Law firm’s new real estate 
boss sees growth potential

LAW firm Irwin Mitchell has appointed Paul Firth as its national head of real estate, it was confirmed yesterday.

Mr Firth, who joined Irwin Mitchell at the start of 2011, has advised many major property companies including Lafarge Aggregates, Manchester Airport Group, Keepmoat and JF Finnegan.

Working alongside Jon Vivian, Irwin Mitchell’s head of real estate in London, and his counterpart in the North, Kevin Docherty, Mr Firth will be responsible for leading the team through its next phase of development.

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Mr Firth said: “Irwin Mitchell’s real estate team has come a long way in the last few years and I’m honoured to be leading the national group forward as it continues to grow and build an impressive range of national and pan-European clients. There is huge potential here at the firm and I want to ensure this is maximised, while recruiting new people and teams.

“It remains a tough market but there are plenty of growth opportunities and I’m determined that Irwin Mitchell continues to make progress.”

Mr Firth was managing partner of DLA Piper in Sheffield for 14 years, and also regional managing partner for the firm’s seven offices outside London between 2006 and 2009.

He is currently regional managing partner of Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office.

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Niall Baker, chief executive of Irwin Mitchell’s business legal services team, said: “Paul’s appointment to the firm back in 2011 was a clear signal of our intention to build a highly respected business brand across the UK.

“We have and continue to make significant progress in this area and we believe Paul has the experience and expertise to drive our real estate team forward.”

Irwin Mitchell’s real estate team recently advised property company Redevco on the sale of its Turkish portfolio and management platform to affiliates of the Blackstone Group, in a deal worth £160m.

The firm has also completed more than £100m of property acquisitions in five months for its client, the Mansion Student Accommodation Fund (MSAF), and taken a leading role in the construction of a new £50m privately-funded Jewish community centre and nine-storey residential tower in London.

In August, Irwin Mitchell was approved as an ABS, which means it can receive backing from external investors. Irwin Mitchell has 1,300 staff at its offices in Leeds and Sheffield.