Top 20 business law firm DWF has significantly bolstered its London Real Estate team with the strategic appointment of City partners Lorraine Reader, Iain Thomas and Stephen Sumpton.
The lateral hires strengthen the breadth and depth of DWF's Real Estate offering in the City and further enhance the 230-strong national team. Lorraine Reader joins from Wragge & Co, Iain Thomas from Lawrence Graham (February 2014), and Stephen Sumpton from Stephenson Harwood (March 2014). These moves closely follow the appointment of Toby Askin in August 2013, who joined DWF as Head of Real Estate in London.
Lorraine Reader has over 10 years' experience advising landlords on both development and investments. Her considerable expertise in dealing with the acquisition and asset management of retail parks and shopping centres, including her work for clients such as Intu plc, ensures she is a key addition to the team and further supports the firm's approach to market.
As an expert in real estate finance Iain Thomas has over 23 years' experience acting for financial institutions in relation to lending and restructuring, in addition to representing real estate investors, developers and corporate end users in both domestic and international markets. His experience in acting for clients in the financial services, hospitality and healthcare industries strengthens DWF's offering to clients across its chosen sectors.
Stephen Sumpton joins DWF with over 20 years' experience specialising in investment, development, major corporate occupiers and the real estate aspects of cross border and domestic corporate mergers, acquisitions and disposals. His clients include institutional investors, developers, hotels and major corporate occupiers. Stephen also has considerable experience of real estate development in Central and Eastern Europe, particularly within Russia, further enhancing the firm's offering to its clients operating internationally.
Toby Askin, partner and Head of Real Estate in London, commented: "We are committed to strengthening the breadth and depth of our real estate presence in London and these three strategic appointments give us additional expertise in development, investment and real estate finance, further supporting our business strategy and reinforcing our offering to clients."
Lorraine Reader added: "DWF's Real Estate team has a fantastic national reputation and it is exciting to be joining the firm at a time of investment in the City as DWF looks to double the size of its London office over the next few years. I am looking forward to helping develop the London Real Estate team further, in addition to contributing to the future growth of the firm on a national level."
DWF has seen major growth in its national real estate practice and announced in November 2013 that revenues from the 230-strong team for the first 6 months of the financial year increased by 92% from £7 million to £13.5 million and now account for 15% of the firm's turnover. These appointments follow the firm's significant investment in its national real estate offering throughout 2013, which saw DWF recruit a 12-strong three partner team from Eversheds and five additional real estate partners; Toby Askin, Melanie Williams and Suzanne Gregson.