Addleshaw Goddard has made a six-partner hire from Irwin Mitchell in Manchester, including the firm’s regional real estate head Anita Weightman, as the firm continues its infrastructure push in the UK.

Weightman was a real estate partner at DLA Piper in Manchester, rising to become regional practice head. She joined the firm in 2002, spending more than 10 years there before joining Irwin Mitchell in early 2013.

Real estate partners Paul Barnard, Chris Perrin, Patrick Duffy, Tony Weightman and Emily Williams are all moving with her.

The sextet will join Addleshaw Goddard’s real estate practice in the North West city, which is headed by partner Peter Kershaw, though it is not yet known when they will join.

Irwin Mitchell Manchester managing partner Roy Beckett will now lead the firm’s real estate practice in the city.

Kershaw said: “Commitment to the real estate market and growing local market share are at the heart of these appointments. Manchester has a key part to play in the ambitious strategy we have set for ourselves to service new clients and deepen some of our existing institutional relationships, as well as looking after the businesses in our local markets.”

Addleshaws has been making a concerted effort to bulk up the regions in 2018, hiring an eight-strong construction team from DWF in Manchester which included national head of construction Paul O’Kane and Manchester head of construction Paul Barge. The firm also added corporate partner Richard Hunt from Squire Patton Boggs and two partners in Scotland – its first laterals in the country since merging with legacy HBJ Gateley.

The hires from Irwin Mitchell bring Addleshaws’ lateral tally this year to 13 new partners.

Data gathered for The Lawyer Global 50 Real Estate 2018 shows that the six new partners will join an 85-strong UK real estate practice.

Addleshaws also boasts one of the world’s largest real estate practices when taken on number of partners spending more than 50 per cent of their time on real estate matters. The firm counts 90 partners working in the sector and 56 in its standalone group.

Irwin Mitchell has over 30 real estate partners across seven of its 14 UK offices. The firm has sought to reposition its real estate offering since the announcement of former Pinsent Masons national head of real estate Adrian Barlow last year.

In an interview for the Global 50 report, Barlow stressed that the firm’s national focus was positioned around housing, strategic land, investment & asset management and senior living.

In particular, the firm’s of offices in Chichester, Gatwick and Southampton were crucial to its senior living strategy, he said.

A spokesperson for Irwin Mitchell said: “We’d like to thank the partners who are leaving for their contribution during their time with Irwin Mitchell and wish them well in the future.”

Irwin Mitchell recently announced that it would be moving its more than 250 staff and partners to a new base in the city. The firm signed a 15-year lease and will be moving to One St. Peter’s Square, joining a number of firms in the building, including DLA Piper and Addleshaws.

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