Mike Edge, head of real estate, and Rachel Pitman, partner, have taken up their positions in the Manchester office of Mills & Reeve, and are targeting rapid growth for the law firm including 10 new hires.
Mills & Reeve announced in October that it had hired Edge and Pitman from Pinsent Masons, and both moved across to their new employer earlier this month.
Edge will be leading the property team in Manchester, while Pitman is working alongside other partners already active in the North West, such as hotel specialist Caroline Hanratty.
Speaking to Place North West, Edge explained how he has been given a remit to grow the real estate division, and is targeting several new hires in the next 18 months.
There are currently 12 property lawyers in the Manchester office, advising a mix of investment clients, developers, occupiers, and hotel operators.
According to Edge, “we’re targeting growth to 22 people in the next 18 months, including the recruitment of a further two partners”.
He said the plan for Mills & Reeve was “ambitious and confident”, in line with the firm’s 2020 strategy which it first announced in 2015.
Part of the ambition is “to become a regional powerhouse” in real estate law, according to Pitman.
“We want Mills & Reeve to become best known for its real estate practice,” she said. “It’s already involved in some high-value and complex schemes. We want to service national clients operating in the region, and regional clients operating nationally.”
Understanding the synergy between the property sector and emerging technologies is one of the areas in which Mills & Reeve hopes to benefit its clients.
“We’re doing various pieces of research into disruptors in the real estate sector, which involves a big emphasis on tech,” Edge said. “We need to be alive to these issues, and how tech is becoming a bigger and bigger part of the property sector; it could revolutionise town planning and the like. We’re in a good position where we can work closely with tech clients to join up with the property clients that their services could benefit, and vice versa.”
- Mills & Reeve is a sponsor of the Digital Opportunities proptech conference, taking place on Thursday 8 February. To book your place click here