North west firms profit from surge in property work

NORTH west firms are reaping the benefits of a surge in the commercial property market and are reacting by bolstering their practices with extra recruits.

The Manchester offices of Addleshaw Booth & Co and Hammond Suddards are hiring lawyers, including a number of partners in the commercial property departments.

And legal recruitment company Graham Gill & Young says it has seen a “marked increase” in the number of property-related vacancies.

Liam Buckley, partner in the commercial property department at Hammond Suddards, says: “We have continued to be very busy. There is still a window in the investment market to continue building in this area.”

John Moody, a commercial property partner at Eversheds' Manchester office, says there has been an upturn in commercial property in the past 18 months: “The market remains fairly buoyant.”

He adds: “In the early 90s City firms cut back on their commercial property departments so a lot of the highly qualified professionals which we could recruit were leaving London.”

But Nicholas Cheffings, head of property litigation at Lovell White Durrant, says London firms have adapted in the past to a change in the economic cycle: “It is only the nature of the work that would change.”

Consultant at Graham Gill & Young Jackie Osbaldeston says there is still a hangover from the recession of the early 1990s, making commercial property solicitors reluctant to move.

“There is a concern that they may start something new and there may be a sudden drop off,” she says.