Shoosmiths has announced the recruitment of three partners for its new Leeds base, including an office head.
Paul Stokey joins from Gordons to lead the regional employment team as well as to be head of the firm's new office due to open in December, while real estate partners Judy Fawcett and Richard Bellamy join from Ward Hadaway and Addleshaw Goddard respectively.
These new hires follow the recent recruitment of employment partners Simon Robinson and Phil Crowe from Gordons who will also be based in Leeds.
Paul has headed up Gordons' employment team since 2011 and has a strong reputation in the North as a leading employment lawyer. Paul advises a broad range of clients on matters such as mitigating equal pay issues, managing trade union relations, consulting on implications of business acquisitions and disposals and defending on all types of tribunal claims. Under Paul's leadership, Gordon's won the Legal 500 Award for Best Regional Employment team in 2014.
Judy is known in the Leeds market for her property investment and development and property finance work. She has been a partner at Ward Hadaway for seven years since joining from Addleshaw Goddard.
Real estate banking, finance and restructuring are the fields of expertise which Richard brings to Shoosmiths from his current role as a legal director at Addleshaw Goddard, where he has worked since 1998.
Commenting on his appointment, Paul Stokey said: 'This is an exciting opportunity to lead Shoosmiths' new office and be instrumental in its growth, both in my new roles as head office and as the team leader for employment. I joined Shoosmiths because I was impressed with the firm's commitment to clients and its growth plans. The opportunity to build Shoosmiths brand and reputation in this region was too good to miss and I'm looking forward to my new role.'
Shoosmiths' chief executive Claire Rowe commented: 'Our Leeds office will provide a full range of legal services for our clients and our recruitment plan reflects this. These partners will strengthen the support we can provide nationally and regionally, enhancing our presence in the North of England. This recruitment is a further step towards our goal of creating a Northern hub of legal expertise for our clients with Leeds and Manchester offices working closely together.'
Shoosmiths' strategy is to take a larger share of the UK legal market and its expansion into Leeds is part of its plan to bring new people and clients into the firm.