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James joins Vail Williams as partner from Aitchison Rafferty, where he was a director in the commercial real estate team.

Specialising in business rates mitigation, the development and implementation of self-funding value propositions, and the alignment of property and finance strategies to deliver sustainable growth, James brings with him over 25 years’ experience of working within the commercial real estate sector, including HMRC and client side.

He joins a growing team of over 140 people based across Vail Williams’ eight offices in the Midlands and South of England, specialising in property advice for both commercial and residential property clients.

Speaking of his appointment, James said: “In the increasingly challenging environment of business rates, it’s important for property experts to take a modern and dynamic approach to the delivery of their services.

“Having witnessed Vail Williams’ growth in this area in recent years, I was delighted to be able to join the team and look forward to continuing to advise the business community in Birmingham and beyond, under such a respected and established brand.”

James’ appointment comes at a time of growth for Vail Williams which recently relocated to larger offices on Newhall Street in Birmingham, and comes hot on the heels of the firm’s acquisition of the general rating division of Ruddle Merz in 2017.

Chris Cave, head of Vail Williams’ Birmingham office said: “Continued developments in business rates means that we look for dynamic individuals who are able to embrace change and exceed our clients’ expectations. The appointment of James to our growing Birmingham office represents exactly that.

Simon Moffatt, head of business rates at Vail Williams added: “Due to the complicated and limited grounds businesses can now appeal their commercial rates, we have experienced a big rise in the number of companies approaching us for professional representation to ‘check and challenge’ their increased rate liability.

“As a result, James’ appointment is a timely one, as there is much to do. We are delighted to have him on board as we continue to grow our client base both regionally throughout the Midlands, as well as nationally.”

Vail Williams LLP is one of the largest independent providers of commercial and residential property advice in the UK, specialising in a wide variety of property advice.

Recognised as one of the Best Places to Work in Property by Property Week (2017), and holder of the Silver accreditation from Investors in People, we have over 30 partners and 140 staff based across our eight offices in the Midlands and south of England (Birmingham, Crawley, Guildford, Heathrow, London, Portsmouth, Reading, Southampton).