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City firm Devonshires has a new head of corporate in the shape of Jonathan Ebsworth, who was previously a partner at Bates Wells & Braithwaite.
The move is part of a push by Devonshires to raise the profile of its corporate group generally in the market and specifically among its social housing client base.
Ebsworth said the accelerated need for affordable housing across the UK and the availability of cheap forms of finance from bodies such as the Housing Corporation was likely to result in a significant increase in social housing-related corporate deals.
"The firm needed someone who was exclusively corporate," said Ebsworth. "We want to shout a bit louder about our City roots."
Devonshires turned over £18.7m last year, but is effectively a niche firm thanks to its focus on social housing. It hopes Ebsworth's hire will highlight its corporate, banking and property City services.
Along with Ebsworth, Devonshires has also hired former Slaughter and May assistant Henry Lovat and Giles Bennett, previously at West End firm Teacher Stern Selby, who joins the corporate group as a senior associate.