South coast: Lester Aldridge boasts trio of success

Law firm Lester Aldridge has bolstered its south coast presence with the appointment of two new associates: Erika Willmott and Charlotte Mitchell.

Willmott joins the firm’s real estate team, based at the Southampton office. She is experienced in non-contentious commercial property work and has managed various types of property for institutional investors including office parks, out-of-town and high street retail, industrial estates, single and multi-let buildings and warehousing. She also deals with acquisitions, disposals, development and secured lending.

Mitchell joins the dispute resolution team based at the firm’s Bournemouth office. She specialises in commercial litigation, acting for both individual and commercial clients. She has experience of advising across a broad range of industry sectors to include telecommunications, retail, manufacturing, sport and leisure, property and finance. She is also a non-practising barrister.

Michael Giddins, managing partner, commented: “I am pleased to welcome Erika and Charlotte to our growing real estate and dispute resolution teams. The volume of high-quality new business we are winning in both of these practice areas means we have had to expand the teams to ensure that our clients continue to receive the highest possible service.”

In another triumph for the company, associate Kimberley Davies has qualified as a family mediator.

An experienced family lawyer, Davies received her qualification after completing a course run by Resolution, a national organisation that promotes a non-confrontational approach to family issues arising on a relationship breakdown. She joins Jane Porter, head of the firm’s family team, who has been a trained mediator for over 15 years. They are both members of the mediation group Phoenix Mediation.

On March 28, the Government published a list of the 10 busiest divorce courts in England and Wales and urged couples to use mediation rather than resorting to using the courts. Changes to public funding for family matters are likely to lead to mediation being used by more people, as it offers a cost-effective approach to resolving disputes.

Porter commented: “We often advise mediation as the first approach for family members involved in disputes such as divorce, as it is far less costly and stressful for all involved. Through strengthening this offering in our team, more clients are able to benefit from this effective approach.”