Steven Smith and Deborah Barton, Guest Walker & Co
Nick Hill

This week’s Yorkshire appointments

York-based solicitors Guest Walker & Co have appointed two new solicitors as demand for the firm’s services continues to grow.

Steven Smith has joined the firm to focus on residential property and his responsibilities will include the sale and purchase of freehold and leasehold properties, shared ownership deals, plot sales, agricultural sales and transactions with the Local Authority.

Qualified as a solicitor since 2012, prior to joining the legal profession, Steven served as a Captain in the Royal Logistic Corps at home and abroad and worked in the Police Force, including work as a detective in London CID.

Deborah Barton joins the firm’s commercial property team and will be working on a broad range of commercial property matters for both corporate and individual clients based in Yorkshire and beyond.

Deborah achieved a first class law degree before going on to gain a distinction on her Legal Practice Course whilst studying at the College of Law, York then completed her training and began her career at a large City firm in London, where she stayed for 12 years.

John Walker, senior partner at York-based solicitors Guest Walker & Co, said: “We are delighted to welcome Steven and Deborah to the team as we continue to expand. They both bring with them a wealth of experience and insight into their individual specialist areas and I am looking forward working with them on a range of new projects for our clients.”

Steven Smith commented: “I am very pleased and excited to be joining the exceptionally knowledgeable and professional team at Guest Walker & Co and look forward to representing the diverse range of clients that the firm acts for.”

Deborah Barton added: “It’s great to return to my hometown of York and I am thrilled to be joining Guest Walker & Co at this exciting time in their development. They have a very strong client base which is growing all the time and I am looking forward to becoming a key part of the commercial property team.”

Clare Davitt, Irwin Mitchell

The Leeds-based Real Estate team at national law firm Irwin Mitchell, headed by partner John Flathers, has recruited new associate solicitor Clare Davitt as a result of a growth in client instructions.

Clare, who joins the team from DLA Piper, has expertise in a wide range of commercial property work, including landlord and tenant work, purchases and disposals for corporate clients and estate management.

Claire qualified in 2007 and she has adapted her skills as a result of the recent recession during which she has dealt with some significant restructuring and insolvency-related property work in relation to a number of sectors and more recently and encouragingly she has been involved in property finance work.

John Flathers, head of Real Estate at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office, said: “We are delighted to welcome Clare to the team, with her appointment being another indication of both the improving economy and our dedication to this region which is resulting in increased workloads across not only the real estate sector but across all other areas of our Leeds office.

“Also, with new corporate partner Philip Goldsborough joining us from Pinsent Mason in Leeds I anticipate further opportunities this year to grow our real estate team in Leeds. It is an exciting period for us”.

Owen Thomas, Garbutt & Elliott

Yorkshire accountants Garbutt & Elliott has strengthened its wealth management team, G&E Wealth Management, with the appointment of Owen Thomas as a Chartered Financial Planner.

Joining the company from national wealth management firm Towry, Owen will be reporting to Allan Dodds, the recently-appointed head of G&E Wealth Management.

Owen previously worked as a Taxation and Trusts Development Manager for Nationwide Building Society, and for the RBS Group as an Independent Financial Planning Manager.

G&E Wealth Management, which offers a full range of independent financial services to both corporate and private markets, has offices in York and Leeds.

Allan Dodds commented: “The team is now perfectly positioned to take advantage of the revolution in the financial planning profession, with the radical overhaul of the pensions industry and the introduction of auto-enrolment.

“Working very closely with our colleagues at Garbutt & Elliott, we believe we can provide an unrivalled one-stop financial planning and advice service for private and corporate clients alike. We have some very exciting plans ahead which will expand the company’s client base both with existing Garbutt and Elliott clients and, importantly, beyond that too.

“In addition to Owen’s appointment, Garbutt & Elliott private client partner Nigel Shaw has recently qualified as a financial adviser, so he will become a crucial part of our operation,” explained Allan.

Owen Thomas said: “I am delighted to join a firm with such an excellent reputation and am committed to helping the team become the first choice for financial planning in North Yorkshire and beyond.”

Lucy Mill, May Lester and Mudasser Hussain, Counter Context

Counter Context, a Sheffield-based communications agency, has further increased its workforce with three new appointments.

Counter Context, located in the city centre, has appointed two new Account Executives, Lucy Hill and May Lester, and a new Graphic Designer, Mudasser Hussain, after a hugely successful first quarter of the year.

Lucy graduated from the University of Leeds with a BSc Geography degree in 2011 and in 2012 completed an MA from the University of Sheffield in Town and Regional Planning.

May completed a BA Honours degree in Business and Human Resource Management from Sheffield Hallam University in 2011.

Mudasser, joins the company from a global engineering firm, with a strong background of designing printed materials and websites over the course of the past seven years.

Lucy, May and Mudasser will support the Account Managers at a crucial period when numerous consultation and engagement projects are being delivered both locally and across the UK.

Alexis Krachai, executive director, said:“We have enjoyed a very strong start to 2015, which continues our growth from last year, with several new clients and projects coming on board with us. We have a highly-skilled workforce and Lucy, May and Mudasser will add new skills, personalities, experience and backgrounds to our team.

“Three years ago, there were just six members of staff at Counter Context – now we are up to 15 and we are sure that thanks to everyone’s hard work, we will continue with a strong 2015 and beyond.”

Janine Hopkins, Simply Better

Simply Better, a live events company, has appointed Janine Hopkins as account director.

Janine joins the Keighley-based business from Vista, where she was project director.

With more than 20 years experience in the events sector, Janine’s new role at Simply Better will involve leading on business and client development.

Commenting on the appointment, Janine said: “It’s an exciting time to be joining Simply Better which has established itself as a full live events company. I’m very much looking forward to working with our clients and helping to develop and grow the business.”

Rob Woodhead, Simply Better director, added: “We’re delighted to appoint Janine as account director – her considerable knowledge and experience will add to the strength and depth of our team and our offer to existing and new clients.”

Daniel McCormack, SportsAid Yorkshire & Humberside

Daniel McCormack, a director of Lupton Fawcett Denison Till, has been appointed as a trustee of SportsAid Yorkshire & Humberside with the aim of encouraging businesses to become involved in helping to develop Britain’s next generation of athletes.

As a trustee, Daniel will be raising the awareness of SportsAid among the corporate community in the region and communicating the benefits of building a long-term relationship with the athletes, which will ultimately improve Britain’s performance at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The charity, which has the Duchess of Cambridge as its patron, helps young sports people overcome the financial challenges they face on their way to becoming elite athletes. Many leading athletes have benefitted from SportsAid including Jessica Ennis, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Dame Sarah Storey, Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Chris Hoy and Baroness Grey-Thompson.

Speaking about his appointment, Daniel said: “The idea was first mooted when I met with Sir Rodney Walker, the President of SportsAid in Yorkshire and the Humber. He mentioned that as I work within corporate finance sector I would be well placed to use my network to communicate the benefits of becoming involved with the charity.

“There are so many positives companies can get from the association, from helping enhance Corporate Social Responsibility ambitions through to being an integral part of the athlete’s development into a potential world beater.

“Through the sponsorship, which can be from as little as £1000 per year, a sponsor can help to build customer goodwill and staff morale with visits from the athlete.

“Having discovered how much good work they do with young athletes I was very proud to accept the position of trustee for Yorkshire and Humberside within the organisation.

Emma Robinson, Moirae

A branding and web design company, based in Doncaster, has appointed a social media account executive while experiencing continued growth.

Emma Robinson is Moirae’s newest employee and will look after all aspects of social media for the company’s clients, in the newly created post.

After working in the industry of the past seven years, Emma joins the company as it looks to offer a wider range of digital services to clients.

Commenting on the appointment, Emma said: “I am really excited to be joining Moirae and help them to expand their social media services. They are a great team who work hard to make sure that their clients get the best possible service and I am really looking forward to being a part of that.”

David Plant, managing director of Moirae, added: “We are delighted to welcome Emma to our ever expanding team. The experience she brings with her will benefit our existing and new clients as they develop their business and communication online.”

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