Client Demand Leads to Construction Team Expansion for Shoosmiths Manchester

Client Demand Leads to Construction Team Expansion for Shoosmiths Manchester

Author: Kara Shadbolt

The Manchester office of national law firm, Shoosmiths is growing its construction team, with the appointment of five legal advisors, all previously with Weightmans.

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L to R: John Cleavely, Vaqas Farooq, Stephanie MacPherson, Adam Stead

The new hires come in response to increased client demand for expert construction advice and support in the region, and will bolster the existing construction team, working alongside Shoosmiths Manchester's award-winning real estate practice to deliver all construction related work for clients across the region.

As part of Shoosmiths' national construction practice, the Manchester team also works nationally with the firm's construction teams based in Birmingham, Leeds and London, to support clients wherever required. The team works across all areas of the construction industry, acting for developers, funders, buyers, tenants, public sector clients, contractors, consultants and specialist sub-contractors.

Joining the Shoosmiths team from Weightmans are partner, John Cleaveley, senior associate Stephanie MacPherson, associate, Adam Stead and paralegal Katie O'Leary. Solicitor, Gareth Noonan will also join the team in September.

Expert construction partner, John Cleaveley was previously head of construction for Weightmans and has over 25 years' experience of working in and with the construction industry. His career has encompassed in-house roles at Mowlem plc and Bovis Lend Lease. He was also General Counsel for the Fulcrum Group, a leading utilities business.

John has worked on a broad range of regional projects, including Salford Media City, Manchester Spinningfields and several large PFI schemes. As well as providing strategic advice to clients on construction issues and disputes, John advises developers, funders, purchasers, tenants, contractors and consultants on standard form and bespoke building contracts, appointments, frameworks, warranties, security documents and subcontracts for a wide range of projects. He also advises on construction and distribution contracts, along with regulatory issues in the gas and electricity sectors.

Stephanie MacPherson, senior associate, is a construction dispute specialist but also advises clients on the non-contentious contractual aspects of construction projects. She acts for parties at all stages of the contract chain including employers, developers, contractors, subcontractors and consultants. Stephanie has worked for several universities and on higher educational disputes. Her public sector experience includes work for NHS trust clients.

Associate, Adam Stead brings to the team substantial experience of negotiating standard forms of construction contracts and drafting bespoke consultant appointments, warranties and novations. His role also involves ongoing project advisory services to clients before, during and after the construction phase along with the provision of construction support for the sale, purchase and financing of developments.

Specialist construction and engineering solicitor, Gareth Noonan, has worked on a variety of contentious and non-contentious and has several years of commercial dispute and insolvency experience.

Talking about the team expansion, John Cleaveley said, "Shoosmiths has carved out a leading reputation in the North West real estate sector and having a strong construction offering is key to maintaining that, complementing the very successful property and planning practices at the Manchester office. The team are very much looking forward to helping deliver specialist construction advice in line with the firm's people-centric and client focused approach."

Vaqas Farooq, the head of the Manchester office commented, "This is an exciting opportunity for us to further strengthen Shoosmiths' full service offering. We are confident the enhanced construction team will help grow our presence in the North West development market even further and make a significant impact on our ambition to be one of the leading UK Real Estate teams."

Shoosmiths currently holds the Legal 500 Regional Real Estate Firm of the Year title and has been shortlisted as 'Property Team of the Year' at this year's Estates Gazette Awards.