U.K. firm SJ Berwin has left London lawyers speechless Friday after announcing the hire of former Linklaters managing partner Tony Angel as a nonexecutive director. Angel has joined the firm, effective immediately, although he will continue to serve as CEO of health care technology group Vantage Diagnostics Ltd.

Angel’s move is a significant coup for SJ Berwin. The real estate and private equity-focused firm has struggled during the recession. The firm’s well-publicized merger discussions with Proskauer Rose collapsed in November.

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