Payne Hicks Beach kickstarts new construction team with partner hire

City firm Payne Hicks Beach has launched its new construction and energy practice with the hire of Julian Critchlow from construction specialist Fenwick Elliott.

Critchlow’s arrival at the firm follows the recent hire of construction and energy consultants Paul Taylor and Diana Hird, who both joined the firm at the beginning of 2013.

As head of the firm’s newly formed construction and energy department, Critchlow will initially lead a five-strong team comprising two consultants, an associate, a solicitor and an assistant solicitor. The team will work closely alongside the firm’s corporate, dispute resolution and property departments on a range of projects.

Commenting on Critchlow’s hire, Payne Hicks Beach’s managing partner Peter Black said: “This is an exciting development for the firm, as we extend our reach and build our profile and client base in the commercial sphere.”

The construction hires demonstrate the private client specialist’s efforts to further diversify its offering.

Turnover at Payne Hicks Beach slipped 2.9 per cent in 2011-12 from £20.8m to £20.2m, which followed a dip of 5.4 per cent in turnover the previous year.

The news of Critchlow’s departure from Fenwick Elliot comes on the same day as the announcement that construction disputes specialist Frédéric Gillion has left the firm to become an international arbitration partner in Pinsent Mason’s Paris office (14 January 2013).

Last year Fenwick Elliott announced its intention to establish an international footprint with a view to launching an office in Doha in the near future (7 September 2012).