European corporate law firm SJ Berwin has lost private equity fund formation partner Blair Thompson, who is to join UK mid-market firm TDR Capital as chief operating officer.
Thompson told PEO that he has resigned but that no date has currently been set for his departure.
At TDR Capital, established in 2002 by founding partners Manjit Dale and Stephen Robertson, Thompson said he will be responsible for the firm’s legal and compliance activities, as well as the overall operation of its back office.
Thompson joined the corporate finance department of SJ Berwin in 1997, having previously worked at New Zealand law firm Buddle Findlay. He was made partner at SJ Berwin in 2002.
While at the firm, Thompson has specialised in structuring and raising pan-European private equity, venture capital and mezzanine funds. These include: Apax Europe VI, which closed last July with commitments of €4.4 billion ($5.3 billion); Electra Partners Europe’s €1.25 billion second vehicle in the same month; Bridgepoint Europe III, which closed on €2.5 billion last May; and Permira Europe III, which closed on €5.1 billion in October 2003.
Following Thompson’s departure, SJ Berwin will have five partners dedicated to fund formation in its London office. Thompson said internal promotions will take place during the firm’s next partner promotions round at the beginning of May.
SJ Berwin’s London office previously lost a senior member of its private equity funds group in January 2004 when partner John Daghlian left the firm to join rival law firm O’Melveny & Myers.