Forsters names next senior partner ahead of London office move

Natasha Rees to succeed founding partner Smita Edwards as firm prepares to relocate headquarters to Marylebone

Incoming senior partner Natasha Rees Image courtesy of Forsters

Real estate and private wealth law firm Forsters has appointed property litigation partner Natasha Rees as senior partner ahead of a move to new London headquarters next year. 

Rees is set to begin the role in September and succeeds Smita Edwards, who is stepping down after eight years at the helm.  

Edwards was one of Forsters’ founding partners and led the firm's commercial real estate team between 1998 and 2003 before being named senior partner in 2014. She will remain with the firm and return full-time to her practice. 

“It has been a huge privilege to serve as senior partner for two terms and I am delighted that Natasha has been elected as my successor,” Edwards said. 

Rees joined Forsters in 2001 from Pinsent Masons and was promoted to partner in 2008. Her practice focuses on property litigation, particularly in the area of residential disputes and leasehold enfranchisement. 

Until March this year, she was head of Forsters’ property litigation team and is currently ranked Band 1 by legal rankings guide Chambers in the real estate category.  

Rees described it as an “honour” to be elected senior partner, adding: “Through her leadership, Smita leaves an outstanding legacy at Forsters and it is great news for our clients that she will continue to practise with us.”

News of Rees’ appointment comes as the firm prepares to move its London headquarters to Marylebone toward the end of next year. Forsters is currently based in Mayfair and operates across four sites, with the firm saying a key driver for the decision to relocate was to bring its 65 partners and more than 420 members of staff under one roof. 

The new space at 22 Baker Street is set to undergo a refurbishment prior to Forsters moving in and when finished will offer its employees a ‘modern, sustainable and flexible’ home base complete with roof terrace, dedicated staff café, collaborative working spaces and ‘wellbeing amenities’.

Forsters managing partner Emily Exton said the firm had seen a period of sustained growth over the past five years. 

“The move to a single site in a fantastic location can only serve to enhance this success as well as the sense of belonging and commitment to our organisation which we seek to promote,” she added. 

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