International law firm CMS continues to strengthen and grow its Northern Real Estate and Construction offering with the appointment of partners Helen Johnson and Helen Balliger.

Specialising in construction and engineering projects, Helen Johnson has extensive expertise across the sector. She has particular experience drafting, reviewing and negotiating contracts on a broad range of complex residential, office, retail and leisure projects, and regularly advised on JV contracts, providing strategic advice for major multi-phase developments. Helen joins the Energy, Projects and Construction (EPC) team from Kennedys, and will be working alongside partners Fraser Askham, Chris Hallam and Nigel Lewis with a focus on the construction sector. Helen is an executive board member of the Sheffield Property Association.

Helen Balliger joins as a real estate partner. She was formerly with DWF, where she spent over four years advising a wide range of real estate UK and international clients on various investment and asset management matters. Helen specialises in high volume letting work and buying and selling large property portfolios, with a particular focus on the logistics and distribution industry.

Mark Haywood, CMS Real Estate partner and head of the North, said: “We’re delighted to welcome both Helens to their respective teams. They bring significant local experience and dynamism which will be key to the growth and success of our practice across the North. Both will support and strengthen our client offering as clients capitalise on the opportunities both here in the North and further afield.”

Helen Johnson said: “I’m looking forward to working in construction as part of the EPC team at CMS at such an exciting time in its development, helping to grow the business and deliver exceptional and expanded services to clients.”

Helen Balliger added: “I’m delighted to be joining the market leading Real Estate team at CMS. The firm offers a fantastic UK and international platform which will allow me to better serve clients as they look to expand their investments locally and across Europe.”

These lateral hires are part of an aggressive growth strategy for CMS in the region, where revenues have more than doubled in the last four years.

The hires follow a series of new appointments and promotions strengthening the company’s One North offering, across a range of disciplines.

In recent months, partner David Hardy joined the Sheffield Planning practice in September 2022 and Dave Lawson and Martin Garner were promoted to partner in May, in Real Estate and Real Estate Disputes respectively.

In addition, numerous other hires at Of Counsel and senior associate levels have increased the firm’s strength in areas like Real Estate, Construction Planning, Banking & Finance, Intellectual Property and Commercial Litigation.