Legal Business

Streamlining: Dentons loses second global real estate co-head this year, with Winckworth Sherwood bolstering its team


LB 100 firm Winckworth Sherwood has bolstered its real estate team with the hire of Dentons’ global co-head of real estate Andrew Bedford, a departure which comes just months after Dentons lost fellow global real estate co-head Eric Rosedale to US firm Greenberg Traurig.

Having joined Winckworth’s 80-strong team in early November, Bedford specialises in commercial real estate and advising on office, retail, investment, acquisition and development transactions, and large-scale regeneration schemes, and for ten years has advised supermarket giant Sainsbury’s on its store acquisitions programme.

This year saw Winckworth impressively move 11 places into 85th position in the LB 100. The firm enjoyed 19% revenue growth up to £30.5m alongside a 63% rise in profit per lawyer to £83,000 while profit per equity partner increased 44% to £742,000.

On Rosedale’s exit in June to Greenberg Traurig’s London office, a Dentons spokesperson said the firm was ‘working on streamlining the regional practice group leadership, moving from multi-partner leadership to single partner leadership’.

The firm’s 600-strong global real estate practice is now co-chaired by Prague-based partner Evan Lazar, who recruited Rosedale 15 years ago, while Warsaw-based Pawel Debowski chairs the European real estate group.

Commenting on his move to Winckworth, Bedford said the firm has ‘consistently demonstrated real commitment to the London real estate market.  The firm has an outstanding real estate offer and built a terrific team at a time when other firms have focused elsewhere.

He added: ‘Many large regeneration projects have significant residential components and I see a great opportunity in the compatibility of our respective practices’. 

Legal Business

Winckworth Sherwood and Richard Buxton advise as Queen’s former doctor takes action against City of London and St Barts


Winckworth Sherwood and Richard Buxton have won roles advising on the judicial review of planned development works to Barts hospital’s Grade I-listed North Wing.

Consultant Marcus Setchell, who delivered Prince George, filed proceedings in the High Court yesterday (28 August) after the City of London Corporation granted planning permission for a new counselling centre on the side of the Great Hall, a listed Georgian building in the north wing of St Bartholomew’s Hospital. The charity Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Trust aims to build a £5m cancer centre at the hospital.

Richard Buxton partner Susan Ring is advising Setchell and instructed Richard Harwood OBE QC of 39 Essex Street. Winckworth Sherwoods is advising Maggie’s Centre with a team including Lindsay Garratt.

The claim argues that the City of London Corporation has failed to adequately take into account the significant harm the development, which is made of a translucent glow-in-the-dark material adjoined to the east side of the North Wing, will cause to the 800-years old UNESCO listed site.

The decision to seek a judicial review comes after the City of London Planning Committee’s gave the go ahead to construct an ultra-modern building by an 11-10 vote.

Setchell said: ‘As a doctor who has worked for the NHS for 42 years, I am fully supportive of the provision of cancer support services, but having trained at Barts and been a Consultant there for 25 years, I understand deeply the heritage value of the historic listed buildings, and the need for their protection and conservation.

‘The City of London Corporation has a uniquely privileged duty of care to this ancient city. Its Planning Committee failed to recognise its responsibilities to ensure that the NHS and Maggie’s plans would not have severe detrimental effects on the historic buildings on this the oldest hospital in Europe to still occupy its original site.’

Legal Business

Revolving Doors: Strategic UK hires for Irwin Mitchell; Simmons; Speechly and Winckworth Sherwood


A series of lateral hires across the UK last week saw Irwin Mitchell take on a trio of commercial litigation partners from Eversheds, DLA Piper and Matthew Arnold Baldwin (MAB), while Simmons & Simmons bolstered its information technology team with a hire from DLA, and Speechly Bircham and Winckworth Sherwood hired into their planning and real estate practices respectively.

Irwin Mitchell made a significant investment into its business legal services division with the appointment of Eversheds banking and financial services litigation partner Jonathan Crook, DLA disputes partner Dorrien Peters and MAB professional indemnity partner Jonathan Sachs.

Sachs formerly headed the professional indemnity team at MAB and earlier roles have included leading the litigation teams at Pettman Smith and legacy Sprecher Grier Halberstam, now SGH Martineau. He will join the firm’s London office.

Crook was in Eversheds’ Manchester office previously, where he specialised in banking and financial services litigation, and he will transfer across to Irwin Mitchell in the North West City.

Peters, who originally trained as an electronic engineer with BAE before joining DLA Piper’s Sheffield office, specialises in complex disputes in the IT, manufacturing, engineering and construction sectors and the use of computer forensic methods in support of civil fraud claims.

‘All three are experts in their field and demonstrate our intention to grow our market share by investing in highly talented people who have an innovative approach to law and proven track record when it comes to supporting the complex needs of clients,’ said Nigel Kissack, national head of commercial litigation at the firm.

Elsewhere, top 20 UK firm Simmons & Simmons has expanded its information, communication and technology (ICT) team with the hire of DLA partner Hinal Patel to its London office. Patel’s practice incorporates non-contentious technology with an emphasis on technology sourcing and general commercial contracting. While at DLA, Patel worked in both the firm’s London and Dubai offices.

‘Hinal Patel’s arrival marks a further milestone in the expansion of our ICT practice. His extensive experience of ICT and outsourcing work and cross border matters will be invaluable to our international practice,’ said Mark Curtis, head of ICT for the firm.

Meanwhile, City firm Speechly Bircham has bolstered its planning practice with the arrival of Tim Johnson from DAC Beachcroft. Johnson specialises in environmental and ecological matters relating to the development of land and ensuring compliance with European Union law. The Legal 500 commends him for his ‘commercial sense’ and ‘very sound advice’.

‘Tim adds strength in depth to our team, in particular with his wide experience of acting for developers on complex, mixed use schemes,’ said Claire Fallows, head of planning at the firm.

Winckworth Sherwood has also strengthened its real estate practice with the arrival of Christopher Brigstocke from Squire Sanders where he was a partner. His clients include developers, investors, funders and public sector bodies. He specialises in dealing with transport and infrastructure matters.

‘Christopher is an enormously respected real estate lawyer. His considerable experience and client following will be a terrific asset to the team,’ said Roger Fitton, managing partner of the firm.