Crown Estate replaces head of legal as Peeke exits for Land Securities

The Crown Estate has appointed in-house solicitor Rob Booth as its new head of legal, replacing Alex Peeke who is set to exit for Land Securities.

Rob Booth will step into his new role once Peeke exits in July, reporting into the Crown Estate’s director of business operations and general counsel Vivienne King.

In his new role, Booth will head up the legal function of the Crown Estate’s £8.6bn portfolio, which covers a vast area of central London, 340,000 acres of rural land, the UK territorial seabed and about half of the nation’s foreshore.

Booth has worked at the Crown Estate since 2012, joining from legacy Herbert Smith. Since joining, he has acted as the in-house lead for providing legal advice to the business’ energy and infrastructure portfolio.

In April, Clarke Willmott lost its spot on the Crown Estate’s rural panel in favour of a consolidated line-up comprising Bond Dickinson and Burges Salmon following a two-month review process (1 April 2014).

The Crown Estate operates three distinct legal panels, with 15 law firms in total appointed across its urban, rural and energy rosters. Each panel review is organised by a different in-house lawyer and run alongside the Crown’s procurement team. Each is put in place for a three to five-year period, with the legal function reviewed each year (13 February 2014).

In his new head of legal role at Land Securities, Peeke will take over the day-to-day running of its legal function. He will replace outgoing legal chief Clive Ashcroft, who is set to retire after 32 years at the business. Peeke will report into group general counsel and company secretary Adrian de Souza.

He has previously spent stints working at Slaughter and May and Macfarlanes.