DWF installs Wragge & Co partner as real estate head

DWF has hired partner Toby Askin to head its real estate practice in London and Birmingham.

Askin joins the firm from Wragge & Co where he was promoted to the partnership in 2008. DWF said he would be based in London where he will lead the charge in reinvigorating the real estate team with his experience in retail and private equity.

DWF snapped up the partner for his broad experience across the real estate sector and the firm will make use of his private equity background as well as his work with retail parks and shopping centres by making him head of investment and funds.

DWF real estate head Nic Crocker said: “Over his career, Toby has worked on a large number of prestigious real estate projects – from the development of shopping centres and retail parks to acting for private equity funds on investment projects. His varied expertise means he is a key addition and well placed to lead our teams in London and Birmingham.”

The news follows a spell of ongoing change at the firm, which has been at the centre of a flurry of mergers, acquisitions and redundancies.

In February, DWF merged with Fishburns (18 January 2013), hot on the heels of a merger in June 2012 with Biggart Baillie which gave it a combined total of 166 partners in 12 offices across London (7 June 2013).

In July the firm made 38 roles redundant on the back of a May consultation (30 July 2013).

DWF has seen profits soar over the last financial year, posting turnover of £188m up from £102m in 2012/12. Average profit per equity partner also climbed upwards from £412,000 to £429,000 (6 June 2013).