Mills & Reeve appoints new Birmingham head of office

National law firm Mills & Reeve has appointed a new head of its 216-strong Birmingham office.

Steve Allen, a partner in the commercial disputes team, takes on the role with immediate effect. As head of office, Steve’s focus will be to build on the firm’s existing relationships to drive further growth across the Midlands.

The role was previously undertaken by Guy Hinchley, until he was appointed national managing partner of the firm in 2006.

Steve said: “The reintroduction of the head of office role is a significant step by the firm to concentrate substantial time and effort into how we can engage even more in the region.

“Mills & Reeve is an ambitious and innovative law firm with an offering very distinct from our competitors. I look forward to establishing and building strong relationships with new clients in the region.” Continue reading

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Scholarship scheme supports local disability athletes

“On guard!” Wheelchair fencers Thomas Hall-Butcher (left) and Alan Sheriff (centre) with Deloitte Midlands practice senior partner Chris Loughran.

Business advisory firm Deloitte is providing financial support to a group of elite disability athletes from the Midlands as they pursue their ambition of competing at the Paralympic Games.

They are part of a group of nearly 100 athletes to receive funding this year through the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS).  TASS is funded by Deloitte and managed by SportsAid and has provided more than 500 financial awards to disability athletes over the last five years.

The current TASS athletes come from all over the country and compete across sixteen different sports, including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, wheelchair fencing and disability snowsports. Continue reading

First office tenant at Chord’s St Paul’s Place

Property developer Chord has secured its first office tenant at 40 St Paul’s Square, in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

Construction and fit out business ISG, has taken 3,314 sq ft/307.87 sq m at the mixed-use scheme. Continue reading

Trio of lettings at Quayside

Quayside, Broad Street

CBRE Investors has scored a trio of lettings at its Quayside development on Broad Street, Birmingham.

Regus, the workplace provider, has taken 12,636 sq ft/1,173 sq m at the development, on the second and third floors, their seventh business centre in the city. The serviced operator has a ten-year lease; the rent is undisclosed.

Signallng Solutions has moved in to the 13th floor, occupying 6,318 sq ft/586 sq m of space. The new tenant, which provides turnkey solutions to the rail industry train control and resignalling market, has agreed a ten-year lease with a five year break, at a rent of £18 per sq ft. Continue reading

Welcome to the ‘new normal’

Mike Stephens, Martin Guest and Peter Damesick, speakers at CB Richard Ellis's Midlands Market Insight Seminar

Stock in the Midlands industrial and distribution market is drying up, according to experts at property consultancy CB Richard Ellis, thanks to strong take-up in the last quarter of 2009 and first quarter of 2010.

At the firm’s Midlands Market Insight Seminar, local property developers heard that industrial enquiries are also reducing, so rents are unlikely to start moving upwards until 2012.

Mike Stephens, valuation advisory director at the firm’s Birmingham office, told the audience: “There are active enquiries from retail/logistics operators, including Marks and Spencer, Tesco and Ocado. They are all looking for design and build solutions, which frankly is the way the market is going. There is no sign of speculative development on the horizon whatsoever.” Continue reading

New out of court initiative for city’s judges

Birmingham Law Society has launched a new initiative designed to improve dialogue between the local judiciary and solicitors.

The organisation’s dispute resolution committee launched the Judges/Solicitors Forum following a request from regional judges keen to get a better understanding of the issues currently facing solicitors. Continue reading

Birmingham office rents now mid-table

Ashley Hancox, head of regional office agency at CB Richard Ellis

It is now £2.50 per sq ft more to occupy leased offices in Manchester than it is in Birmingham, according to CB Richard Ellis’s Global Office Rents survey.

Rents, rates and service charges now total £44.50 per sq ft in Manchester, the world’s 22nd most expensive office centre, compared to £42 per sq ft in Birmingham, which is 27th out of the world’s top 50. Edinburgh, also at 22nd, joins Manchester as the UK’s most expensive regional city.

Two other regional cities make the CBRE top 50: Glasgow, 31st at £40 per sq ft and Leeds, which at £36 per sq ft is 40th. London’s West End tops the international poll at a whopping £120.50 per sq ft. Continue reading