Womble Bond Dickinson advises South Glos Council on land deals to secure hundreds of jobs

May 14, 2021

The Bristol office of transatlantic law firm Womble Bond Dickinson has worked with South Gloucestershire Council on two land acquisitions that have helped secure nearly 400 jobs in Yate.

The council – a long-standing client of the firm – bought the sites occupied by the town’s Whirlpool tumble dryer factory, pictured, and catering business Yate Disposables for a combined £14.5m. 

The deals preserve around 270 jobs at Whirlpool and another 100 at the family-owned catering supplier, with the council leasing back the properties to the occupiers so they can continue trading.

Womble Bond Dickinson’s (WBD) Bristol base – the second largest of the firm’s seven UK offices – also includes Bristol City Council and North Somerset District Council among its public sector clients.

The WBD team advising South Gloucestershire on the property deal was led by Bristol-based partner Katherine Douglas, who provided commercial and real estate expertise.

Katherine, pictured, said: “Helping our clients to support the South West community and economy is an important strategic goal for WBD.

“We’re thrilled to have advised South Gloucestershire Council on the acquisition of these strategic sites, supporting local businesses so they can continue to thrive and saving many jobs. 

“Our strong real estate and commercial expertise coupled with our understanding of the client and the local market meant we were able to secure the best possible outcome for the council.”

South Gloucestershire Council cabinet member for corporate resources Cllr Ben Burton added: “Promoting sustainable inclusive communities, infrastructure and growth is a priority for the council and we want to ensure that Yate continues to provide a range of employment for residents to live and work locally.

“Our long-term aspiration is to be an enabler of regeneration and through these acquisitions we are committed to investing in and supporting our communities.

“We’re very grateful to the WBD team for their expert legal advice, being able to rely on a local team of South West lawyers with the right regional know-how has been key for us.”

WBD, which also has 19 offices across the US, advises clients across 11 sectors of expertise and also works closely with UK local and central government bodies, as well as other organisations in the wider public and third sector.

Private sector and third sector clients supported by its Bristol office include Bristol Charities, OVO Energy, Bristol Airport and international specialist materials group Spandex, which has its UK headquarters at Aztec West.

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