Irwin Mitchell’s Real Estate department recruits three new senior property lawyers

National law firm Irwin Mitchell is expanding its national real estate practice with the appointment of three senior hires. The appointments take Irwin Mitchell’s National Real Estate practice to 33 partners and 90 qualified lawyers.

In London, Paul Henson is joining as a partner in Irwin Mitchell’s Real Estate Disputes Team and will be leading the firm’s Real Estates Disputes practice in London. Paul was previously a partner at Collyer Bristow.

Paul acts for a wide range of investors, developers, corporate occupiers and high net worth individuals on all contentious issues, with a particular interest in acting for tenants in the leisure industry. He has extensive expertise in dealing with development disputes, vacant possession strategies, rights of light, contractual disputes, and other issues arising from the landlord and tenant relationship in both commercial and residential property including lease renewals and terminations, dilapidations, rent reviews, service charge disputes, rent arrears recovery, breaches of covenant, possession, insolvency and professional negligence.

The Real Estate Disputes Team is a key part of Irwin Mitchell’s Real Estate practice and now numbers a team of 12 lawyers based in offices across the UK and is jointly headed by Tim Rayner in Birmingham and Danny Revitt in Sheffield.

In Manchester, Claire Petricca-Riding is joining as a new partner in Irwin Mitchell’s National planning team and will also spearhead the development of its environmental practice. She will be Head of Environment with a national remit.

Claire joins from Brabners, where she was a Partner and Head of Planning and Environment.

Claire’s work has to date been split between environmental, waste management, planning and renewable energy giving her the technical expertise to manage complex and challenging planning and environmental matters. She has a solid reputation for undertaking contentious environmental and planning work, acting primarily in defence of both corporate entities and individuals subject to regulatory investigation and prosecution, as well as landowners and developers.

Recent significant work includes advising a large student accommodation developer in Liverpool to provide planning advice and to act on the subsequent legal challenge to the grant of planning permission at both the High Court and Court of Appeal. On the Environmental side she has represented numerous waste clients in Court and acted for a large port organisation in respect of environmental liability and damage.

Her appointment takes Irwin Mitchell’s Planning team to a team of nine lawyers including four partners.

In London, Simon Tager has joined as a consultant as part of the national transaction team. Simon was previously at Addleshaws and prior to that was with KWM/SJ Berwin. At his previous firm Simon was heavily involved in the firm’s work on the £9bn redevelopment of Battersea Power Station, acting for Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC) that is managing the project, as well as advising a raft of other UK blue chip property clients.

Commenting on the new arrivals, Adrian Barlow, partner and National Head of Irwin Mitchell’s Real Estate Team, said: “Our real estate practice is looking to expand across all sectors and we are delighted to be building up our real estates disputes team, planning department and transaction teams across the country. Last year we appointed Simon Owen as Head of Banking and Finance, with a specialism in Property Finance, Michelle Beaumont as a real estate partner in our Leeds office and Tim Rayner as a partner and joint head of Real Estate Disputes based in Birmingham. All these appointments come with a wealth of experience and superb track records and I have no doubt the new additions will be great assets to our team.”

Victoria Brackett, Chief Executive of Irwin Mitchell’s Business Legal Services Division added, “These appointment are another great boost to Irwin Mitchell. We are committed to developing our national teams and these appointments in London and Manchester play an important part in that investment plan, helping us to fulfil our ambition of providing first-class advice to clients in today’s fast moving business environment.”