Birmingham giant Wragge & Co has snapped up highly-regarded property litigator Anne Waltham from Lovells

Waltham, who has been a partner at Lovells for four and a half years, is to become joint head of the firm's property litigation team, along with Suzanne Lloyd Holt.

After an initial stint in Birmingham, Waltham is expected to spend a considerable amount of time in London, where Wragges has just made its property launch (The Lawyer, 24 June).

According to Wragges' real estate chairman Gerald Bland, Waltham's appointment has been made with a view to her succeeding Holt when she retires. Bland said the two women make a “formidable team”.

With such a senior lateral hire, Wragges hopes to underline how seriously the firm is taking its plans for London.

Waltham's major clients at Lovells include BAA, Barclays, Brixton Estates, Coal Pension Properties, Haslemere Estates, Lynton and Prudential.

Last month, Holt represented Millennium Park (Grimsby), a joint venture between P&O and Kestonbond Holdings, in a case against North East Lincolnshire Borough Council for specific performance of a development agreement.

Waltham will join the Wragges team early next year and will initially relocate to Birmingham, where the firm's entire property litigation team is based.

Bland said that although the firm is conscious that there are opportunities for Waltham in London, there are currently no plans for her to be in London full-time. But he says that she will nevertheless spend a lot of her time there.

“Because property litigation clients tend to be costsensitive, it would better for Anne to operate out of Birmingham as this works out cheaper,” he added.

Lovells head of real estate Robert Kidby said: “As a friend and colleague, we wish Anne very well.”