Ashfords LLP has announced two significant lateral hires in its London real estate team.

Jon Bola and Paul Barnes have joined the firm as partners from Allen & Overy and Gordon Dadds respectively. These appointments coincide with the opening of Ashfords’ new London office at 1 New Fetter Lane, EC4A 1AN, in the legal and financial centre of London.  

Jon Bola is a property investment specialist with over 24 years of commercial real estate experience across all asset classes. Prior to Allen & Overy, Jon spent 15 years at Dechert Jon and advises on all aspects of commercial property development, leasing, financing and investment.

The real estate team has also been strengthened by the appointment of Paul Barnes. He joins as a partner from Gordon Dadds, having previously been with Charles Russell, and will lead Ashfords’ residential property team in London.

He serves as a council member of the Law Society for England and Wales, for the City of London, and on the City of London Law Society Main Committee. Paul has more than 15 years of experience in advising on a wide range of transactions in the Central London property market.

Jon and Paul join a firm-wide real estate team of 24 partners and 32 lawyers. Ashfords’ London office has three core areas of practice;  commercial and real estate, international and private client. The move to the City is a key milestone in Ashfords’ strategy, allowing the firm to strengthen its focus on commercial and real estate practice.

These appointments, building on other strategic recruitment over the past 18 months, and the move to the new office, demonstrate Ashfords’ commitment to the London market and the strength of the firm’s practice in the Capital.

Mark Lomas, Chairman of Ashfords said: ‘We are thrilled that Jon and Paul have joined the firm as partners. The appointments of both Jon and Paul to the London office further cements the strength of our London team and we are delighted to welcome these two talented lawyers. The move to 1 New Fetter Lane is a clear commitment by the firm to further invest in and build a strong London presence.

‘We have a fantastic team in London, who are renowned for their work in the three core areas. The new office, which is state of the art and provides a great working environment, will bring our lawyers closer to their clients and allow our London practice to flourish.’