City firm makes key regional partner hire to strengthen its relationship with Sainsbury's
Addleshaw Booth & Co's Leeds office has lost a highly-rated planning expert to Lawrence Graham in London.
Stephen Turnbull joined Lawrence Graham last week after 12 years at Addleshaws. He became a partner in 1995.
The move reinforces Lawrence Graham's relationship with J Sainsbury, which also instructs Addleshaws on property matters. Turnbull developed a strong relationship with the company while at Addleshaws, advising it on compulsory purchase schemes affecting its land holdings, planning agreements and new developments. BT is also a shared property client of the two firms.
Turnbull says: "I have a number of key contacts at Sainsbury's, with whom I will continue to have good relationships."
Lawrence Graham's planning team, led by Trevor Blaney, is currently involved in a number of assignments for the supermarket giant.
Blaney says: "Sainsbury's is a very big client for us at the moment, but obviously there's scope to build on that. Stephen's links with Sainsbury's means that he's well placed to help us do that."
Other ongoing projects include acting for Wembley Stadium on the redevelopment of the site.
Turnbull says he was keen to join a growing planning practice. "I'd been at Addleshaws for 12 years, and after that period I felt it was time to move on," he says. "The idea didn't crystalise until the opportunity at Lawrence Graham arose. I think I have a lot to offer and it's a very good synergy."
Blaney, who now heads a three-partner team with three other fee-earners, says: "We were looking to build the practice to take it to the next stage, but we wanted someone who could really bring something to the department, rather than someone to delegate work to. We looked at a lot of people."
The appointment comes as demand for planning expertise grows on the back of the Human Rights Act and the Government's emphasis on urban regeneration and brownfield sites.