From 1 May, the property development team and the retail and property services group, headed by Dan Hemming and Sarah Thompson respectively, will operate as the real estate group. The new head of the combined group has not yet been appointed.
Gerald Bland, chairman of Wragges' real estate group, said that by combining the groups the firm hopes to send a stronger message about the strength of its property capability. He said: “It wasn't obvious how big our property department is. In order to maximise the use of the big group of property lawyers in Birmingham it made sense to bring them together.”
The decision to merge the property groups comes shortly after Bland's defection to Wragges for the launch of the firm's City real estate team, and the appointment of Anne Waltham, a former Lovells property litigator last November. According to Bland it is a further example of the impetus Wragges is putting on the growth of its real estate practice.
The property development group advises commercial and residential developers and occupiers on all aspects of property law. The retail and property services group supports the corporate department and also advises on property litigation cases. The combined group, which will comprise 26 partners and 112 fee-earners, will include teams covering development, investment, leasing, finance, property management, retail, leisure, residential, planning, environment and litigation.
Clients for the group include British Airways, Castlemore Securities, Enterprise Inns, Mapeley, MEPC, ProLogis, Schroders and Scottish & Newcastle.