DLA builds real estate with Ashurst’s Cookson

DLA Piper has hired a partner from Ashurst to head its London real estate group.

Simon Cookson, who qualified at Ashurst and made partner in 1991, will join DLA Piper later this year as London head of real estate. He was formerly Ashurst’s head of European real estate.

Cookson has wide experience in the commercial real estate sector, working on sales, purchases, development, lettings, financing and joint enterprise schemes, investment, outsourcing and corporate real estate.

In August Cookson led a team advising on a £300m joint venture between Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar to redevelop the Shell Centre site on London’s South Bank (11 August 2011).

In a statement Olaf Schmidt, DLA’s EMEA head of real estate, said: “The real estate market continues to be a focus for us and an important area of our practice. The UK market is, of course, a significant one and the addition of Simon to our team will allow us to further strengthen our offering in the UK, bringing his wide ranging expertise and skill”.