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Corporate heavyweight Neville Eisenberg has been voted managing partner at Berwin Leighton with a brief to ease tensions between its corporate and property arms and forge international expansion.Eisenberg beat fellow corporate partner David Robbins in last week’s contested vote after the existing managing partner, Bob Jones, decided not to stand for re-election after serving just one three-year term.Partners at the firm say the election will herald a new international era at the firm, which is understood to have already held unsuccessful merger talks with US firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius.The firm has been actively pitching for business in the US – an exercise that has already picked it up one important new client in the form of clothing retailer, Gap. Eisenberg said: “The US is a focus, as well as Europe and the UK but we have a lot to do to improve our own business.”Partners at the firm also want Eisenberg to sort out domestic tensions between the corporate and property practices. It is understood that corporate partners at the firm want to shake off the image that they are a support arm for its successful property practice.A source said: “The election of Eisenberg is the best thing the firm has done in a long while.”But highly-respected Eisenberg, who qualified in South Africa, has taken on the job at the expense of his fee earning capability.After a short break, Jones will return to fee earning.

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