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Bell Pottinger North - Client News
Tuesday, March 28, 2006

28 March 2006


Louise Garcia, a construction partner at leading commercial law firm Beachcroft Wansbroughs, has been appointed Chairman of the South West branch of the Association of Women In Property. A dynamic forum for the professional development of women in the property and construction sector, Women In Property (WIP) is a unique organisation with a multi-disciplined membership drawn from across the sector.

In her new role as Chairman, and with the assistance of her 21-strong committee, Louise aims to grow and diversify the WIP membership throughout the South West. "Last year, WIP held over 80 events nationwide, ranging from seminars addressing issues affecting the sector to training and personal development, as well as our ever popular networking lunches," says Louise.

"In the South West, these events attracted existing members as well as a large number of non members, many of whom have now joined the Association. In fact, membership is now at an all time high, with over 200 members across the South West and Wales region.

"The events continue to raise our standing in the region, with high profile speakers, joint events with the Faculty of Building and with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), as well as with guests (male and female) drawn from the major players in the sector.

"I want to build on this success in 2006 to continue to grow and diversify our membership, from architects and engineers to surveyors, contractors and solicitors, and all the other professions that make up this diverse and exciting sector. We have a very strong presence in Bristol, but I'm also looking to expand our geographical spread - I'd like to hold more events in more places, and grow our satellites in South Wales and in Devon and Cornwall into fully fledged Branches, reaching new members in the more remote areas of the region.

"Long term, this growth relies on a greater retention of women in the property and construction industry. As the UK's largest single industry and a traditionally male-dominated sector, it can be very demanding, particularly for women with families. I want to see more women coming into and staying in the industry, which has adapted hugely over recent years in response to changing demographics up and down the country. WIP is an excellent forum for encouraging women to stay on and realise their full potential in the industry, while providing a much-needed source of networking, support, friendship and advice."

The Committee is involved in mentoring schemes at schools, colleges and universities, and sponsors local property and construction students with awards of achievement at the end of their courses. This year will again see the South West committee hold a number of events, including the 'seminar series' which will focus on planning - a hot topic for the region, not least because of the anticipated Planning Gain Supplement.

A WIP member since 2000, Louise specialises in construction dispute resolution at Beachcroft Wansbroughs in Bristol. She has significant experience acting for contractors, subcontractors, employers and consultants advising on design and construction issues, disputes over payment and performance, nationally and internationally.


If you require further information, please contact:
Debbie Garritty / Emily Goehler Bell Pottinger North
Tel: 01625 506444
Email: dgarritty@bellpottingernorth.co.uk / egoehler@bellpottingernorth.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

Editors' Notes
Women in Property is a national organisation, with over 1,250 members and 10 regional branches. It represents all disciplines within the property and construction industry and provides a forum for business opportunities, the exchanging of views, networking and personal development. For further information, please visit www.wipnet.org

Beachcroft Wansbroughs is one of the largest national commercial law firms in the UK. With over 1,300 employees, it provides legal advice and litigation services from seven locations in the UK (London, Birmingham, Bristol, Brussels, Leeds, Manchester, Winchester) and also in Brussels. From routine insurance claims management to 'trusted adviser' work for major national and international organisations, the firms delivers integrated legal services to clients in four main industry groups: health and public sector; real estate and construction; financial services (including the insurance industry); and technology, media and telecommunications.

Chambers UK 2005 recognised 56 Beachcroft Wansbroughs partners as leading lawyers, taking the firm into the top 20 of all UK law firms; the firm received 20 new entries in Legal 500 2005, a guide to the top 500 lawyers in the UK; in Legal Week's client satisfaction survey, the firm came second amongst all law firms in the UK; and Beachcroft Wansbroughs is one of the largest law firms in the country to obtain the 'Investors in People' award across all of its offices.

On 1 May 2006, Beachcroft Wansbroughs will become Beachcroft LLP, a move towards greater transparency and commercialisation of the firm. For further information, please visit: www.bwlaw.co.uk


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