Stonegate Group has appointed James Richards as director of legal operations, to focus on legal and estate transactions.

He will also take on the role of compliance officer under the Pubs Code across Stonegate’s Pub Partners business.

Richards has worked in the industry for around 16 years, with Spirit Group and more latterly with Punch Pubs & Co, in the role of head of legal & compliance and code compliance officer.

A legally qualified RICS chartered surveyor as well as an associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Richards is experienced in dealing with landlord & tenant, managed services agreements, agreement strategy, and legal and compliance matters.

Prior to joining Stonegate, he was chairman on the BBPA Estates Panel working with the industry across matters covering insurance, licensing, rating and wider estates management.