A Shropshire solicitors firm has secured the appointment of one of the UK’s leading experts in planning, environmental and government law.
Robin Hooper, the former chief executive of two Shropshire councils, has joined the partnership team of face2face solicitors Shrewsbury.
Mr Hooper, who served for eight years as chief executive of the former Shrewsbury & Atcham and North Shropshire district councils, brings to face2face over 30 years of experience operating at a very senior level in both the public and private sectors.
He has worked for various councils all over the UK, as chief legal advisor or chief executive, and been appointed to senior positions in the private sector, including director of planning at a top 50 law firm, advising clients across a wide range of legal issues.
John Burrowes, managing director of face2face solicitors Shrewsbury, based at Battlefield Enterprise Park, said: “It is rare to find people of Mr Hooper’s calibre and experience in private practise anywhere in the UK.
“He is nationally recognised as a leading expert in his field and brings to face2face a wide range of prominent new skills including planning law, local government law and corporate development. I am delighted to welcome him as a director of the firm.”
Mr Hooper said he was attracted by the ethos of face2face solicitors.
“I was impressed by its real commitment to making legal advice easily accessible to all types of clients. Giving clear advice, being readily available for clients and doing that with a value for money service is what John and I believe in.”
In private consultancy Mr Hooper has worked with national and local companies, including major house-builders and corporations such as RBS and BT, as well as for individuals, public bodies and other organisations on a variety of legal matters. On planning issues he has dealt with major infrastructure schemes.
Particular successes include advising leading national home-builder Crest Nicholson on a major highway and planning agreement, resulting in a £2 million saving to the company. He also gave advice to Taylor Wimpey in connection with an existing option agreement and proposed section 106 agreement that saved millions of pounds in possible liabilities.
For BT he successfully appealed an enforcement notice enabling its operations to run smoothly in the South East.
In addition, Mr Hooper has worked with several councils and other organisations on business improvement and transformation projects delivering financial savings and governance compliance. He also advises on corporate and individual financial recovery situations.
He has acted as interim monitoring officer for Doncaster Council and is currently acting as interim chief executive at Eden District Council, Penrith, Cumbria.
Mr Hooper is a fellow of the Institute of Secretaries and Administrators. He has a masters degree in European and employment law and a doctorate in business administration. He has also been published in several public sector professional journals and newspapers.
Face2face solicitors Shrewsbury was launched only last September by Mr Burrowes, a widely respected Shropshire solicitor, and recently invested in the purchase of new premises in Yeomanry Road on Battlefield Enterprise Park.
The firm is the first of a growing network of solicitors setting up businesses under the face2face solicitors’ brand – the first ever regulated national franchise for law firms.