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Law firm bolsters public sector team with hires of property and planning partner, former head of legal at district council

Ashfords has strengthened its public sector offering with the double appointment of a property and planning partner and a legal director who was previously monitoring officer and head of legal services at South Somerset District Council.

Robin de Wreede, who joins from Davitt Jones Bould, specialises in commercial property and planning matters, particularly urban regeneration and other major projects and has advised on major infrastructure and town centre developments for a number of local authorities and their joint venture partners.   

Ashfords said his past work with central and local government clients including DEFRA, The Royal Parks and the Department for Work and Pensions would boost the capabilities of its public sector team.

Angela Watson meanwhile has joined the firm after a 20-year career in local government, including eight years’ experience as the head of the Legal Services team at South Somerset. She has advised on a range of issues including procurement, contract, governance & risk, and information law. 

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As Monitoring Officer and Solicitor at South Somerset, she was a member of the council’s Senior Leadership Team and worked closely with the Council Leader and Chief Executive on governance issues, including during a period of corporate transformation. 

Commenting on the appointments, Lucy Woods, Partner and Head of Ashfords’ Public Sector Team, said: “Robin and Angela’s appointments will further enhance our dynamic and responsive public sector team and we’re pleased to welcome both to the fold. Angela has extensive local authority experience which means Ashfords will be even more attuned to the needs of local government. We’re also looking forward to working with Robin whose real estate expertise brings great value to our public sector clients who need advice on a wide range of property matters.” 

Watson said: “As local government continues to innovate in the way that it delivers services to its communities, be that through locally-led restructuring or the use of alternative project delivery models, Ashfords is well-placed to support councils and public sector bodies with their plans.”

De Wreede said: “The economic effects of Covid-19 have created significant challenges for regeneration and development projects and I look forward to guiding local authorities and their development partners through these in the months ahead.” 

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