Watson snares FFW PFI team for London office

Newcastle’s Watson Burton has raided Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) for a construction and PFI team to boost its new London office.

Construction and PFI partner Lawrence Bruce and associate Olivia Bateman join the new London office as partners.

Bruce joined FFW as a partner in 2001 from Philadelphia-based Buchanan Ingersoll. He has experience of public and private sector projects and is currently advising on the redevelopment of London’s St Pancras station.

Bateman has advised on construction portfolio transactions. She trained and practised in Herbert Smith’s construction and engineering team for eight years before moving to FFW in 2004.

Commenting on the loss, an FFW spokesman said: “The change is an opportunity to build a strong construction practice more integrated with our real estate group.”

The hires bring Watson Burton’s construction and engineering team to 11 partners, including three in professional indemnity.

As first reported by The Lawyer (12 June), the firm’s London office will open within the next six months.

Bruce and Bateman will work alongside four associates.