Howes Percival’s property team expands with trio of appointments

Increase in new business as recovery strengthens in region’s commercial property market

Leading commercial law firm Howes Percival has expanded its property practice with three new appointments in response to a significant increase in new instructions from both local and national clients. Kirsteen Durrant and Kate Evans have been appointed associate solicitors in the property litigation and commercial property teams and solicitor, Katharine Danks has joined the firm’s estates team.

Howes Percival’s property experts act for major retailers, construction companies, farmers and landowners, housing associations, developers and public authorities as well as private individuals and businesses and cover everything from land promotion and planning through to plot sales and dispute resolution.

Kirsteen Durrant has joined Howes Percival’s property litigation team as an associate solicitor working with Jamie Kidd, the firm’s property litigation partner in the East of England. Kirsteen is an expert in property and agricultural litigation and landlord and tenant work - advising both commercial and public sector clients. Kirsteen has particular expertise in dealing with the termination and renewal of commercial leases and is experienced in all aspects of commercial and agricultural property disputes. She was previously a solicitor in Eversheds’ real estate litigation group, based in Cambridge.

Kate Evans has extensive experience in a range of commercial property matters acting for corporate entities, charitable organisations and individuals on the sale and acquisition of freehold and leasehold property. She is experienced in acting for both landlords and tenants on the negotiation of leases and licences and can offer expert advice on property management issues. Kate has joined Howes Percival’s commercial property team as an associate solicitor from Northampton based firm, Wilson Browne LLP.

Katharine Danks has been appointed solicitor in Howes Percival’s estates department. Katharine has experience in acting for both residential and commercial developers and landowners including regeneration bodies, transport providers and developers in various projects and has a particular interest in agriculture and rural matters. She trained and qualified into the real estates development team at Eversheds LLP.

Jamie Kidd, property litigation partner, commented, “I am delighted to welcome Kirsteen, Kate and Katharine to the firm, their appointments increase our capacity to respond to market developments and client requirements. In recent years we have built on our established reputation for property work by bringing in some of the best property experts in the region. As a result, we are able to offer a dedicated one-stop legal service for landowners and the development industry, providing unrivalled expertise to the sector in an efficient and cost effective way.

“The strategy has worked well and, in spite of very challenging market conditions, the team has continued to receive a strong flow of instructions from both local and national companies. Confidence in the property market is starting to grow and we are seeing some very encouraging signs of recovery. With the team we have in place now we are well placed to benefit as the market picks up and as a result, we are expecting 2014 to be an even busier year.”

Howes Percival’s comprehensive commercial property service covers planning and environmental law, minerals and waste, compulsory purchase, village greens, development including strategic land acquisitions, the management of real estate portfolios, property finance, leases and other landlord and tenant matters, property litigation and construction contracts and disputes. The Estates team advises on a wide range of rural and agricultural property matters with a particular emphasis on tax efficient structuring for agricultural and development land.

The team of specialist property lawyers has a national reputation for the quality of their work:

• The 2013 edition of the Legal 500, widely regarded as the authoritative guide to the UK’s leading law firms, awarded the firm top tier rankings for commercial property, property litigation and planning work.
• The 2014 Chambers UK Guide (an annual directory of the best lawyers in the UK) awarded Howes Percival top table rankings for its planning, property litigation and environment work.
• The 2014 Corporate INTL Magazine Legal Awards (the monthly magazine for business leaders, professional advisers and providers of finance throughout the world) awarded Howes Percival ‘Planning law – Law Firm of the Year in England’ and ‘Editor’s Choice winner of the Landlord & Tenant Law Firm of the Year in England’.

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