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‘A significant phase of renewal’: King & Wood Mallesons takes real estate team from Eversheds

Three months after persuading Eversheds‘ heavyweight real estate trio William Naunton, Clive Jones and Cornelius Medvei to stay in Big Law and not launch their own boutique, King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has hired a team of Eversheds partners as it seeks to reshape its London office.

Looking to rebuild after a string of senior exits post-merger with City stalwart SJ Berwin in late 2013, real estate partners Simon Burson and Jeremy Brooks make the switch alongside principal associate George Burrha who is becoming partner in the move and technology specialist James Walsh. Five associates are also making the move to KWM’s offices.

KWM’s fast spinning revolving door has now seen 15 lateral partner hires in the last 12 months, making up ground in real estate and projects, while the corporate team has been heaviest hit by exits. Corporate co-head Richard Lever departed to launch Goodwin Procter’s private equity group in the City earlier this month, following the departure of his predecessor Steven Davis to Proskauer Rose, Tim Wright to DLA Piper and Ed Harris to Hogan Lovells.

The latest hires from Eversheds build out the firm’s capacity to capture hedge fund and investors in the UK’s booming real estate market. While Naunton served as head of real estate, Jones as London head of tax and Medvei as senior partner, Burson also carries over years of management experience, having run the firm’s 25-lawyer real estate offering in Cambridge.

Over the year, the firm’s real estate team has led on Invesco’s disposal of 1 Finsbury Circus to China Overseas Holdings Limited, British Land’s sale of Ropemaker Place to an AXA led consortium for £472m and advised China Investment Corporation and Invesco on their joint venture acquisition of Deutsche Bank’s London HQ, Winchester House.

William Boss, European & Middle East managing partner at KWM, said: ‘We have made enormous progress as a firm, which has led to a significant phase of renewal, and we will continue to hire the best collegiate and relationship focused talent for our business.’