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Eric Livingston and Natalia Sokolov

Thrings solicitors handed senior roles by leading property organisations

Solicitors at leading commercial law firm Thrings have received recognition for their expertise and knowledge of the commercial property and construction sectors from two of the UK’s most prominent industry organisations.

Partner Eric Livingston has become vice chairman of the Great Western branch of the Forum for the Built Environment (fbe), while fellow construction law specialist Natalia Sokolov has been elected as vice chairman of the Association of Women in Property (WiP) in the South West.

In his new role, Eric will support branch chairman Peter Harris in delivering a programme of events for the fbe’s 150 regional members who are drawn from all built environment-related professions in the South West. This includes multi-national construction companies, cost consultants, architects and designers, property developers, engineers, planners and legal and financial specialists.

Eric, who has been an fbe committee member since 2008, is acknowledged as a leader in the field of construction law. Chambers UK, the leading independent legal directory, describes him as ‘a highly experienced and well-respected figure in the region’.

Eric said: “Since its inception in 1946, the fbe has continued to provide its members with the opportunity to discuss local issues and local projects, and assess the economic and political landscape of the area in which they work with fellow building environment professionals.

“This year’s programme will include the long-established formal dinners, attended by approximately 400 industry professionals, regular lunch and evening networking sessions and even a sponsored cycle ride from Tewkesbury to Land’s End. The chairman has said he views our year in office as a partnership, an ethos for the fbe, which I wholeheartedly support.”

Meanwhile Natalia, who specialises in construction procurement projects and engineering disputes, becomes the new vice chairman of WiP in the South West.

WiP is the national organisation that seeks to enhance the profile of women in the property and construction industry sectors. It represents all disciplines within the property and construction industry, providing a forum for business opportunities, the exchanging of views, networking and personal development.

Natalia said: “The Association of Women in Property attracts members from a wide industry base, from architects and engineers to planners and surveyors, and women at all levels, including graduates, senior partners and directors.

“But women currently account for just 15 per cent of the property and construction industry workforce in the UK . As an organisation, we are focused on redressing this balance by highlighting the numerous benefits and opportunities that a career in property can offer.”

Natalia becomes the second member of Thrings’ commercial property team at WiP in the South West, following fellow solicitor Naomi Butler’s election to the position of joint committee secretary and joint student awards coordinator earlier this year.

Warren Reid, head of commercial property at Thrings, added: “Eric and Natalia are highly experienced solicitors, who possess a deep knowledge and understanding of the construction and commercial property sectors. The firm would like to congratulate both of them on being appointed to key positions at two such established and respected organisations.

“Many of our lawyers are members of independent professional bodies, and by continuing to work closely with their peers, they gain a deeper understanding of that industry and the issues and challenges it faces.

“This additional knowledge ensures Eric and Natalia are ideally placed to deliver specialist, proactive legal advice to clients operating in increasingly active South West commercial property and construction markets.”