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03 June 2019

BDB Pitmans bolsters departments across London and Cambridge with strategic hires and partner promotions

Leading law firm, BDB Pitmans, is pleased to announce three significant hires across its family and matrimonial and commercial real estate departments in both London and Cambridge. The appointments come at the same time as three partner promotions at BDB Pitmans in the corporate and agriculture and rural property teams.

Within the commercial real estate department, James Ross will join the firm on 10 June as a partner from DAC Beachcroft and will be principally based in the London office. James brings extensive real estate expertise with a particular focus on large scale and landmark development projects. Having garnered over 18 years’ experience within the real estate sector, James is a trusted advisor to developers, investors, banks and property companies.

James Ross says of his appointment:

‘BDB Pitmans has a prominent commercial real estate offering and is known in the market for its first-class technical knowledge and experience. I look forward to collaborating with colleagues across the firm to ensure that our clients continue to receive a seamless service which exceeds their expectations.’

Roopa Ahluwalia and Elisabeth Sneade have joined BDB Pitmans’ family and matrimonial department from Birketts, as a partner and a legal director respectively, and will be based in the firm’s Cambridge office.

Roopa Ahluwalia has a breadth of expertise in all family law matters ranging from divorce and the dissolution of civil partnerships to co-habitation agreements and pre and post-nuptial agreements. She has particular expertise in complex and multi-jurisdictional divorce cases involving a significant amount of wealth. Her practice also covers matters arising under the Children Act, including child care arrangements, and she is an experienced mediator and trained collaborative lawyer. Roopa has been recognised for her ‘excellent feel for the law relating to children and her great manner with clients,’ by one of the leading legal directories, Legal 500. In addition, she is the chair of the Cambridge and West Suffolk arm of Resolution, the leading national organisation for family lawyers, and is a committee member of the Cambridge Dispute Resolution group.

Roopa and Elisabeth will work closely with BDB Pitmans’ partner-led team in Cambridge, as well as colleagues in BDB Pitmans’ offices across London, Reading and Southampton.

Elisabeth Sneade has over 17 years’ experience in family law and, as such, she is instructed in a wealth of family and matrimonial matters, including divorce, financial remedies, co-habitation agreements and child maintenance. Having spent the majority of her career in Cambridge and the surrounding areas, Elisabeth has established strong connections and has been instructed by a wide range of clients in the region, including those from Cambridge University and the Biotech sector. She is also a member of Resolution’s Cambridge and West Suffolk regional group. Additionally, this year, Legal 500 acknowledged Elisabeth for being ‘particularly supportive emotionally and structurally’.

Roopa Ahluwalia, partner at BDB Pitmans, comments:

‘It is an exciting prospect to be joining BDB Pitmans which has made its mark in the Cambridge region. I look forward to contributing to the growth of its family and matrimonial department and to working closely with the impressive calibre of experts that BDB Pitmans has on its roster.’

The new appointments coincide with BDB Pitmans’ promotion of the following three legal directors to partners, two within the corporate team and one in the agriculture and rural property team, further increasing the depth of expertise in these areas:

  • Robert Chidley acts for a range of clients in relation to mid-market private M&A and private equity investments. He also provides corporate finance advice to a wide variety of borrowers and alternative lenders.
  • Tessa Trevelyan Thomas acts on a wide range of public and private M&A, joint ventures and private equity investments and disposals. She also has extensive experience in corporate governance, disclosure issues and the Takeover Code.

Paddy Lynam works closely with the wider private wealth department at the firm, which offers services from wealth structuring to international estate planning and comprises 8 partners and 45 fee earners in total. Paddy focuses on the sales and purchases of estates, farms and country houses and is instructed by individuals, trustees and institutional landowners on matters relating to the management of rural property holdings. He also has a particular expertise in bloodstock law. The promotion in the team comes shortly after Tristan Ward joined the firm as head of the agriculture and rural property team in April 2019.

Andrew Smith, managing partner of BDB Pitmans, states:

‘It is a pleasure to welcome James Ross, Roopa Ahluwalia and Elisabeth Sneade to BDB Pitmans. These appointments reflect the growing client demand we are experiencing across our offices post-merger.
I would also like to warmly congratulate Tessa, Robert and Paddy on joining the partnership – all richly deserved promotions. These promotions and new appointments reflect our commitment to growing talent and strengthening our foothold within the regions and sectors in which we operate.’


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