Mayer Brown takes Ashurst partner to head real estate in Europe

Mayer Brown has hired longstanding Ashurst partner Martin Wright to fill the new position of European real estate head.

A spokesperson for the firm said that Wright, who will take up the position in January 2013, is not replacing anyone at Mayer Brown as he has been hired specifically to drive forward the firm’s European real estate practice.

The hire follows the firm’s appointment of CMS Cameron McKenna real estate finance partner Chris Harvey in March (19 March 2012) and the departure of senior real estate litigation associate Simon Hartley, who helped lead the department, in October (12 October 2012).

The move also comes months after Ashurst hired Nabarro real estate litigation head Iain Travers (21 September 2012) in a move to bulk up its property disputes offering, which was hit by the departure of practice head Michael Madden last year.

Ashurst’s real estate practice was hit by several departures in 2011, with real estate litigation chief Madden joining US firm Winston & Strawn’s City base amid a string of non-contentious property partner exits (13 October 2011). Madden was later appointed head of Winston’s London office (19 September 2012).

Wright, who worked at Ashurst for 15 years, advised on the £264m sale of Goldman Sachs’ European headquarters alongside Mayer Brown this summer (29 August 2012). He also worked for Chelsfield, First Base and Imagination Consortium in their winning bid to develop Silvertown Quays and has acted in relation to the restaurant lettings at The Shard.

“Martin has a wealth of experience in property investment and development and we are delighted to have him join the group,” said Mayer Brown’s global head of real estate Jeremy Clay in a statement. “We already have a strong presence in London and his appointment will significantly add to that whilst enabling us to continue to develop our international capabilities.”