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Finers Stephens Innocent has landed its first work for Littlewoods thanks to its close ties with entrepreneurial siblings the Barclay brothers.
Eversheds has previously been Littlewoods’ lead property adviser, but following the retailer’s takeover by the Barclays last year, Finers has managed to muscle in on some of the work.
Finers property head Melvyn Orton has advised the Barclay brothers for a number of years, and it was this connection that brought in the Littlewoods work.
Orton will be the client relationship partner, and together with fellow property partner Martin Smith will manage the portfolio work.
“The instructions cover the full ambit of portfolio management work,” said Smith. This is expected to include some disposals of surplus properties, internal reorganisations, acquisitions and lettings. It is thought that Finers will advise mainly on landlord work, while Eversheds will continue to do the tenant work, advising Littlewoods Stores, Index and Business Express.
Eversheds has been advising on property portfolio work since 2001, after it won an appointment to advise on Littlewoods following a tender process run by then legal director Neil Ogilvie.
However, Ogilvie left the company last year following the merger. Littlewoods has not directly replaced him, although Howard Greenaway is now heading up the legal team.