Leading UK law firm Shoosmiths has announced new co-heads for its Thames Valley (Reading) location effective 1 May 2021 when employment partner Jonathan Naylor steps down from the role, having completed a four-year term.
Jonathan has overseen the success of the office in the local market and led the response to the challenges of the pandemic and now takes responsibility for driving further growth in the employment team, already recognised as a leading practice.
Melissa Maple, partner and head of the firm’s high net worth team and Nina Smith, partner in Shoosmiths’ corporate team, who already work closely together, will now take on the leadership role jointly.
Picture: Nina Smith (L) and Melissa Maple (R)
Melissa advises UK and international clients on the long-term protection and devolution of their assets using sophisticated structures to mitigate tax and safeguard wealth for successive generations. She has also developed a desirable niche advising business entrepreneurs, directors, property owners and developers in their own right and as part of corporate transactions.
Nina has established long standing connections across the Thames Valley, having studied at the University of Reading, trained with a local solicitors’ firm and having been seconded to HSBC Thames Valley Corporate Banking Centre before joining Shoosmiths in 2011.
Nina advises a wide variety of corporate clients, including professional equity investors (both PE and VCs), PLCs, large private companies, management teams and owner managers on acquisitions and disposals, management buy-outs and buy-ins and company reorganisations. She sits on the committee of Reading Professionals for Barnardo’s and enrolled Shoosmiths as one of the founding partners of Ethical Reading.
Melissa commented: “I am delighted to be working with Nina in heading up Shoosmiths Thames Valley office – the second all-female team to be appointed to this role in the firm – in what promises to be a very exciting period of growth and development for the firm. I look forward to working with her in building upon the excellent work done by Jonathan to further enhance the service we offer to our clients.”
Nina said: “It is a genuine pleasure to be able to steer how the firm both develops the amazing cohort of individuals within Shoosmiths alongside giving something back to the local community. I hope we can extend and deepen the links we have established with businesses and the many deserving good causes and community groups in the Thames Valley.”