Shakespeare Martineau appoints award-winning education real estate partner as Birmingham head

Published: 18th May 2021
Area: Firm News

Law firm Shakespeare Martineau has appointed heavy-weight education and real estate partner Clive Read as its head of Birmingham.

Winner of the Birmingham Law Society’s ‘partner of the year’ award 2021, Clive Read joins the firm this month and has 30 years experience in advising universities and colleges on the management and development of campuses. Advising across all aspects of real estate, he has worked on major redevelopment projects, land sales and acquisitions, large-scale student lease agreements and the management of occupiers, for the likes of University of Arts London and University of Derby.

Clive joins the firm from VWV, where he was head of the Birmingham office for five years. During this time he took the team from single figures to more than 30 people and grew the office turnover to more than £3m.

Clive said: “I’m delighted to be heading up the Birmingham team, as the culture and ambition of the firm fits so well with my own values. It’s also great to be part of a firm that is already so well-known for property and education. I look forward to growing the teams and collaborating with experts in different fields, to better service our clients.

“Education has had a tough year and the pandemic will likely result in major changes for the sector moving forward, it’s our job as legal professionals to help protect the best interests of institutions, their staff and students.

Shakespeare Martineau is recognised for its expertise in real estate, planning and the higher and further education sectors. The firms acts for more than 100 higher education institutions and further education colleges, ranging from large research intensive universities such as Cambridge and Nottingham, metropolitan universities and colleges such as UCLAN and Dudley College and specialist institutions such as the Royal College of Art and the University College of Osteopathy.

Joanna Deffley, regional head for West Midlands, said: “Clive is such a well-recognised name in Birmingham and the education sector and we’re so pleased that he is joining our team and heading up our largest regional office. He brings exceptional experience and shares our market-focused, growth ambitions.

Clive added: “I actually started my career in 1990 with Martineau Johnson and left just before it turned into Shakespeare Martineau, following a merger. I’m really pleased to come back and see some familiar faces, as well as meet lots of new people. I have been very impressed with the drive, enthusiasm, focus and direction for where the firm is going. It feels like a very different business and is a breath of fresh air, in all senses. In many ways it doesn’t feel like a traditional law firm – and that’s a compliment!

Clive’s appointment follows a raft of announcements including internal promotions, six appointments in Milton Keynes and a further two in the East Midlands.

Shakespeare Martineau is proactively seeking mergers, acquisitions, team recruitment and lateral hires in the Midlands and nationally.


Getting to know Clive…

What attracted you to Shakespeare Martineau?

It is clear that there’s excitement and a change of direction going on at the firm.  Shakespeare Martineau is a firm that is going places – and knows where it wants to go – and values its people.  For me, culture is vital - get that right and people and businesses thrive. Since I’ve arrived I have been blown away by the sense of purpose, combined with an open and transparent way of doing things.

What do you find exciting about your area of expertise?

I love seeing the physical end result of a real estate project – whether it’s a brand new campus for a university or college, or the acquisition of land that is then developed by another one of my clients – and knowing I played a small part in that.

Real estate is a massive commodity and the pandemic has brought home how quickly things can change – both in terms of how land is occupied and used, but also the purpose. For example, universities and colleges are looking at how they teach and accommodate students. How will their real estate needs change going forward?

There is still a housing shortage in the UK which government needs to get to grips with - the government’s proposals to streamline and make the planning regime more effective probably happens every five years!  However, what it does show is how fluid and constantly changing the real estate world is on so many levels and how we need to be open to new opportunities and different ways of doing things.  I am really looking forward to working with my colleagues and our clients to unlock their potential and make things happen.

What do you hope to achieve while working at Shakespeare Martineau?

I want to support our clients and help them deliver on their strategic goals, whether that’s education institutes seeking real estate advice, or for real estate clients more generally – including developers, owner-occupiers, or landowners. I’m also really looking forward to helping our people fulfil their careers and ambitions and watch them develop.

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