Watkins left Eversheds’ Birmingham office last month after 33 years, where he was key in creating the national firm. His departure is unrelated to the process currently underway of slicing an estimated 10 per cent of equity partners to boost profitability (The Lawyer, 15 January).
He says: “The way we’re managing ourselves nationally, I couldn’t keep working as long as I wanted, and it would be better to make a move sooner rather than later. I was gratified by the response.”
Watkins will take a number of instructions with him, including work for Carillion on a city-centre regeneration project in Sheffield and for Countryside Properties on a 500-home development in Cheshire.
The hire gives Reed Smith Warner Cranston four property partners in Coventry with a further three based in London.