Property people: Blacks Solicitors and Devonshires

The Real Estate team at Blacks Solicitors has made a series of new appointments and promotions.

It has appointed Rowan Thomas as senior associate solicitor and Lucy Storey as associate solicitor, along with Josh Ackroyd as a paralegal.

Thomas brings with her 14 years of commercial property experience from an international firm to lead the department in offering expertise in development work.

Conor Tobin and Victoria Adamson have also joined the cohort as newly qualified solicitors, after starting at the firm as trainees in 2021.

Marcus Kaye, who joined the firm in 2017, has been promoted to partner.

He has been instrumental in the team’s growth in the Real Estate sector, leading the way in advising high street lenders and dealing with mixed use sites.

Another promotion has seen Ben Finley, who trained and qualified with Blacks, being promoted to senior associate solicitor, offering expertise in a variety of leasehold and freehold transactions.

Kaye said: “It’s been a pleasure to have assisted in the expansion of our Real Estate specialism and witness the team’s involvement in some cutting-edge work across the energy, parks and development sectors.

“I’m committed to continuing to deliver expert and high quality services to our clients as the Real Estate offering continues to grow.”

Beth Laidler, partner in Real Estate at Blacks, said: “We remain dedicated to consolidating our offering in the property sector and building a strong reputation in the market.

“We’re excited and looking forward to Conor, Rowan, Victoria, Lucy and Josh settling into the Real Estate division.”

Nick Dyson, head of Real Estate at Blacks Solicitors, added: “Our cohort has gone from strength-to-strength and it’s a privilege to lead one of the finest, specialist Real Estate legal divisions in the region.

“I am extremely proud of the team for their ongoing hard work, which is reflected in the significant number of matters dealt with and the increase in turnover that we have generated in the last financial year.”


Law firm, Devonshires, has hired two experienced lawyers to further strengthen its growing Leeds office.

Kelly Lloyd joins from Capsticks Solicitors and Shadale Miller joins from the Housing and Property Law partnership.

Lloyd works in all areas of Housing Management and joins the firm’s Housing Management and Property Litigation team, headed by Donna McCarthy.

Her experience includes possession claims, anti-social behaviour and breach of tenancy injunctions, committal proceedings, disrepair claims, and trespass claims.

She has worked in housing management for over seven years for both landlords and tenants, giving her a wide knowledge of any defences and claims that may arise.

Miller also joins as a solicitor in the Housing Management & Property Litigation team.

She has experience advising on a range of housing and property litigation matters including, possession, disrepair, tenancy fraud and service charge.

Prior to joining Devonshires, she worked for a boutique property practice in Central London, acting for Housing Associations, Tenant Management Organisations and Local Authorities.

These latest arrivals follow those of Amy Chadwick and Mary Brennan who joined the Leeds team last year and now takes the Leeds office headcount up to 35 – an increase of 23 within the space of four years.

Chris Drabble and Gary Grigor co-head the Leeds Office. Drabble said: “I am excited to welcome Kelly and Shadale to Devonshires.

“They both bring further expertise to the HMPL team, an area in which Devonshires has real depth and breadth of knowledge.

Grigor added: “We will continue to recruit lawyers of the highest calibre and build on the talented team that are actively engaged in servicing our client network in the North.”

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