers and Rob Thompson, that defected to Irwin Mitchell. They have since been followed by 12 further fee-earners, three of whom have become partners at their new firm.

SJ Berwin managing partner Rob Day said: “This is richly deserved and a real credit to Darren for his fantastic client service and the strength of his relationships.

“We don’t make up partners mid-way through the year every day, but Darren was a dead cert for our annual May promotion round and we have great opportunities for first rate lawyers keen to lead.”

Rogers, who qualified in 2000, has already led a team acting for one of SJ Berwin’s key real estate clients – British Land – on the leasing of a West End office space.

Joint head of real estate Bryan Pickup added: “Our real estate team’s very busy with a range of major instructions on high profile deals and developments. There are fantastic opportunities for ambitious lawyers like Darren with a proven record of excellence and strong client support.”