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Suzanne Townley

News Editor, Solicitors Journal

Travers Smith appoints new Head of Real Estate

Travers Smith appoints new Head of Real Estate


Simon Rutman is stepping down after five years

Travers Smith has announced Emma Pereira as its new Head of Real Estate. Sarah Walker has also been made partner and Catherine O'Driscoll has been promoted to Senior Counsel.

All new positions are effective from today (1 July). Travers Smith's Real Estate team is one of the leading advisers to private equity and real estate opportunity funds in the UK.  Key clients include Ancala, Bridgepoint, Clearbell Capital, Heimstaden, Impact, Lothbury Investment Management, McCarthy Stone, Patron Capital, The University of Oxford and Westrock. 

Pereira succeeds Simon Rutman, who is stepping down from the role after five years. Pereira will oversee the management and growth of the team.

Pereira has a broad real estate practice and advises on a range of commercial property transactions, with a particular focus on advising real estate funds and real estate private equity funds on high-value and complex investments, lettings and developments.

She has expertise across a range of core and alternative asset classes, including the high-end office, retail, student accommodation and logistics sectors. 

Pereira commented: "I am thrilled to be taking over as Head of Real Estate and looking forward to working with the team, our existing clients and future clients to embrace all of the developments, challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.  We will also continue to accelerate our growth in key areas, such as our leading work in the healthcare and retirement living sectors. I am particularly delighted that my new role coincides with the promotions of Sarah [Walker] and Catherine [O’Driscoll], two excellent lawyers whose qualities reflect the incredible strength of our practice."

New partner Walker’s practice centres on investment into real estate with a particular focus on healthcare, and the development of other non-core property assets. In addition, she has specialist experience in real estate insolvency, having acted on most of the high-profile restructuring deals relating to leasehold property portfolios in the last few years. 

Newly promoted senior counsel O’Driscoll has experience across a range of sectors from offices and BTR to healthcare and alternative energy. She advises on all aspects of commercial real estate investments including disposals and acquisitions (at portfolio or asset level and including corporate wrappers), debt financing, development, as well as high value landlord and tenant matters. Her particular focus is on real estate M&A, where she acts for a range of clients including private equity firms and listed and private companies.