Law firm Shakespeare Martineau has continued its growth in Southampton with the appointment of banking and finance partner Jake Holmes who joins after more than a decade at Blake Morgan.

Ranked in both Chambers and the Legal 500, Jake specialises in acquisition, real estate, and development finance, particularly within the mid-market and large corporate space. He regularly advises banks, corporate and individual investors, and other institutional lenders and borrowers across a variety of sectors, including leisure, healthcare and education.

Jake, who will be based in Southampton but servicing a national client base, said: “I am delighted to have joined Shakespeare Martineau and be based in our newly-established Southampton hub. I am looking forward to working with the banking and finance team to develop and foster existing and new relationships with clients across a variety of sectors, while also rolling up my sleeves and getting to work raising the firm’s profile across the Central South.

“Having worked in the Solent region for the majority of my career, I know what fantastic businesses there are in this area and what a terrific opportunity there is to work alongside these businesses as their strategic legal advisors as they grow and unlock their potential.

“I have worked opposite Shakespeare Martineau on a number of transactions over the years, and always been impressed with the pragmatic, solutions-orientated approach they have taken; no posturing or grandstanding in front of clients – just people getting on with the task at hand to deliver deals in a commercial manner.

“Coupled with the opportunity to be a part of building a new practice in Southampton, helping Shakespeare Martineau extend its national reach further South and becoming part of something truly exciting and bold, it was just too much of an adventure to pass up.”

In April, Shakespeare Martineau secured office space at the University of Southampton Science Park and kick-started its expansion into the Central South market with the appointment of leading corporate partner James Hawkeswood, who is heading up the firm’s local hub; commercial litigator Paula Swain; and debt and asset recovery team supervisor Ray Welsby.

James said: “We are thrilled to welcome Jake to our expanding team as we increase our investment in the Southampton and broader Central South market. Jake brings a wealth of regional expertise and a robust network of connections, making him a valuable addition to our firm as we strive to provide unparalleled service and foster growth in the region.”

Shakespeare Martineau offers clients access to a 1,200-strong team of experts from hubs across the South West, London, East and West Midlands, Yorkshire and Scotland.

The brand has a strong track record for growing teams from ground zero, including its Edinburgh footprint, which has grown to a team of 10 since its office opened in 2022, and Lincoln, which now has more than 16 legal professionals working from the city since its launch in 2021.

The firm is proactively recruiting lateral hires, teams and brands.

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James leads the firm’s corporate offering from our Southampton footprint, providing commercially relevant and astute advice in relation to shareholder and financing issues and generally on corporate governance matters.

James has a wealth of experience, his practice over the last few years having developed significant traction in relation to energy and renewables businesses; health, care and education businesses; multi-generational family businesses; and technology and defence companies.

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Published: 7th June 2024
Area: Banking & Financial Services

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