Property Movers & Shakers October 2023

31 October 2023

Estate Agencies

UK Sotheby’s International Realty has been making waves in the last month. Under the watch of CEO George Azar, the firm has acquired Becky Fatemi’s high-profile PCL agency Rokstone; recruited super-prime specialist Sarah Peck from Savills (as senior sales director); Knight Frank partners Simon Burgoyne and James Gubbins (from KF’s Mayfair & St James’s branch), and opened a new office on Cadogan Place in Knightsbridge. Read more.

Dexters has made another notable acquisition – picking up new-build specialist LiFE Residential, which operates eight offices in London and Asia. Josh Larn is in charge of sale and lettings; Teresa Duarte is responsible for Property Management and support services. Read more.

Connells-owned estate agency John D Wood & Co has installed a new Head of Sales. James Waight (known as Jimmy) has been promoted from Regional Director in Central London to Head of Sales across the 31-branch firm. Read more.

Savills has recruited two new faces to its residential sales business in South West London. Oliver Morley joins as head of department in Richmond (moving from Aspire) while Stephanie Mant is based in the Wimbledon office (moving from James Pendleton). Read more.

Lee Koffman - who appeared in Channel 4’s Britain’s Most Expensive Houses series - has joined Robert Irving Burns, leaving UK Sotheby’s International Realty after six years. He previously worked at Aston Chase. Read now.

Winkworth’s St John’s Wood office has expanded, adding house specialist Neville Serlui to the team. Serlui was previously a Director at boutique agency Behr & Butchoff – which was acquired by Chestertons in June. Read now.

Luxury real estate brokerage Nest Seekers International has expanded its super-prime division with a new head of partnerships. Claudia Sylvester has joined Rubens Brotto’s team, based in Mayfair, following a “diverse” career including stints as a headhunter, marketeer, TV presenter, and top fashion model for brands including Vivienne Westwood, Anna Sui, Louis Féraud, and Calvin Klein. She has also run her own luxury brand specialising in bespoke fine jewellery and home accessories since 2010. Read now.

Resi property consultancy Inhous has recruited Hamish Bruce - formerly of Marsh & Parsons and Black Brick - as director of private clients in its London team. Read now.

Knight Frank has made a brace of appointments to its super-prime lettings team: Amy Pritchard has joined as Senior Lettings Negotiator in South West London & Home Counties team, and Alice Freeman, who previously spent four years in the Kensington office, has joined the Prime Central London team. Read now.

Knight Frank has also added a new face to its Global Residential Board. Samantha Yu joined the firm in 2019 as head of Shanghai international project marketing, and now runs the international project marketing business across the whole of Mainland China – promoting developments in the UK, US, Australia and Dubai to clients in China. Read now.

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, a network of international property agencies, has hired a new Director of Global Business Development. Jenny Doolan has stepped into the “key role”, charged with expanding LeadingRE’s footprint in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and “fostering strategic partnerships to drive continued growth and success.” Read now.

Connells Group, which owns estate agency brands including Hamptons, has appointed an Interim Chief Executive to temporarily fill the shoes of retiring David Livesey. Richard Twigg steps up from Group Finance Director to become Group Interim Chief Executive while a permanent replacement is recruited. Read now.

A new independent property firm has entered the Prime Central London scene. Kyle Richardson & Tom Siviter’s Hanson Partners will be offering sales and lettings services across the capital’s top neighbourhoods – including Mayfair, Belgravia, Knightsbridge and Chelsea – also dealing in “significant” properties across the UK and internationally. Read now.

A stalwart of the prime London estate agency scene has made the move to Dubai. Louis Harding – formerly a senior figure at Foxtons and more recently Head of London Sales at Strutt & Parker – has been appointed Managing Director of UAE agency Betterhomes. Read now.


Legal & Surveying

Surveying consultancy GIA made some changes to its top table and secured new investment from Lonsdale Capital Partners. Following the recent incorporation of GIA and GIA North, Gordon Ingram, who founded the business in 1993, has become chairman. The “central” role will see him focus on strategic direction and technological development. Sam Wallis, formerly managing partner of GIA North, has been promoted to CEO, and is now responsible for the firm’s growth across the UK and Ireland. Michael Beatty takes over to lead the Manchester office, and there have also been promotions for equity board directors Stephen Friel, Simone Pagani, Jerome Webb and Kevin Francis. Read now.

Bishop & Sewell LLP has promoted two lawyers to “significantly strengthen” its dispute resolution and residential property teams. Associate Charles Jamieson has stepped up to Senior Associate in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution team. Solicitor Nicole Couzens has been promoted to Associate Solicitor in the Residential Property Team. Read now.

Scottish surveying firm DM Hall – which recently expanded into England – has brought in a new Financial Director, recruiting Andrew Healy to fill the boots of Alan Patrick, who was in the position for 20 years. Healy held the financial reins at the Scottish Rugby Union for 10 years before moving to do an 18-month project at the Law Society of Scotland. Read now.

Law firm Irwin Mitchell has invested in Scottish counterpart Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie, in a deal that will see the two firms work “in collaboration to provide a full suite of legal and financial services operating out of more than 20 locations across England, Scotland, and Wales.” It gives IM a significant presence in property matters north of the border, beyond the firm’s established Glasgow outpost that focuses on banking and finance and complex personal injury work. WJM specialises in corporate, private client, property, and asset management. Read now.


Design & Construction

Fitzrovia-based studio A.London hired a new Senior Interior Designer following a number of high-profile project wins. Ella Bartron joins from Suna Interior Design. Read now.

Design group Allect has appointed Joanna Benton as its new sustainability manager. She takes on the new brief alongside her existing Associate Director role at Helen Green Design. Allect operates three of London’s best-known design firms; Helen Green Design, Rigby & Rigby and Lawson Robb. Read more.

Property and construction consultancy Ward Williams Associates has recruited James Carter-Brown to strengthen its high-end residential offering. Carter-Brown previously led Knight Frank’s residential building consultancy team. Read more.


Developers & Investors 

The Crown Estate has brought in a new Marketing Director to implement a fresh marketing strategy for its London and Regional portfolios. Karen Baines spent the last seven years as Group Marketing and Communications Director at Shaftesbury, playing a central role in parts of the recent merger with Capco. Read now.

The Hill Group has promoted Dan Haines to Land Director, with a remit to oversee the company’s residential land portfolio and work on the sustainability-minded housebuilder’s regional expansion and growth plans. He steps up to fill the shoes of Keith Parret, who sadly passed away last month following a short illness. Read now.