SJ Berwin planning ace quits for English Partnerships

SJ Berwin’s senior planning and environment partner Pat Thomas is quitting the firm to take on a consultancy position at the national regeneration agency, English Partnerships.

SJ Berwin was not among the firms on English Partnerships’ 12-firm panel announced in February 2005 after an eight-month review.

Thomas had spent 18 years as a partner at SJ Berwin, establishing and building up the planning and environment practice. She recruited both Simon Ricketts and Duncan Field, who remain as partners in the practice.

Thomas will leave the firm at the end of the month when she will join with English Partnerships’ advisory team for large applications (Atlas) unit. Atlas was established to provide an independent advisory service to local authorities in London and the South East.

Thomas’s work with Atlas will include a research project into procedures to facilitate the response of local planning authorities to major planning applications.

SJ Berwin senior partner Jonathan Blake said: “We shall miss the enthusiasm and dedication that she brought to her role in the firm and wish her well for the future”.

Thomas was awarded the OBE in 2003 for services to town and country planning. She is the current chair of the Law Society’s planning and environment committee, as maintains a number of other industry positions.

English Partnerships’ legal panel includes: Addleshaw Goddard, Berwin Leighton Paisner, Denton Wilde Sapte, DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary, Eversheds, Nabarro Nathanson, Norton Rose and Pinsent Masons.