Forsters appoints Smita Edwards as senior partner

Real estate firm Forsters has appointed founding partner Smita Edwards as its new senior partner for a four-year term from 1 September in an uncontested election.

Edwards is the firm’s fourth senior partner since it was established in 1998. She replaces Guy Jordan who has returned to fee earning and will take on a new compliance role.

Jordan was appointed as senior partner in 2008 for a four-year term, which was extended by two years in 2012 to stagger the terms of the senior and managing partners and ensure some consistency.

Paul Roberts has been managing partner since 1998. His role has been renewed every four years since. Partners will be given the opportunity to renew his role again in 2016. 

Roberts said: “Smita will play an important part in delivering the next stage of Forsters’ success.”

Edwards was head of the firm’s real estate group until 2002, when partner Howard Gill took over the running of the department. Gill, who remains with the firm, was succeeded by Matthew Swainston in 2013.

Edwards said she did not expect there to be any external change in strategy as a result of her appointment but she is planning to make her mark.

“Everyone has their own personality don’t they?” she said. “I’m one of the founding partners and have put my heart and soul into the firm. It is really exciting and a great privilege to lead our young partners and see where they’ll take the firm next.”

Forsters’ revenue rose 16 per cent from £28m to £32.5m at the 2012/13 year end, while net profit increased by 28 per cent from £7.1m to £9.1m. The results for 2013/14 marked the firm’s fourth consecutive year of double-digit growth (13 May 2014).

Forsters was founded by 10 partners. Three have since retired and two have passed away, including former senior partner Sophie Hamilton who Edwards says was her role model and inspiration as a young lawyer. The remaining five partners are still at the firm.