New Manchester heads announced for leading UK law firm

'Shoosmiths Manchester already has a strong core team of lawyers and people, and we hope to continue attracting some of the industry’s most exciting new talent'

Leading UK law firm Shoosmiths has announced two new co-heads at its office at the award winning XYZ building in Spinningfields.

Debra Cooper, banking partner, and Sarah Teal, corporate restructuring and advisory partner, will take on the leadership position jointly.

The pair are taking over from office head Wayne Nash this month, who is stepping down to focus on his leadership role for Real Estate Litigation in the north and the national strategy.

Debra has been working in the Manchester market since 2006 and is a banking and finance partner, specialising in real estate finance and general corporate lending.

She is regularly instructed by institutional lenders, funds, investors and developers on UK and overseas transactions, and is also deputy chair of the Northern Investment Property Forum.

“Wayne has been an exemplary lead for our team and Sarah and myself are privileged to take on this new challenge.

“The Manchester office embodies Shoosmiths values boasting an innovative and commercially astute team, and we can’t wait to get started, building upon the success of the last few years.”

Sarah joined Shoosmiths in 2012. Her diverse portfolio of clients, from household names to international banks and accountancy firms, has seen her named as a Leading Individual in the Legal 500.

“I am privileged to have been a part of the team that have seen this office grow over the past decade, from us opening our first office in the city as the new kids on the block, to becoming the established player we are today.

“After an extraordinary 18 months for the business, we have an opportunity to change the way we work – both with our clients and for our teams.

“Shoosmiths Manchester already has a strong core team of lawyers and people, and we hope to continue attracting some of the industry’s most exciting new talent in this next chapter.”

Under Wayne Nash’s leadership, Shoosmiths has cemented its reputation as one of the leading law firms in the North.

Despite recent challenging conditions for all professional services firms, the Manchester team have seen continued record breaking financial growth as a result of high profile client appointments and complex case wins.  

“I am extremely proud of the Manchester team and all they have achieved in recent years, increasing our extensive line-up of leading partners in the region and driving the quality of our client base and experience,” said Wayne.

“It has been a particular highlight to build upon our responsible business values and social mobility initiatives, including recent work within our local community alongside key stakeholders to support the Greater Manchester Youth Task Force and launch the Young Person’s Guarantee across the region. 

“I look forward to seeing the team’s continued growth as I look to concentrate on the exciting opportunities within our Real Estate Litigation division in the north and national ambitions.”


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