Bircham puts projects growth top of wish list

Bircham Dyson Bell has prioritised growing its ­commercial projects team and has recruited DLA Piper partner Nick Maltby to head the group.

Nick Maltby

Nick Maltby

Maltby joined DLA Piper as an equity partner in 2002, leaving his position as a salaried partner at ­Pinsent Curtis Biddle (now Pinsent Masons).

At Bircham he will work under head of major ­projects Robbie Owen, who said the hire was designed to broaden the firm’s offering for projects work.

Maltby will focus on ­procurement, contracting and funding. He has ­particular experience in advising ­public bodies on PFI and PPP projects.

The appointment comes as Bircham is in the process of restructuring its equity to include two classes of partner, full equity partner and reduced share equity partner (RSEP), with the latter offering a single profit share and fixed remuneration.

For the past two years the firm has been moving towards this simplified structure. All of the lawyers promoted to the partnership in the past two years took the option of becoming an RSEP.

On the arrival of Maltby, Owen said he wanted the practice to be a “one-stop shop consultancy for all legal aspects of major ­projects and for their public affairs and communications requirements”.

The firm has for several years offered PR, planning and parliamentary advice alongside its traditional legal services.

Bircham managing ­partner Guy Vincent said: “It’s been a strategic ­objective to strengthen the commercial side of our major projects group.”