Property people: Preston Baker; Gent Visick; and more

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Mark Christopher, who has over 30 years’ experience of the estate agency sector, is the newly-appointed business development director at Yorkshire estate agents Preston Baker.

A qualified valuer and surveyor, Christopher was regional managing director of Countrywide Estate Agents for over 20 years, head of residential sales at Yorkshire estate and letting agents Linley and Simpson for more than seven years, and most recently was regional director at Yopa online estate agents.

He said: “Preston Baker is ahead of the market curve in terms of technological innovation and has a team of highly-talented, like-minded people in place to drive the business forward.

“I have worked with several members of the senior management team previously and have always had the highest regard for the business model and its people.

“My main reason for joining is to impact growth by adding value and I am looking forward to being part of growing the Preston Baker brand still further and more specifically launching our new innovative ‘Search’ project.

“This is a very exciting time to be joining the Preston Baker business.”

As regional managing director at Countrywide Estate Agents, Christopher had multi-site management responsibility for up to 27 branches within the North East, Yorkshire and Durham.

And when he was head of residential sales for Linley and Simpson he was responsible for establishing and growing residential sales within the existing lettings operation through 10 branches in North and West Yorkshire.

Commenting on the current housing market, Christopher said the hiatus of the stamp duty holiday had not quelled the market as predicted.

He said other factors, such as low interest rates and lifestyle choices including a need for more space away from city centres, were continuing to drive prices and demand.

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Leeds-based property consultancy Gent Visick (GV) has launched a specialist Lease Advisory and Asset Management service, following the appointment of well-known property professional Niall Mackinnon.

He joins GV as a director from Cushman & Wakefield, having also previously worked at Avison Young.

Mackinnon plans to grow and develop the Lease Advisory and Asset Management team at GV, whilst capitalising on his 20 years in the Yorkshire real estate market.

He said: “It is great to be aligning myself with the best firm in the region. The GV team are well-connected and renowned commercial property experts.

“There have been a lot of changes in our industry over the last 18 months, and I was keen to join an independent, agile, forward-thinking practice.

“With sections of the market now witnessing unprecedented rental growth, I see Lease Advisory and Asset Management as an enormous growth area for GV.

“Our mission is to assist investors in maximising the value of their assets and to guide occupiers in generating occupational cost savings.”

In his new role Mackinnon will provide a host of services to landlords and tenants, as well as wider asset management advice to a broad spectrum of clients.

Services on offer include rent reviews, lease renewals, expert witness reports, lease restructures, brokerage, agency, estates strategies, investment pricing and section 18 valuations for industrial and office properties.

Director Garry Howes, from GV, said: “Niall is very experienced and well-respected in the property industry and is a superb appointment to take the lead on our Lease Advisory and Asset Management service offering.”

During his senior career, Mackinnon has overseen lease advisory instructions in excess of £80m per year, totalling nine million sq ft of commercial property in Leeds and Yorkshire and has been involved with many notable schemes including Wellington Place, Broad Gate and White Rose Office Park in Leeds.

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Two commercial property lawyers have joined LCF Law, bolstering its commercial real estate team.

Steve Stanier, who has worked in commercial property for more than 30 years, joins as a senior associate and Angela Macready, who has over 17 years’ experience, joins as an associate.

Both previously worked at well-known Leeds law firms. Following their appointments, LCF Law’s commercial property division, which is headed by partner, Paul Anderson, now employs a 17-strong team.

Stanier has extensive experience acting for both developers and landowners on development projects across the country, as well as representing funders, investors, commercial landlords and tenants.

Macready handles all types of commercial property transactions including the purchase, sale and leasing of properties for businesses, individuals and pension funds.

She is also experienced in residential leasehold enfranchisement and lease extensions, as well as advising managing agents, landlords and companies with tenancy related issues.

Anderson said: “There is a significant level of activity in the commercial property market throughout Yorkshire and beyond, and the sector has remained largely resilient through the pandemic.

“The appointments of Steve and Angela follow several new contract wins for the firm and come on the back of highly experienced property lawyer and retail specialist, Steven Silver, also joining our Leeds team at the end of last year.

“Bringing this level of experience and talent into LCF Law ensures that we are able to provide the very best advice to our clients across the development, investment, retail, charity and healthcare sectors.”

LCF Law employs 125 people across offices in Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Ilkley and has 22 partners.

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