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Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has an image problem. Given the number of firms struggling to differentiate themselves in the the City’s crowded legal market, there’s nothing unusual about that. The difference with BLP, as underlined by the announcement of the end of its alliance with Kramer Levin, is that the firm’s problem is largely about how it sees itself. Out there in the market, BLP is typically lauded as an object lesson in how to take a firm upwards, but BLP insiders are plagued with doubts over whether the firm is really good enough to be mentioned in the club of the UK’s leading 10 or 15 firms.

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