Vail Williams continues growth trail with south coast merger

March 1, 2021

Property consultancy Vail Williams LLP has expanded its operations on the south coast through their merger with Cowling & West.

Property consultancy Vail Williams LLP has expanded its operations on the south coast through their merger with Cowling & West.

Based in Bournemouth, Cowling & West is a three-partner team of chartered surveyors specialising in property valuation, office and industrial acquisition and disposal, predominantly throughout Dorset.

The firm, which was established 35 years ago, commands a well-respected reputation and client base in the Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole (BCP) area, where its clients include Ilchester Estates, McCarthy & Stone, Hoburne, Aster Group and Glenbeigh Developments.

Matthew Samuel-Camps, Managing Partner at Vail Williams, commented: “The merger with Cowling & West provides a natural opportunity to extend our geographical reach to the west of our south coast region, which will enhance our ability to service both existing and new clients there.”

Vail Williams already acts for clients in the BCP area from its existing offices in Portsmouth and Southampton, marketing several buildings and developments, including Grange Road Business Park in Christchurch on behalf of BAE Systems, Waverley House in Bournemouth, and County Gates House in Poole.

The firm’s expansion into Bournemouth comes just one year on from the firm’s acquisition of UK-wide corporate property advisory firm Trilogie CRE, and three years on from its merger with Hughes Ellard, which created the largest office agency team in the Solent, topping the office agents’ league table for the M27 corridor for the following two years running.

This latest deal will see the addition of three experienced partners to this award-winning team, including founding partners David Cowling and Simon West, partner Simon Tubbs and three support staff.

David, who has lived in Bournemouth for most of his working life, is an experienced development, investment and corporate property adviser. Meanwhile, Simon West, a past president and current council member of the Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is a corporate property adviser focusing on general agency, development and investment work. Simon Tubbs provides property valuation expertise, together with advice on landlord and tenant issues, and regularly acts as an expert witness in property disputes.

Speaking of the merger, David Cowling, said: “After spending 35 years developing Cowling & West, we are excited to be embarking on the next stage of our careers with Vail Williams – a firm which represents the right fit both for us and our clients.

“We are pleased to be able to offer our clients the additional benefits that operating as part of Vail Williams will bring, including a much wider range of property services that we will be able to draw on, from business rates advice and building consultancy, to planning expertise.”

Matthew continued: “We have known David and both Simons for many years and knew the firm would be a good cultural fit with Vail Williams. Our joint expertise will benefit clients across the region, and beyond, whilst allowing us to bring on board a team which fits both our high client service standards, and our core values – something which is incredibly important for us to retain as we continue to grow.”

The newly merged firm will continue to be based at Cowling & West’s current offices in the short term, but has its eyes set on rapid expansion over the next three years.

“We believe that the quality and breadth of our service offering and the way that we work, will prove an attractive proposition in the BCP market. We are already actively looking to grow our team there, and aspire to significantly increase our market share in the area over the next three years,” concluded Matthew.

The office will be led by Vail Williams partner, Russell Miller, meanwhile Gary Jeffries will continue in his role as Regional Managing Partner of the firm’s newly expanded south coast region.

The deal completed on 1 March 2021, bringing total staff figures at Vail Williams to 154, based across its nine offices in Bournemouth, Birmingham, Crawley, Woking, Heathrow, London, Portsmouth, Reading and Southampton.