SJ Berwin appoints new senior partner

The London-headquartered law firm has promoted Jonathan Blake, the head of its private equity group, to senior partner.

European corporate law firm SJ Berwin has appointed Jonathan Blake as senior partner and Ralph Cohen as managing partner.

The promotions will be effective from 1 May 2006. Both Blake and Cohen will remain in SJ Berwin’s London office.

Blake: new senior partner

Blake has been a partner at SJ Berwin since 1982 and is currently head of the corporate department and private equity. He has advised private equity funds, investing institutions and management teams on management buyouts, venture and development capital investments and related taxation issues.

Blake has had a particular specialisation in advising private equity and venture capital fund managers across Europe on the structuring of private equity and venture capital funds, management companies and incentive arrangements.

In an interview with PEO, Blake said that the appointment would not affect his involvement with private equity clients. “I’m not giving up on client work or the private equity industry, which is extremely important to this firm and part of its branding,” he said. “The appointment underpins the importance of private equity to the firm.”

Cohen is currently a partner in the EU and competition law department at SJ Berwin. While there, he has specialised in European community law with a particular emphasis on competition and trade law, including obtaining merger clearances from both the UK and EU merger jurisdictions, advising on distribution and pricing structures, cartel advice, reviewing commercial agreements and devising appropriate compliance programmes for clients.

Blake said in a statement: “As senior partner, my primary focus will be helping to ensure that the firm continues to set itself a challenging and exciting strategic agenda. Ralph will take the primary responsibility for the management of the firm.”

Founded in 1983, SJ Berwin has offices in London, Paris, Madrid, Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt and Brussels. This month the firm opened new offices in Milan and Turin.