Blake Morgan has announced the appointment of James Bessey as a partner in its construction practice.

The appointment comes at a time of continued expansion for the firm’s construction team, which grew as a result of the firm’s creation by the merger of Blake Lapthorn and Morgan Cole in 2014, and through a subsequent merger with London-based Piper Smith Watton earlier this year.

Formerly head of construction and infrastructure at DWF in Birmingham, James (pictured left) has wide-ranging expertise in dispute resolution and non-contentious work for major clients in retail and leisure, social housing, the public sector and the mechanical and electrical industries.

He has worked on national and international projects including the National Space Centre and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, and is a regular legal panel writer for the leading industry journal, Building magazine.

James will be based mainly in Oxford and London but will work with Blake Morgan’s construction law specialists across the firm’s offices.

He said: ‘Blake Morgan has a national reputation in construction law and clearly plans to build on that position by pushing forward into new areas and expanding its footprint in specialisms such as retail and leisure and public sector infrastructure projects.

‘I am excited to be part of an ambitious, forward-looking team as it moves into the next phase of strengthening and expanding its offering to clients.’

Richard Wade (pictured right), who leads the construction group at Blake Morgan, said: ‘James is a highly-respected specialist in large-scale construction project work and brings with him a reputation for straightforward advice, a deep understanding of the sector and a huge amount of experience and expertise.’