Virtual Coffee Date: Rowena Birch

By Ben Carey on 26 April, 2021

As part of our ‘Virtual Coffee’ series, the Business Exchange recently joined Rowena Birch, Head of Property Investment at Goughs Solicitors, for a chat and a brew to find out more about her and her work.

How long have you been a practising solicitor?

I qualified as a solicitor in 2006 and have been with Goughs since 2015.

What are your specialisms?

I am a commercial property solicitor with particular expertise in acting for investors to help them maximise the returns on their investments.

Who is your typical client?

I act for a diverse range of clients anywhere from a business owner looking to purchase or lease their business premises, through to the portfolio investor.

How do you support your clients with their investment needs?

The main focus is always getting to know my client and their business.  No two transactions are the same and so information is key to ensuring that the outcome is in line with a client’s aims and needs. 

How has lockdown affected your business?

In common with many businesses, the effect of the lockdown in March 2020 was noticeable.  There was a period of hiatus whilst everyone found ways to adjust to the limits placed on society. 

Undoubtably there were some deals which were dropped or postponed due to economic uncertainty, but humans are nothing if not adaptable and we saw a quick recovery in levels of activity and instructions.

Can you tell us about any of your recent projects?

I recently dealt with the transfer of a multi-million pound mixed portfolio of commercial and residential properties to the partners following dissolution of their partnership.  I also advised on the Stamp Duty Land Tax liability of a portfolio transaction and the interaction between multiple dwellings relief and the higher rate band.

What are you looking forward to as lockdown eases both personally and professionally?

Professionally, I am looking forward to the time when we can be back in the office full time.  Although everyone at Goughs has adapted brilliantly to working from home with no drop in service levels for clients, I really miss the team spirit that we have in the office.

Personally, I am looking forward to freely socialising with family and friends and reintroducing my children to the “old normal” when we could go and visit people in their houses and go on holiday!

What piece of work are you most proud of?

It sounds like a cliché but I take pride in every job I take on.  I always want to do a good job and provide an excellent service for my clients.

If you could share one piece of advice, what would it be?

To think and act positively as much as possible, try to say yes to opportunities and new experiences and not let fear of failure hold you back.

Pictured above: Rowena Birch, Head of Property Investment at Goughs Solicitors