SJ Berwin boosts City litigation team with former Dentons Middle East disputes chief

SJ Berwin has hired highly rated international arbitration partner Paul Stothard from Dentons’ London office.

Stothard (pictured), who joined SJ Berwin yesterday (2 September), headed Dentons’ Middle East dispute resolution practice from 2008 until 2012, when he returned to the City.

With experience of advising both investors and states, Stothard has worked in several sectors, including construction, energy, international trade, retail, sports and media. He also has experience of international fraud litigation and internal corruption probes.

Dentons’ accounts show Stothard left the firm’s partnership on 20 August, though it is understood the litigator departed the firm earlier in the summer. His move follows the exit of arbitration partner and former Salans UK international arbitration head George Burn, who left Dentons in July for US firm Vinson & Elkins.

“We already have one of the leading arbitration teams and one of the leading international arbitrators in Tim Taylor QC, based predominantly in Dubai,” said SJ Berwin senior partner Stephen Kon.

“Continuing to grow the contentious side of our business remains a key focus for SJ Berwin, with arbitration at the heart of that strategy.”

“SJ Berwin will be an ideal home for me and for my practice,” said Stothard.

“The firm has strong ambitions for the growth of its international arbitration practice and I want to play a key role in achieving that goal. This is an exciting time for the firm.”

In July, SJ Berwin voted through its merger with Asia-Pacific giant King & Wood Mallesons, creating a $1bn (£657m) firm, in the first major tie-up betwee a UK and pan-Asia-Pacific firm. The merger will go live from November this year, with the SJ Berwin name set to disappear after a transitional period.