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SJ Berwin to Push Out Some Partners as Downturn Persists
SJ Berwin is set to ask a small number of partners to leave as the firm looks to cut back in response to market conditions.
The City firm is launching a restructuring that will see a number of partners leave the firm, although it is not clear which practice areas will be affected. It is understood that there will not be any de-equitizations associated with the restructuring.
In a statement the firm said: "As with all law firms, we actively manage the partnership. This is an ongoing process to ensure that the size and structure of the organisation best meets the needs of what continues to be a challenging market."
SJ Berwin previously carried out a restructuring in 2009 when it asked "fewer than six" of its 170-strong partnership to leave the firm. In that process both equity and non-equity partners were affected, with at least three exiting partners understood to be in the firm's London real estate practice. The firm's partnership was not consulted on the decision, with only those hit by the cuts formally informed of the measures.
Over the last year a number of City firms have looked to downsize their partnerships in non-core practice areas as the downturn continues to bite.
Earlier this year, Simmons & Simmons restructured its partnership in an effort to boost profitability, with around 10 percent of the firm's equity thought to be affected.
Linklaters reshaped its partnership last December, with the final outcome affecting 41 partners worldwide. Of this figure, 25 were asked to leave the firm altogether, with the remaining 16 either stripped of their equity status or asked to take a reduced profit share.
Herbert Smith also carried out a restructuring in the same month, asking around 15 partners from its corporate and finance practices firmwide to leave.