|Headquarters||10 Queen Street Place, London, United Kingdom|
|Major practice areas||General practice|
|Revenue||£184.6 million (2012/13)|
|Profit per equity partner||£565,000 (2012/13)|
|Date founded||1982 (London)|
|Company type||Limited liability partnership|
SJ Berwin LLP was a multinational law firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom. SJ Berwin merged with the Hong Kong-headquartered law firm King & Wood Mallesons on 1 November 2013, becoming the fourth member of its Swiss Verein structure. SJ Berwin's legal name immediately changed to "King & Wood Mallesons LLP", although King & Wood Mallesons traded as "King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin" in Europe and the Middle East for a transitional period. SJ Berwin was a member of the "Silver Circle" of leading UK law firms.
SJ Berwin was founded in 1982 in London by lawyer Stanley J. Berwin along with 15 lawyers. It was driven forward by Berwin until his death in 1988, after which he was succeeded by Christopher Haan. In 1992, leadership of the firm was handed over to David Harrel, who led the firm for 13 years. Harrel oversaw SJ Berwin's strategy of European expansion. The management of the firm passed to fund formation partner Jonathan Blake in 2005, who took on the senior partner role alongside existing managing partner Ralph Cohen. During 2009 the firm opened three new offices in Hong Kong, Dubai and Shanghai. In 2010 Ralph Cohen stood down as Managing Partner and was replaced by Rob Day, who took office in November 2010.
SJ Berwin had abortive merger discussions with the American law firm Proskauer Rose in 2010. In 2013 the firm entered talks to join the Australian-Chinese law firm King & Wood Mallesons as its fourth constituent partnership. The merger was completed on 1 November 2013.
Notable deals and cases
SJ Berwin advised Lion Capital LLP on a string of deals including the on the acquisition of fashion chain AllSaints from Icelandic banks Kaupthing and Glitnir in 2011, and the £1.4 billion acquisition of French frozen food business Picard Surgeles in 2010.
The firm advised global packaging manufacturer Amcor in August 2009 on its offer of $2.025 billion to buy part of Alcan Packaging, a world leader in packaging belonging to Australian mining group Rio Tinto.
In 2010 the firm advised British Land on forming a £2.13 billion joint venture with NYSE listed global asset manager The Blackstone Group for British Land’s holdings in the Broadgate Estate, the premier 30-acre City of London office estate.
The firm advised SITA, the specialist in air transport communications and IT solutions, on a seven-year deal, valued in excess of $2 billion, to broaden its existing partnership with Orange Business Services.
- "The Lawyer UK 200 Preview: Come on, united". The Lawyer. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- King & Wood Mallesons, KING & WOOD MALLESONS AND SJ BERWIN COMBINE TO CREATE FIRST GLOBAL LAW FIRM HEADQUARTERED IN ASIA, 2013-07-31
- Chambers Student Guide 2012
- The Lawyer
- Stanton, Natalie (17 July 2013). "SJ Berwin partners to vote on KWM deal next week". The Lawyer. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
- "City law firm SJ Berwin in pioneer merger with King & Wood Mallesons". The Telegraph. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- "King & Wood Mallesons and SJ Berwin merger goes live tomorrow". The Lawyer. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
- "SJ Berwin advises Lion Capital and Goode Partners on the acquisition of All Saints fashion chain". SJ Berwin.
- "SJ Berwin LLP in Kurt Geiger deal - Private equity firm of the year closes two major retail deals in one week". SJ Berwin.
- "SJ Berwin advises Amcor on its $2 billion acquisition of Alcan Packaging". SJ Berwin.
- "SJ Berwin advises British Land and Blackstone on giant pre-letting at Broadgate". SJ Berwin.
- "SJ Berwin advises SITA on $2 billion deal with Orange Business Services for innovative communication services to the air transport industry". SJ Berwin.
- "SJ Berwin LLP's victory in the House of Lords for OK! in the Catherine Zeta-Jones wedding photos case". SJ Berwin.