Shoosmiths breaks mould with Birmingham office head appointments

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Law firm Shoosmiths has scored a double first after appointing two women as joint heads of its Birmingham office.

National head of litigation services Alex Bishop and real estate partner Beth McArdle will now take on the leadership role jointly, marking both the first time its Birmingham office has had two heads and also a woman in the top role.

They replace Jason Jackson who spent ten years in the post and who will now focus on leading the growth of Shoosmiths’ Midlands real estate teams in Birmingham and Nottingham.

Ms Bishop has performed numerous roles in the city, most notably as chairwoman of business networking groups BPS Birmingham and Birmingham Future and was crowned Inspiring Leader at the 2019 Birmingham Young Professional of the Year Awards.

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She said: “We are both very excited to be taking on stewardship of Shoosmiths’ Birmingham office at such a significant point in time – we live in a whole new world now.

“Shoosmiths is reshaping how legal services are delivered to clients and we will be changing working life for lawyers for generations to come.

“We can’t wait to attract the next wave of superstars as a result.

“Shoosmiths has always had a reputation for innovation and doing things differently but we believe the current crisis creates the opportunity for us to take the next quantum leap.”

Ms McArdle has held a number of internal roles at the practice including heading up the charity and social committees during which she oversaw the firm raising more than £120,000.

She said: “I am privileged to be able to take on this role.

“Our office boasts some amazing lawyers and some truly remarkable people.

“My mission is to ensure that every single one of them has what they need to feel as excited, proud and passionate about this firm and this location as I do.”

During Mr Jackson’s tenure, the firm has more than doubled its headcount to become one of the largest in Birmingham.

He also led the firm’s move to its current home in 2 Colmore Square in 2013, taking Birmingham’s largest single floor plate that year.

Mr Jackson said: “Since then we have fulfilled our ambition to attract incredibly talented individuals to come and work with us at Shoosmiths and the firm has been solidly established as one of the largest, go-to firms in the city.

“We are committed to the development and diversity of our people and it has been a pleasure to see this in action, particularly seeing trainees rising to partner in my time in this role.

“I’m proud to hand over the role of head of office at exactly the right time, having achieved what I set out to do and Alex and Beth are the perfect duo to continue to build upon this success.”

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