International law firm partner joins Cornish solicitors

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By mpad_mark | Monday, December 03, 2012, 16:20

A solicitor who worked on a £1.8bn real estate deal has joined the award-winning commercial property team of a South West law firm.

Helen Willett has relocated from London to Cornwall to join Coodes Solicitors from international law firm, SJ Berwin.

The move comes just weeks after Coodes beat national competition to be awarded the Excellence in Conveyancing Award at the Law Society's Excellence Awards 2012 in London.

Alistair Whyte, head of Coodes' property department, said: "We're very pleased to welcome Helen to the team.

"It's an exciting time for the commercial property team. We've got a strong and growing team in place and Helen's appointment will further add to this.

"We knew Helen was keen to relocate to Cornwall, but would only do so if her ambitions were matched, which we were able to do."

Based in Coodes' Penzance office Helen will also cover the firm's other six locations: St Austell, Truro, Liskeard, Launceston, Newquay and Holsworthy.

Helen, who joined SJ Berwin as a partner in 2003, worked on what was described as 'one of the most significant real estate deals of the decade' – the Crown Estate and Norges Bank Investment Management £1.8 billion Regent Street property partnership.

She also advised British Land on the property aspects of one of the largest UK securitisations, which involved 35 supermarkets.

Helen said: "I chose Coodes because it has a strong sense of its own identity and is committed to Cornwall, rather than trying to cover the whole of the Westcountry – and I liked the partners.

"Over the last 10 years I have acted for quoted property companies, institutional investors and occupiers, in each case, with responsibility for all aspects of their property dealings; handled the acquisition and disposal of large portfolios of properties and high value properties in central London;  lettings of corporate headquarters; property joint ventures and management agreements; property elements of corporate matters and the day-to-day management of an extensive property portfolio.

"I'm looking forward to building relationships with key partners including commercial property agents, accountants, developers and investors."

Another recent recruit to the commercial property team, Paula Dunkley, who joined in July this year, has also been promoted to become a partner.

"The move to Coodes has been really good for me, especially as the team continues to go from strength to strength. It has allowed me to carry out the work I wished to specialise in, which includes a broad spectrum of commercial property and business transfers."

For more information please call Paula Dunkley at the Truro office on 01872 246200, Helen Willett at the Penzance office on 01736 362294 or visit

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