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According to a Leicester property lawyer, opportunities are emerging in some sectors in the region despite current economic pressures.
James Coningsby, who has been appointed as the new head of commercial property services across the three offices of East Midlands’ law firm Nelsons, comments: “There’s no point in trying to hide the fact that a lot of planned development in the region, both commercial and residential, has been put on hold due to the poor market.
“But against this background there remains some hope. Opportunities have emerged for cash rich investors and we have recently seen a number of clients moving into a market where genuine bargains are now to be had. Our expertise in acting on behalf of pension schemes and charitable trustees – both relatively active sectors despite the downturn – continues to bring us a greater market share. We have recently acted on the relocation of a major national charity and a number of pension purchase and lease back arrangements.
“In addition, we are in the process of examining with a number of clients and their other business advisers various options for asset protection.”
James’ appointment as head of commercial property sees him lead one of the largest specialist teams in the East Midlands, with 7 partners and a total of 15 fee earners dealing with the acquisition or disposal of all types of commercial property from large portfolios to small industrial units.
Commenting on the appointment, chief executive Tim Hastings says: “James brings a blend of practical experience and fresh ideas to this important leadership role in our firm, and he was a natural choice when his predecessor, Stephen Irish, stepped down from the role.”
A member of ProCon Leicestershire, a non profit making company established in 2000 to provide information and debate on current issues that affect the property and construction market generally and locally, as well as a member of The Law Society’s Property Section and of Leicestershire Law Society’s Non-Contentious Business Committee, James joined Nelsons as a partner in the commercial property team when Ironsides merged with the firm in 2000.
Providing advice on an extensive range of property matters such as secured lending, business leases, property acquisitions, commercial development, and planning and the environment, he has particular expertise in working for the retail, voluntary sector, pensions and private investment markets.
James is ranked as a leading individual in the 2008 edition of the independently researched legal directory, Chambers and Partners UK. According to Chambers, clients interviewed by researchers said he is “tremendously down-to-earth and thorough” and “he always goes the extra mile – nothing is too much trouble for him”.