International law firm Mayer Brown is pleased to announce that Gary Watson will join the firm's Real Estate Group from Ashurst on 1 November 2007.

Gary has practised in all aspects of real estate in the UK and internationally for nearly 30 years and has been recognised by numerous independent commentators as one of the UK's leading real estate lawyers. He has particular expertise in complex development projects, institutional investment, property finance and substantial occupational requirements.

He has acted for major UK and foreign institutions, funds, corporations, professional practices and individual entrepreneurs in relation to projects in the UK, Europe and the Caribbean. Most recently he has been advising the developers of the landmark Shard of Glass and the adjoining 25 London Bridge Street on their exciting London Bridge Quarter scheme. Gary has also played a leading role in the development of Ashurst's European real estate capability and now advises several pan-European investors.

Jeremy Clay, Head of Mayer Brown's Real Estate Group in London, commented: "The addition of Gary to our team will significantly strengthen our Real Estate Practice both in London and globally. Gary will lead the property company and development team in London and will also be involved in managing the Global Real Estate Group; particularly in Europe. Our objective is to significantly expand the group and its international capabilities over the next few years and we believe that Gary will make a significant contribution to achieving this."

Gary Watson commented: "The entrepreneurial and highly regarded real estate team at Mayer Brown has had an incredible year. I am delighted to be joining the team at this exciting stage in its development. As leading investors and businesses seek to build on recent successes, I think they will continue to diversify aggressively and further afield. Mayer Brown is very well placed to offer them a truly global service."

Sean Connolly, London Senior Partner, commented: "Through Gary's appointment we add another excellent lawyer with a wealth of experience to our capabilities in London. As we embark on a new, even more ambitious era at Mayer Brown, Gary brings a tremendous range of skills to the practice and is one of a number of senior appointments we will be making in the near future."

Paul Maher, Global Vice-Chairman, continued: "As we continue to invest in the development of our London office, Gary will add significant depth and breadth to our growing Real Estate Practice both in the UK and internationally. I have no doubt that he will make a significant contribution and that we will benefit enormously from his international expertise and extensive knowledge of the industry. I am delighted that he has chosen to join us."