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Irwin Mitchell Boosts Real Estate Team With DLA Hires

New Partners Set To be Joined By A Team Of Five Associates


Irwin Mitchell’s vision to be recognised as one of the leading real estate law firms in the UK has received a major boost after it confirmed that high profile commercial property lawyers, Anita Weightman, Roy Beckett, Patrick Duffy and Tony Weightman, will join the firm’s Manchester office from DLA Piper on 1 February 2013.

The appointments, which will take the total number of real estate Partners at the firm to 21, continues an ongoing investment by Irwin Mitchell in building up its national commercial offering. Since June 2012, Irwin Mitchell has added 12 new partners to its Business Legal Services team, including specialists in corporate transactions, banking & finance and construction law.

In addition to the four new real estate partners, a team of 10 others from DLA Piper, including five Associates, are expected to join the firm which has its Manchester offices at Bauhaus on Quay Street.

Paul Firth, Partner and National Head of Real Estate at Irwin Mitchell, said: “These four partners represent arguably the strongest real estate legal team in the North West and we are of course delighted that they have chosen to join Irwin Mitchell.

“This is a tremendously exciting period of growth for the firm and I believe they will prove an important platform and catalyst for growth within our Manchester office - as well as supporting our national reputation for providing first class business legal services.”

Anita Weightman, who was head of real estate at DLA Piper in Manchester, moves to Irwin Mitchell as one of the region’s highest profile property lawyers. In recent years, she has advised ITV on its relocation to MediaCityUK, as well as Vue Entertainment Investments' £450m sale of its cinema chain to private equity outfit Doughty Hanson in 2010.

In addition to being consistently ranked as a leading real estate lawyer, Roy Beckett was for many years office managing partner at DLA Piper in Manchester and has worked for clients including Bruntwood Estates, Goals Soccer Centres, the General Medical Council and Manchester City Council.

Anita and Roy will be joined by Partners Tony Weightman, an experienced development and investment work specialist, and Patrick Duffy, who specialises in large-scale acquisitions, disposals, development, landlord and tenant, property management and investment matters.

Two years ago, Irwin Mitchell added to its existing real estate offering with the appointment of Jon Vivian, along with a team of three other real estate Partners and 16 members of staff from SJ Berwin. Since then the firm has recruited high profile real estate lawyer, Paul Firth, whilst also continuing to boost its London office with the appointment of property litigation consultant, Sue Wilson, corporate real estate Partner, Jayne Schnider, tax Partner Alex Barnes and planning specialist, Holly Trotman.

This latest announcement also follows a line of high profile appointments by Irwin Mitchell. Since the summer, the firm has confirmed the appointments of banking and finance specialists, Andrew Watson, Jon Bew and Dean Gormley. It has added Andrea Cropley, Matt Ainsworth and Jon Close to its corporate team across the North of England and boosted its construction and engineering offering with the arrival of Julie Morrissy and Steven Bate.

Niall Baker, Chief Executive of Irwin Mitchell’s Business Legal Services team, said: “These latest appointments represent another crucial milestone in the journey as we continue to build a leading business team across the UK.” 

Irwin Mitchell’s real estate team has recently advised on a range of property deals across the UK which include supporting property company Redevco on the sale of its entire Turkish portfolio and management platform to affiliates of the Blackstone Group in a deal worth £160m. The firm has also completed over £100m of property acquisitions in just five months for its client, the Mansion Student Accommodation Fund (MSAF), and taken a leading role on the construction of a new £50m privately-funded Jewish community centre and nine-storey residential tower in London.