Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce

01/20/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/20/2020 10:07

Experienced commercial property lawyer is delighted to join leading law firm as a Partner

Andrew Harbourne - area needs to grasp technology advancement.

EXPERIENCED commercial property lawyer Andrew Harbourne has joined the region's largest law firm as he relocates to the area from London and the Home Counties.

For Andrew, a Partner at Wilkin Chapman Solicitors, the opportunity to work across the Humber and Lincolnshire region was one he could not resist.

'Wilkin Chapman was the right firm for me to join. This is an exciting new opportunity and I am extremely pleased,' added Andrew, who is a member of the Society of Construction Law and of the Charity Law Association.

Andrew was born in Leeds and lived his early life in Thirsk, where his father was a vet at the same time as the famed 'James Herriot'. He left North Yorkshire for his University and legal education in London.

He then enjoyed a long career with two prestigious city law firms and a major regional firm based in Kent and London.

Specialising in commercial property, he also gained significant expertise in the construction sector, working on multi-million-pound projects from university, charity and housing association schemes, to the construction of a large hotel on the fringes of the City of London, the refurbishment of a group of iconic buildings in London mid-town and the construction of a bridge over a major railway line. Other specialisms include charity law relating to property, and the schools and further and higher education property sector.

Experiencing the highs and lows of commercial activity in and around the capital for almost three decades, Andrew witnessed significant historical episodes including, in 1989, the impact of the famous 'Black Friday' financial crash.

'The recession within the property sector seemed much worse than the financial crash itself, with an extremely gradual process of rebuilding as confidence slowly returned. Those were very difficult years,' he recalled.

Fast-forward to the 2000s and the boom took hold with rapid growth. Andrew took the opportunity to learn from some of the UK's experts as he took charge of the legal side of major construction projects.

Andrew now hopes to bring his knowledge to bear on this region's future. He predicts an immediate future coloured by Brexit, which may include a post-exit boom, but will also present challenges in areas around workforce and environmental change. Meanwhile he highlighted a need for the sector to grasp technological advancement, including the use of robotics and the adoption of new construction management systems such as BIM (Building Information Modelling).

'This is the future and has to be the way ahead, but its success requires real expertise and significant resource at the outset, which is ultimately efficient in the longer-term and here lies the challenge. We see a sector on the cusp of tremendous change and one that must see the public and private sector work together to overcome the challenges and provide viable solutions and resulting opportunity,' added Andrew.