CMS continues to build Northern presence

Law firm CMS has grown its construction team in Manchester from inception to 13 within three years, following the hire of two further associates and a senior construction lawyer, with more recruitment expected this year.

Andrew Wood is a senior lawyer who joins from the London office of international firm Taylor Wessing – the fifth lawyer to relocate from the capital to join the Manchester construction team in the last couple of years. Wood is a non-contentious construction specialist and has experience across a range of sectors including commercial development, healthcare and energy.

Victoria Adeyemi joined from Riverview, the ‘New Law’ business owned by international accountancy giant EY. Adeyemi will also be based in the non-contentious construction team.

Sally Haslewood CMS

Sally Haslewood

Sally Haslewood is a senior construction lawyer who joined from environmental infrastructure giant Pennon Group. She adds expertise in relation to energy from waste projects.

The CMS energy, projects, and construction team in Manchester was started from scratch by partner Chris Hallam when he joined from Pinsent Masons in March 2016. The team now has 13 lawyers in Manchester and is set to grow further in 2020 with more recruits – including at partner level.

There are around 75 staff at CMS in Manchester, with a third of those in real estate. In March 2019, CMS recruited Abby Dry and her team from DWF to open a Liverpool office.

In late 2017 CMS lured construction disputes expert Nigel Lewis to leave the Birmingham office of trans-Atlantic firm Gowling WLG, his base for the previous 18 years, to build the team’s contentious construction offering in Manchester. The firm has since added Nick Case from Herbert Smith Freehills London office as a senior associate, amongst others.

CMS is the fifth largest law firm globally and boasts over 75 offices in 45 locations around the world. The Manchester office has more than doubled in size over the last year and is set to grow further as the firm has made a commitment to its ‘One North’ strategy of further developing its offices in Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield.

The construction team is currently advising on many high-profile projects in the North West and beyond, including the Mayfield regeneration, where the firm is the sole legal advisor to the Mayfield Partnership, led by developer U+I, which is pressing forward with the £1.2bn overhaul of a 22-acre brownfield site next to Piccadilly Station. CMS also advises on Renaker’s Deansgate Square skyscraper cluster; Far East Consortium’s £1bn Northern Gateway, a 15,000-home masterplan stretching from Victoria Station to Collyhurst. In Gateshead, CMS is working on Ask-Patrizia’s £200m arena and conference centre on the banks of the Tyne River.

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