Norton Rose Fulbright’s global planning head Nigel Hewitson has departed to join 20-partner Oxfordshire firm BrookStreet des Roches.
The Abingdon-based firm is currently dominated by commercial real estate expertise, but Hewitson will establish and head up a complementary planning practice after his arrival on 1 April.
The partner has been at Norton Rose Fulbright since 2007, when he joined as a senior associate from legacy Howard Kennedy (3 September 2007). At both of those former firms, he also launched and led a dedicated planning practice.
Hewitson said: “This is a very good business fit, which will enable me to compete effectively by bringing City quality at regional prices to a very price-sensitive market place. Equally importantly, there’s a great personal fit.”
He added: “I was tired of going to pitches and being told we were the best quality but too expensive. I wanted to go to a firm with a lower cost base which can compete more effectively.”
Over the course of his career, Hewitson has advised a consortium of Malaysian businesses on the acquisition and development of Battersea Power Station, the planning aspects of Crest Nicholson’s IPO, and the six berth London Gateway Port and its associated two square mile logistics park.
It is thought that Norton Rose Fulbright intends to hire in a new planning partner to lead the practice.
BrookStreet des Roches managing partner Hugh Blaza said in a statement: “Our clients have been telling us they would like us to provide planning as well as our established services. We knew that, if we were to successfully establish such a planning service, we needed a highly-regarded individual with extensive experience across relevant sectors. Nigel ticks all the boxes.”