Irwin Mitchell confirms hire of DLA Piper real estate quartet

Irwin Mitchell has hired four commercial property partners from DLA Piper together with a team of 10 lawyers and staff in a significant boost for its Manchester office.

DLA Piper’s Anita Weightman, Roy Beckett, Patrick Duffy and Tony Weightman will start work at Irwin Mitchell on 1 February. The confirmation comes several months after The Lawyer first reported that the quartet was in talks with Irwin Mitchell (19 October 2012).

The hires follow Irwin Mitchell’s strategy of building up its commercial offering nationally. Recent hires have included Nabarro corporate partner Andrea Cropley in Sheffield, Nabarro banking partner Dean Gormley in Manchester and Squire Sanders banking duo Andrew Watson and Jon Bew. The firm has added a total of 12 partners to its business services team since June last year.

Irwin Mitchell real estate head Paul Firth said in a statement: “These four partners represent arguably the strongest real estate legal team in the North West and we are of course delighted that they’ve chosen to join Irwin Mitchell. This is a tremendously exciting period of growth for the firm and I believe they’ll prove an important platform and catalyst for growth within our Manchester office – as well as supporting our national reputation for providing first-class business legal services.”

Anita Weightman was head of real estate at DLA Piper in Manchester, while Beckett was formerly office managing partner for the firm.

Irwin Mitchell began bulking up in property in 2010, bringing on board former Nabarro Nathanson real estate head Geoffrey Lander (3 February 2010) followed by SJ Berwin property head Jon Vivian and three other partners later in the same year (27 September 2010).

Last year the firm picked up an instruction on its first international property deal, advising Redevco on the sale of its Turkish portfolio to private equity giant Blackstone for £160m (17 September 2012).