SJ Berwin hires partner in bid to build insolvency practice

SJ Berwin is poaching a key Hammond Suddards partner as part of a plan to raise its insolvency law profile.

Adam Plainer will leave Hammonds with only two insolvency partners in its London office – Ian Searle and Tim Pope.

He brings the number of insolvency partners at SJ Berwin to four. He joins Geoff Woolf, Peter Anderson and head of the department Stephen Maffey.

Maffey says: “Plainer will be coming in to bring more strength to the team.

“We do not have a high reputation as an insolvency firm but we do have a growing reputation for handling complex recovery work.

“His arrival gives the firm an opportunity to build a recognised insolvency practice. We have plans to become more and more involved in this area.”

Maffey adds that one of the reasons for the hire is that the economic climate cannot continue to soar and that when it drops insolvencies will rise.

“As the business climate becomes less positive we will see more of this. We do not foresee an economic dip but inevitably the economy goes through cycles and we will be well placed,” he says.

The firm refuses to comment on whether Plainer will increase its workload by bringing clients with him, which include PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, Grant Thornton, Barclays Bank and Kodak.

A Hammonds spokesman says: “We wish him all the best.”