Two experts in planning and related areas of law, Carolyn Lord and Kate Butterfield, who have 60 years’ experience between them, have joined Clarion’s real estate practice as it continues to develop the breadth and depth of its services.
Now one of the largest real estate teams in Yorkshire, Carolyn joins as its seventh partner while Kate becomes the seventh legal director in the dedicated real estate practice. After qualifying in 1992 at a leading law firm, Carolyn’s and Kate’s expertise was honed at the nationally renowned commercial planning law firm Wilbraham & Co, which Carolyn was instrumental in setting up in 1994 and where both were partners.
Carolyn was subsequently employed in-house for development and construction group, GMI, before setting up well-known specialist planning and highway law practice LB & Co in 2012. Kate went on to be a partner at two other regional firms before joining Carolyn at LB & Co in 2015.
The pair have become renowned in the region and across the UK for their strategic and pragmatic advice on legal planning and related areas of law, handling the full range of planning work from planning applications and appeals, highway and rights of way law, to compulsory purchase orders and enforcement.
Carolyn and Kate have worked on large, high-profile projects nationwide across diverse sectors including commercial and strategic residential sites, town centre regeneration, energy, waste and other infrastructure, minerals-derived work and major highways schemes as well as leisure, education and retail.
Partner Martin Grange, who heads up Clarion’s 45-strong real estate practice, said: “As two of the most respected legal planning experts in the north, the addition of Carolyn and Kate to the Clarion team not only boosts our real estate offering, but their skills will also strengthen many of our areas of expertise such as energy, regulatory, logistics, education and the public sector.
“They have an extremely impressive track record – over the last 30 years, Carolyn and Kate have supported many of the best-known schemes in Leeds, including the regeneration of Holbeck and the South Bank, the White Rose Centre and Thorpe Park Leeds, plus projects across Yorkshire and the country, such as work for rail freight operator DB Cargo (UK), major logistics and residential sites and a range of minerals operations. They are a great fit with us, sharing the Clarion ethos and we are genuinely excited to welcome them to the team.”
Carolyn says: “We know many of the Clarion lawyers well, having trained with some of them – they’re our friends, and joining Clarion feels like ‘coming home’. Not only has Clarion established a strong reputation both regionally and nationally, Kate and I were also attracted by the firm’s commitment to investing in and developing its planning services which it sees as a crucial part of its offering.
“By joining Clarion, we will have the advantage of continuing to advise on planning as we have always done, but within the context of being part of a larger law firm which supports our ambitions to recruit and grow the practice.”
Carolyn is active in the wider Yorkshire business community: she is on the board of trustees of Yorkshire Sculpture Park; a board member of Luminate Education Group; chair of the board of directors of Leeds Conservatoire; and a co-founder of Yorkshire Textiles/Leeds Fashion Works.