Leeds office of Walker Charlesworth & Foster swallowed up by Cobbetts

Cobbetts is carrying out its fourth merger in 10 months as it takes on the Leeds office of niche housing practice Walker Charlesworth & Foster.

The Manchester-based firm is hiring Walker Charlesworth’s two Leeds-based partners, Colin Birtwhistle and Ian Moran, as well as one assistant, two paralegals and three support staff. The team will start work at Cobbetts on 1 October.

Walker Charlesworth will continue to operate from offices in Skipton, Silsden and Barnoldswick in Yorkshire.

This latest merger makes Cobbetts’ social housing team one of the largest in the UK, boasting more than 45 lawyers across the firm’s three offices in Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.

Walker Charlesworth’s expertise is in advising housing associations in real estate, finance and litigation, while Cobbetts acts for more than 20 housing associations, 90 registered social landlords and several local councils in Yorkshire and the North East.

The news follows Cobbetts’ previous three mergers of the past year, with mining boutique Fox Brooks Marshall in November, Birmingham firm Lee Crowder in December and planning practice Wilbraham & Co in July this year.

Cobbetts’ partnership has grown from 79 partners at the end of the 2002-03 financial year to 123 now.