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Shoosmiths strengthens its southern real estate group with senior hires

By Kani Talabani
24 February 2022
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Shoosmiths has bolstered the ranks of its southern real estate group with new senior hires.

The law firm has recruited housebuilder expert Ben Pariser (pictured) as a partner into its Thames Valley office in Reading. Also joining the team is Simon Dawes (pictured) who arrives as legal director and is set to provide specialist residential development experience after advising on projects delivering up to 3,000 homes.

This latest round of recruitment sees Shoosmiths’ southern real estate group expand to over 40 lawyers, including 10 partners, located across offices in Milton Keynes, Reading and Southampton. The new expertise sees the team cement its service offering across the full living sector, including student accommodation, housebuilding, affordable housing, later living, strategic land and build-to-rent.

The team’s growth is set to support several recent client wins for Shoosmiths’ real estate division, including securing a place on Taylor Wimpey’s legal panels in England and Wales, and Scotland.

Nathan Rees, partner and head of Shoosmiths’ Thames Valley real estate team, said: “Ben and Simon’s arrival will boost the residential development capability on offer at Shoosmiths. It also represents a strategic milestone for our southern real estate team, which now features legal experts covering the entire living sector and who are working on some of the UK’s most ambitious regeneration and development projects.

“Our aim is to keep adding new strength and depth to the southern real estate team. This is key to ensuring we continue offering an excellent service to our existing clients, but also the growing number of developers looking to Shoosmiths for legal support.”

Ben Pariser arrives at Shoosmiths from DAC Beachcroft where he was a partner and head of its residential development team in Bristol. Ben brings over 15-years’ experience working with national housebuilders, other developers, landowners and local authorities, with particular expertise in advising on site acquisitions, development agreements, joint ventures and strategic land options.

Ben Pariser, real estate partner at Shoosmiths, said: “Shoosmiths already works with some of the UK’s biggest housebuilders, investors and land promoters. When combined with its strong values and commitment to excellence, the opportunity to join the firm was an incredibly exciting one.

“My immediate focus is on supporting the southern real estate team with a number of current matters, while also opening up potential new workstreams with existing and prospective clients – growing the wider division and contributing to its long-term success.”

Simon Dawes, legal director

Simon Dawes joins Shoosmiths from Pinsent Masons where he supported a broad range of residential development matters, including a landmark project for Heylo Housing that saw the delivery of over 3,000 shared ownership properties using both traditional affordable housing via S106 agreements and Homes England SOAHP grant funding.

Simon Dawes, legal director at Shoosmiths, also commented: “The market is increasingly recognising Shoosmiths’ living sector credentials. This is demonstrated by the string of new client wins and projects currently in the pipeline. I’m looking forward to building on this growth and helping our clients to deliver their development plans.”