Addleshaws exits to EY continue as Manchester real estate partner moves over

Accountancy giant EY has hired another partner from Addleshaw Goddard to boost its Manchester legal team.

Addleshaws real estate partner Colette Withey has followed in the footsteps of a number of her former colleagues to join the big four firm’s legal operation.

Although she is a real estate lawyer by background, she has joined EY as a director in its commercial legal practice.

EY’s UK head of law Philip Goodstone explained that Withey “was looking for a change of direction in career terms and looking for a commercial rather than real estate role”.

“Given her experience of managing teams, acting for major clients and running large transactions, I have no doubt that Colette will be a great addition to the team,” he added.

In 2014, Goodstone left Addleshaws, where he was head of corporate, to establish EY’s UK legal business. He was later joined by former Addleshaws managing partner Paul Devitt and corporate partner Richard Thomas, who began working at EY’s Manchester office in May 2016 after a year of gardening leave.

When EY hired Devitt and Thomas, the firm said that it planned to “build a team around them”.

In June 2016, EY hired Addleshaws competition head Phil McDonnell. Other significant hires for EY include legacy Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co’s technology co-head Richard Goold, who joined the firm in February 2016.

EY has also established a financial services-focused legal team led by former Berwin Leighton Paisner partner Matthew Kellett.

Speaking to Legal Week in May, EY’s UK legal co-heads said its team had grown to 85 people altogether, including lawyers, trainees, paralegals and support staff, two years on from launching in the UK.

Recent hires for Addleshaws include real estate finance partner Habib Ullah, who joined the firm from Taylor Wessing, and Allen & Overy counsel Beth Collett, who joined the firm as a partner in its housing finance practice.

Late last year, the firm bolstered its real estate practice with the hire of former King & Wood Mallesons managing partner William Boss, alongside three other real estate partners.