London's Bircham Dyson Bell has secured a social housing practice after the acquisition of boutique firm Jenkins & Hand.
Jenkins & Hand's highly rated founders Keith Jenkins and Catherine Hand will join Birchams as partners, along with a team of five. The firm's third partner, Naomi Goode, left to join Lewis Silkin as a partner in February.
The hires, first revealed on www.thelawyer.com (29 March), bring the number of partners at Birchams, which last year posted a turnover of £22.7m, to 46. The firm, well known for its planning and parliamentary advice, wants to ramp up its real estate offering.
Last year it boosted its real estate and major projects capability with the hire of Richards Butler's head of development projects Nigel Brown to lead its non-contentious construction unit.
As part of the drive, Birchams will also establish a dedicated housing group, which will be led by Hand and Jenkins. The group will include experts in charities, real estate and social housing.
Birchams managing partner Michael Wood said: "We're delighted to welcome everyone from Jenkins & Hand to the firm. We intend to further strengthen our team in this field over the coming months."