A real estate team with greater strength and depth, enabling the firm to work with a wider range of major clients, has been created by the merger of Harrison Clark Rickerbys and Hewitsons, according to head of real estate Matt Hayes.
He said: “We have seen a significant change in our real estate offering. Operating from east to west and beyond, the merger has filled in geographical gaps for the firm whilst continuing to look after our local clientele
“What we now have is a real estate team of greater strength and depth, which enables us to challenge for even more high-quality clients on a national platform.”
The team now has a combined expertise of close to 200 real estate staff operating across 11 offices.
It works with clients in the UK and internationally, including companies and organisations in the public and private sectors, in areas like charity, healthcare, education, agriculture and energy and renewables.
The firm acts for private individuals, real estate investors, pension funds, developers and farmers, providing commercially-focused and practical advice whether their homes are in the UK or abroad.
While HCR has long-standing expertise in the field, the agricultural property and real estate teams at Hewitsons operated separately. Northampton-based partner Gareth Williams is now head of agricultural property within the merged team.
He said: “The merger of the Hewitsons agri expertise into the wider HCR real estate solicitors team enables us to focus on agricultural property, operating on a wider national playing field and providing the highest quality of advice and expertise to our existing clients and our growing portfolio.”
The second quarter of the year was the busiest on record for the residential property team, with the continued migration out of major conurbations and a healthy house-building market meaning a strong demand for the firm’s services.
Cambridge-based real estate partner Clare Martin said: “During the pandemic, it felt like everybody decided to move. With much of the population having worked from home for more than a year and that trend continuing to some degree, there remains a substantial trend to leave the big cities and relocate to somewhere more rural, where property can often be considerably cheaper, quieter and without the usual strenuous commute.
“With our increased nationwide network, we are able to assist all of our clients, some of whom are high net worth individuals or companies, who buy and sell very high value properties, to meet their deadlines and achieve smooth sales or purchases.”
Matt added: “While there has been some softening in some parts of the country, property demand in coastal areas, particularly the south west of the country, has impacted the market in parts of South Wales, the Cotswolds and Herefordshire, as people look for second or more rural or secluded homes further afield.
“So, our team remains incredibly busy, as we continue to work hard to eliminate unexpected delays in the process.”
With the addition of real estate staff based in Northampton and Milton Keynes, the firm also intends to invest in these areas and recruit additional staff.