Legal Business Blogs

SJ Berwin star David Ryland moves to Paul Hastings as US firms reap benefit of UK vets

Only four days after its merger went live with King & Wood Mallesons and SJ Berwin has lost leading real estate partner David Ryland to Paul Hastings in London, as US firms also continue to reap the benefit of offering better later life partner opportunities than their UK counterparts.

Ryland, who was the relationship partner for clients including Hilton and private equity fund Evans Randell, specialises in commercial real estate with a focus on UK and European property funds.During his 25 years at SJ Berwin he advised banks, fund managers, hotel operators and investors in the real estate, funds and corporate real estate sectors on investment mechanisms such a limited partnerships and offshore trusts.

‘Our partners in London have been involved in deals with David and have followed his career with admiration and respect,’ said Ronan O’Sullivan, chair of the London office. ‘Attracting partners of David’s outstanding reputation and experience is an important part of our strategy in London and we look forward to David working with all of our leading clients.’

Ryland’s departure mean SJ Berwin has lost two real estate partners in two months, after Pat Jones left for Mayer Brown in October. Another high profile exit later last month saw private equity partner Ed Harris join Hogan Lovells.

The departures come as SJ Berwin’s merger with King & Wood Mallesons went live on November 1, creating a partnership of 553 partners and 2,233 lawyers with 30 offices across Australia, China, Hong Kong and Europe, with former SJ Berwin partners predicting a period of further fallout.

However, Ryland is also one of a number of rated veteran UK partners to move to a US firm in London, including legacy Herbert Smith litigator Ted Greeno who joined Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in March this year, as US firms reap the benefit of a more relaxed attitude to retirement age and attaching a higher value to longevity of experience in the market’s leading players.