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Triple exit for BLP as Mishcon and Barclays take on partners

Mishcon de Reya has hired Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) partners David Leibowitz and Joanna Lampert, while partner Bobby Schrader is joining Barclays after less than two years with BLP.

Restructuring and insolvency partner Leibowitz and real estate litigator Lampert will join Mishcon on 2 May. Leibowitz is the second departure from BLP’s restructuring and insolvency group in the last three years, after the firm lost highly rated former head Ben Larkin to Jones Day in 2014.

His departure leaves BLP’s restructuring practice with three partners, including head Ben Jones, and partners Marc Trottier and Ian Benjamin. It is understood Leibowitz is not likely to be replaced, as the firm’s current strategy is to focus on its core sectors.

Leibowitz has been at BLP for nearly 30 years. He qualified in 1986, was made up to partner in 1992 and has litigation experience acting for banks, insolvency practitioners, trade creditors, shareholders, the Insolvency Service and foreign lawyers. Lampert has been at BLP since 1999 and was made up to partner in 2006. She specialises in the most contentious aspects of real estate and acts for owners, occupiers, developers and funders of corporate real estate.

Meanwhile, Schrader is joining Barclays following a recent secondment with the bank. He joined BLP as partner in late 2015 from Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) to start a US securities group and build the corporate finance practice. Schrader had been at BAML for a decade and was last assistant general counsel and director. One BLP partner said: ‘Barclays is a valuable client relationship for us, and the US securities practice is more of a support function on deals rather than originating its own work. So the firm decided rather than keep supporting the practice, he had a great opportunity at Barclays and that was mutually beneficial for the firm and the client.’

Most recently, BLP confirmed in March that nine of its lawyers, including intellectual property (IP) head Simon Clark and head of the brand management and trademarks group Ian Gruselle are leaving the firm for TMT specialist Bristows as the firm identified it as ‘not a central issue’ for clients in the firm’s core sectors in a review conducted last year. Earlier this year, Playtech also hired relationship partner Alex Latner as general counsel.

Recent BLP hires include data protection partner Kate Brimsted from Reed Smith and corporate tax partner Mark Brailsford from Osborne Clarke, both hired last month.