A Southampton law firm has appointed a Legal 500-ranked partner after more than a decade at a national law firm.

Jake Holmes has joined Shakespeare Martineau from Blake Morgan.

Mr Holmes specialises in acquisition, real estate, and development finance, particularly within the mid-market and large corporate space.

He regularly advises banks, corporate and individual investors, and other institutional lenders and borrowers across a variety of sectors, including leisure, healthcare and education.

Mr Holmes, who will be based in Southampton but servicing a national client base, said: “I am delighted to have joined Shakespeare Martineau and be based in our newly-established Southampton hub.

“I am looking forward to working with the banking and finance team to develop and foster existing and new relationships with clients across a variety of sectors, while also rolling up my sleeves and getting to work raising the firm’s profile across the Central South.

“Having worked in the Solent region for the majority of my career, I know what fantastic businesses there are in this area and what a terrific opportunity there is to work alongside these businesses as their strategic legal advisors as they grow and unlock their potential.

“I have worked opposite Shakespeare Martineau on a number of transactions over the years, and always been impressed with the pragmatic, solutions-orientated approach they have taken; no posturing or grandstanding in front of clients – just people getting on with the task at hand to deliver deals in a commercial manner.

“Coupled with the opportunity to be a part of building a new practice in Southampton, helping Shakespeare Martineau extend its national reach further South and becoming part of something truly exciting and bold, it was just too much of an adventure to pass up.”

In April, Shakespeare Martineau secured office space at the University of Southampton Science Park and kick-started its expansion into the Central South market with the appointment of leading corporate partner James Hawkeswood, who is heading up the firm’s local hub, commercial litigator Paula Swain, and debt and asset recovery team supervisor Ray Welsby.

Mr Hawkeswood said: “We are thrilled to welcome Jake to our expanding team as we increase our investment in the Southampton and broader Central South market.

“Jake brings a wealth of regional expertise and a robust network of connections, making him a valuable addition to our firm as we strive to provide unparalleled service and foster growth in the region.”