Stephen Sorrell, a high-profile real estate partner at Eversheds in Manchester, has left the firm after 26 years to become managing director of strategic land fund Lucent Group.
Sorrell joined Alexander Tatham, an Eversheds legacy firm, in November 1989 as an equity partner. He helped establish and grow one of the biggest real estate legal practices in the region.
Sorrell said: “I worked with Lucent whilst at Eversheds on a unique proposition to enable public bodies to utilise and bring in to active use their surplus land assets. The co-investment partnership matches public land with private funding and accelerates regeneration, particularly housing. We have two such partnerships which I led to establish at Eversheds – Peterborough and Allerdale. We hope to establish more of these.
“The attraction for me is how quickly Lucent can provide funding and bring large sustainable communities to market. Rolling out major housing-led and mixed-use schemes and to enable Government policy is very exciting.”
Specialising in large site assembly and strategic land promotion, Lucent’s developments include the 156-acre multi-site partnership with Allerdale Council in Cumbria. The proposals, with a gross development value of £150m to £200m, include up to 600 new homes, a hotel and 250,000 sq ft of food and retail.
Other projects include the 3,000-home Lincolnshire Lakes near Scunthorpe and Royal Pier Waterfront in Southampton.
The managing director’s role is a newly created one at Lucent, which was founded in 2009 by Charles Flynn. Lucent has a project pipeline with a potential gross development value of £1.5bn.
Sorrell is currently on holiday and is due to take up his post later this month. Lucent, a client of Eversheds, has its main office in Winchester as well as offices in the Isle of Man and Luxembourg.
In his other interests, Sorrell is a well-known supporter of the arts in Manchester and sits on the board of trustees of HOME, the merged Cornerhouse cinema and Library Theatre organisation.