If property partners are secretly scared of a downturn, with rises in inflation and interest rates battling it out for influence, they’re bluffing it out. Far from playing it safe, UK real estate practices are in an acquisitive mood, bagging each other’s lawyers at every opportunity.

In the past two months alone Reed Smith Richards Butler has raided DLA Piper for real estate finance partner Terry Green; Olswang bolstered its Reading real estate group with four lawyers including two from Osborne Clarke; Clarke Willmott grabbed Bevan Brittan partner Greg Lovett and Burges Salmon associate Oliver Smedley; and Weightmans boosted its City team with the hire of Druces & Attlee partner Stephen Whittaker.

This Property Special Report examines acquisitions of a far less joyful kind: compulsory purchase orders and what they mean for lawyers. Continued on www.the, the report also examines the role of the adjudicator in disputed Land Registry applications.