Olswang builds up property arm

Media firm Olswang has poached its third property lawyer from City practice Berwin Leighton, as part of an ongoing expansion drive.

Alan Karsberg, a three-year qualified property solicitor, will become the third ex-Berwin Leighton solicitor to join Olswang when he arrives next month.

He joins his former team members, property partner Philip Olmer, who arrived at Olswang in May, and senior solicitor Karen Paul, who becomes a partner at Olswang in November.

A bullish Olmer claims: “We have [made] a conscious decision to build the property department and we will be 50 per cent bigger in a year's time.”

The Lawyer understands that Olmer, whose arrival was regarded by rival commercial property lawyers as “a coup for Olswang”, has taken nearly all his clients with him.

Olmer specialises in a diverse range of property and investment work for blue-chip clients in the UK and abroad.

Olswang's five-partner property department accounts for 15 per cent of the firm's fee income.

However, Olswang abandoned its retail property work last month when property partner David Wyatt – the sole partner doing retail property work – left for Clyde & Co, taking clients Carphone Warehouse, fashion retailers Zara, Tandy and the reject kitchen shop Spoils with him.