SJ Berwin to build finance division

SJ Berwin is creating a 20-partner finance division to span its international offices as part of a plan to coordinate and publicise its activities in this area.

Gillian Smith, head of banking in London, says: “We have always seen ourselves as a corporate firm, but we are seeking to emphasise our finance and debt side.”

Partners from different departments across the firm will form the division, but there have been two lateral hires from Stephenson Harwood as well. Paul Diss and Geoff Woolf joined the London office's banking department last month (The Lawyer, 21 June). Both of them have strong finance backgrounds.