HBJ Gateley Wareing is growing its London real estate base with the hire of Joseph Mazzucca from White & Case.

The hire follows on from the recruitment of commercial real estate partner Nick Smith from Nomura and real estate finance partner Jim Garton from Mishcon de Reya.

Mazzucca joined the firm on 1 June as a real estate partner, specialising in real estate investment, acquisitions and disposals, landlord and tenant work and real estate management.

Senior partner Mike Ward said: “We’re in a new office in London and large firms may feel overweight but we see lots of opportunities for a firm our size. We have a plan to expand in London – since the Shaw & Croft merger [in 2007] we’ve wanted to be full-service.”

Ward said that rather than being opportunistic hires, the new joiners are as a result of “more people in the marketplace than there would be during boom times”.  He added: “We still apply the same criteria to candidates [as we always would].”

HBJ has 50 staff and fee-earners in London, of which six are in real estate. Property is run by Richard Pettifor, who is based in Birmingham.

White & Case was unavailable for comment.