UK law firm Shoosmiths has grown its national real estate finance offering by hiring specialist senior lawyers in Manchester, Leeds and London, in line with the firm’s growth strategy.
Debra Cooper has more than 14 years’ experience and joins Shoosmiths in Manchester as a real estate finance partner from Squire Patton Boggs, where she established and grew the firm’s real estate finance offering in the North, nationally and internationally. Previous to this, Debra was at Pinsent Masons, where she trained. Debra has established a strong reputation for real estate finance work in the Manchester market and beyond, with clients telling Chambers & Partners, that: "she is very client-focused and highly effective at getting deals done. She is extremely proactive and holds a strong commercial and business acumen." Debra is named as a Next Generation Partner in Legal 500. In addition to specialising in real estate finance Debra also advises on acquisition finance transactions and general corporate lending. Debra is also deputy chair of the Northern Investment Property Forum.
Leanne Keyte also joins the Shoosmiths’ London Banking team as a legal director, specialising in real estate finance. Leanne joins from Squire Patton Boggs as a legal director in the financial services team. Previous to this, Leanne held a number of senior roles across financial institutions, notably as a senior director for 17 years in The Royal Bank of Scotland’s real estate finance group, where she advised on high-value syndicated, development and investment deals in a number of areas from student accommodation to shopping centres and residential developers. Leanne qualified and practiced in New Zealand at Buddle Findlay.
Shoosmiths has also hired Emma Bissett into the firm’s real estate division as a principal associate, specialising in real estate finance. Emma, who has 18 years’ experience, joins Shoosmiths’ Leeds office from Squire Patton Boggs and is a real estate lawyer with extensive experience of acting for landlords, tenants, investors, banks and other funding institutions. Emma advises most of the large clearing banks and a number of challenger banks and is particularly experienced in acting on lending projects with large portfolios of property, working closely with the Banking and Finance team. Emma also has a broad range of experience in the energy sector and in the field of compulsory purchase, advising clients in relation to the real estate aspects of the promotion of CPOs and DCOs and negotiating settlement agreements.
Shoosmiths head of real estate finance, Liz Sweeney, said: “Shoosmiths is very pleased to have hired Debra, Leanne and Emma. Each bring with them long and exceptional experience advising across a wide range of clients, complementing the expertise-rich team we have here at Shoosmiths not only within our banking and real estate teams but across our sectors, such as Living, and Infrastructure and Energy.
“All take most seriously their commitment to clients in delivering an exceptional client experience alongside technical advice, which Shoosmiths is well known for.
“Despite the public health crisis there is growing demand for Shoosmiths advice in this area and by making strategic hires we are not only futureproofing, but strengthening the firm’s real estate finance expertise across the UK.”
The new appointment follows hot on the heels of the appointment of banking partner, Fiona Cameron from Brodies LLP, based in Glasgow.