Freeths expands into Scotland with hire of Addleshaw Goddard partner duo

Glasgow-based real estate specialists to launch national UK firm’s first office outside England

Paul Ockrim (l) and Nick Taylor Image courtesy of Freeths

Top 50 UK national firm Freeths has added a pair of real estate partners from Addleshaw Goddard to launch its first office outside of England, in Glasgow. 

Newly-arrived partners Paul Ockrim and Nick Taylor will launch the office this month, with Freeths saying it plans to establish a full-service offering in the region. 

The launch follows a period of strong growth at the firm, which has increased its revenue by more than 150% since 2014, from £50m to £128m in 2023. 

Freeths’ national managing partner, Karl Jansen, said: “As a firm, we have ambitious plans for further growth in the coming years. Scotland is an important part of the UK’s economy and therefore integral to our core strategy.

“There is real opportunity for us to build our business in Scotland, delivering an innovative service for clients in the region. Paul and Nick bring a skill set that will add more breadth and depth to our national offering.” 

Ockrim specialises in commercial real estate, advising developers, tenants, investors and funding institutions in retail, leisure, banking, investment and development deals. He spent six years as a partner at Addleshaw Goddard, which he joined from Scottish firm HBJ Gateley following the merger of the two firms. 

Meantime, Taylor focuses on investment and development finance matters. He advises investors, developers and lenders on a variety of real estate resource-based projects such as renewable energy developments and like Ockrim joined Addleshaw Goddard from HBJ Gateley in 2017. 

The Glasgow office will be Freeths’ 13th in the UK and follows the firm launching in London in 2013, Liverpool in 2018 and Bristol four years ago. Led by senior partner Phillippa Dempster, the London office has grown from a team of two to 100 since its launch; the Bristol office has also grown rapidly, going from two to more than 50 lawyers and increasing revenue by 51% over the past year, the firm said.

Ockrim commented: “Nick and I have worked with Freeths over a number of years, so we know them well and share their values and ambitions, and the opportunity to join their exciting journey and open the new office in Scotland was too good to miss.”

Taylor added: “Freeths has a fantastic track record of expanding into new markets, and the strength of the national resource will provide a great platform for us and our clients as we look to recruit a full-service team of like-minded lawyers and build a compelling proposition.”

Freeths works with private and public sector clients including charities, universities and private businesses, among them Aldi, Tarmac, Experian and Lloyds Bank. The firm is noted by Chambers for its strengths across the UK’s regions in areas including corporate/M&A, real estate, litigation and social housing. 

Last year the firm was also appointed by the UK government to help oversee a new scheme to compensate victims of the Post Office Horizon IT scandal.

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