Osborne retail ace defects to Dentons

Denton Wilde Sapte's real estate department has lured a former McGuinness Finch partner from Osborne Clarke

Retail development specialist Andrew Bedford will join Dentons in January.

Bedford is the second McGuinness partner to leave since Osborne Clarke merged with the niche property firm in May last year. Andrew Tugwell left two months ago to join private client specialists Payne Hicks Beach.

Bedford is expected to take a number of client relationships with him. Coincident-ally, he and his new firm shared a relationship with Essex-based developer Carter Commercial Developments, which went into administration last year. Its portfolio was acquired by Raven Group in August. Bedford was also an assistant at Denton Hall in the early 1990s.

Bedford's expertise is a strong fit with Dentons' leading retail development practice. Led by Joanne McGuinness, it acts for Sainsburys, Marks & Spencer, Virgin Group and Dixons.

Real estate head Martin Quicke said: “Retail's a major sector for us and we felt under-partnered. We'll value his clients, but we weren't trying to buy in a whole lot of clients. It's a very nice adjunct, but the work's here.”

Nine partners have already left Osborne Clarke this year as it grapples with the effects of the downturn in the transactional technology market. A number of the departures have been part of cuts to boost profitability, but it is understood that Bedford is not among them.

Osborne Clarke managing partner Leslie Perrin said: “Andrew goes with our best wishes. We hope he finds what he is looking for at Denton Wilde Sapte.”