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Penningtons Manches Cooper announces 2024 partner promotions

Posted: 28/03/2024

Top-50 law firm Penningtons Manches Cooper has announced its partner promotions for 2024, with four individuals joining the partnership from 1 April.

The newly appointed partners are:

Laura Gorman – Commercial Real Estate, Oxford

James Hallas – Projects, Development and Construction, London

Laura Hughes – Family, Guildford

Meghan Vozila – Immigration, London

Having joined the firm’s Oxford office in 2016, commercial property specialist Laura Gorman has built a strong practice, advising a range of landowners, developers of commercial and residential schemes, and commercial tenants across the region. Laura has significant experience in the life sciences sector, particularly with start-up and spin-out companies taking on leasehold premises, and in the education sector, including advising a number of Oxford colleges on their extensive property portfolios. She also works with several charities and retailers. Her expertise spans the spectrum of commercial property work, including sales and purchase, development, financing, disposals and compliance with regulatory regimes. Laura is a committee member of the Thames Valley branch of Women in Property association.

James Hallas joined the firm as a trainee in 2012 and qualified into the construction and infrastructure practice in 2014. James is now a key member of the projects, development and construction team, and co-chair of the firm’s specialist ESG/Sustainability Sector Group.

Based in London, his non-contentious practice covers a wide range of construction and development matters, with significant sector expertise in renewable energy, sustainability, housing and accommodation, and the care sector. James is also experienced in negotiating complex engineering contracts linked to infrastructure and energy generation.

Laura Hughes is based in our Guildford office and joined the firm in 2016 to help drive the growth of the then recently established family law team in Surrey. Laura advises on all aspects of relationship breakdown, including divorce, financial settlements, matters concerning children, cohabitee disputes, and pre-nuptial agreements. Her in-depth experience on complex and sensitive matters – which ranges from cases with disputed welfare allegations around children, clients with significant worldwide assets, contested child relocations, and cases involving domestic abuse allegations – means that Laura plays an integral role in the team’s ongoing success. She is an active member of Resolution, which promotes constructive resolution of family disputes, and is Co-Chair of the Association of Women Solicitors, Surrey.

Immigration specialist Meghan Vozila advises on all aspects of corporate and private client UK in-bound immigration and nationality law. Meghan’s diverse client base spans multinational corporations, fast-growing start-ups and high-net-worth individuals, as well as high-profile celebrities. She has significant experience in the technology, media and creative sectors. Meghan joined the firm in 2020 and is based in the London office, often working closely with the corporate, commercial and employment practices for domestic and international clients. She is an active member of the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association, providing training to other practitioners. Meghan also previously served on its Executive Committee, and later as a trustee, for a seven-year period.

Alongside the partner promotions, the firm has promoted 18 associates to senior associate roles.

Penningtons Manches Cooper’s CEO, Helen Drayton, commented:

“Many congratulations to our newly appointed partners. They have achieved so much in their careers so far, and have all made really impressive contributions to their teams and the wider firm, thanks to their talent, hard work, and great client service. Identifying and supporting our lawyers who display the desire and potential to join the partnership is an integral part of our people strategy and Laura, James, Laura and Meghan are great examples of our strategy in action. I’m sure we’ll continue to see great things from them in the future. Well done to them, and to all our other colleagues being promoted next week. ”

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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 419867.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP