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Double appointment boosts Ward Hadaway’s growing Built Environment Team in Manchester

Ward Hadaway has strengthened its Built Environment Team in Manchester with the appointment of two solicitors.

The firm has continued with its growth aspirations by appointing Emma Collins and Chris Devitt.

Emma joins as an associate solicitor and will be responsible for advising and providing legal advice to both landlords and tenants in the negotiation and settlement of leases including advising and negotiating lease assignments, surrenders and renewals. She will also work with the firm’s banking and finance and corporate partners in relation to both freehold and leasehold disposals and acquisitions.

She brings with her 14 years’ experience working as a solicitor in commercial property and held a similar position in her previous role, providing support to the corporate team in the acquisition and disposal of businesses and acting for lenders in corporate refinancing or new loan matters.


Emma and her partner have two children and took time out of her previous work to travel South America. Commenting on her role, she said: “I’m really excited to be joining such a great team. Ward Hadaway has a strong reputation within the sector and I am looking forward to working with the firm’s wide range of commercial property clients including developers, commercial lenders and national retail operators.”

Chris Devitt also joined the firm recently as a planning solicitor. He has been advising the firm’s housing developer clients and local authorities on section 106 agreements and deeds of variation. He is also advising on assets of community value designation, the pre-commencement of compulsory purchase orders and assisting with responses to a stop notice.

Chris qualified in 2016 at University of Law in Chester and joins from his previous firm where he started as a paralegal and qualified as a planning solicitor after completing his training in childcare law, planning and property.

Commenting on his appointment, Chris said: “I am really enjoying my new role and have been impressed with the knowledge and support from other colleagues within the firm. When I saw the position advertised, I had no hesitation in applying and look forward to building my knowledge and experience working with a range of clients here in the North West and further afield.”

Matthew O’Brien, a partner in the Real Estate Team which forms part of the Built Environment Team who also joined the firm in March last year, said: “I’d personally like to welcome Emma and Chris into Ward Hadaway. They will support our existing team and clients and its reassuring to see that we are still able to create new job opportunities and make key appointments in this current climate.

“Our Real Estate team in Manchester has grown three-fold in the last twelve months and demonstrates our commitment to further strengthen our service delivery to clients. I am looking forward to working with them both.”

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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Emma Collins

Managing Associate | Built Environment

+44 (0) 330 137 3580

+44 (0) 771 100 9778

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