Watson Burton nabs client to boost construction team

Newcastle-based Watson Burton has hired the operations director of the National Federation of Builders, the construction industry trade federation.

Nigel Stubbings joins as a construction services director, the equivalent of partner at the LLP firm.

He joined the Building Employers Confederation (BEC) in 1992 as assistant director for the London, Southern and Eastern service centre, before helping to set up the National Federation of Builders in 1995. In 2006, he also launched the Housebuilders’ Association, a division of the NFB.

Watson Burton is the NFB’s construction adviser for the North-East, North-West, Midlands and Wales regions. Also on the panel are Ipswich-based Prettys Solicitors, which gives construction advice for the Eastern region, Dorset-based Humphries Kirk, which gives construction advice for the South West, and East Midlands firm Geldards, which advises the NFB on employment.

In a statement, Stubbings said: “Too many construction companies still have tunnel vision when it comes to solicitors, and only call in lawyers for construction advice. They need to take a broader view to help them bring in employment, property, corporate and commercial advice when it is most needed.

Stubbings added that he will be travelling around the country to promote the firm to contractors and construction companies.

Watson Burton’s construction department has nine partners and 40 specialist lawyers. Head of the team is Rob Langley, who took over as managing partner from Andrew Hoyle last year (first reported by The Lawyer, 5 October 2006).