Anthony and Emma.
Nick Hill

This week's Yorkshire appointments

Ridley & Hall, the Huddersfield-based law firm has appointed two new board members who were former Simpson Millar employees

Emma Pearmaine , who was director of family services, and Anthony Elston, who was previously finance director at Simpson Millar, have both joined the practice as it sets a course to double its turnover.

The firm established itself for niche legal work including family and matrimonial, care and adoption, kinship and community care, property, court of protection and wills and probate.

Ridley & Hall employs 60 people and turned over £2.5m in 2016.

Adam Fletcher, managing director at Ridley & Hall, said: “We are all excited about what our new management team can achieve, and feel confident in our expansion plans.

“2016 was a record year resulting from the superb performances by my fellow Directors Nigel Priestley, James Cook, Sarah Young and our staff. We have now turned our attention towards driving growth through strategic acquisitions and recruitment of further key individuals.

“This is a significant development for the firm. We are investing in the future of the business and believe we can strike the ideal balance with the help of Emma and Anthony on our Board.”

Emma commented: “To be part of a management team where everyone shares the same values and ambitions is exactly where I want to spend the next chapter of my career. We’re going to do something big, and something real. It will be sustainable and positive for both clients and staff.”

Anthony is the firm’s first finance director – having spent six years with Simpson Millar where he was a partner and finance director. Over the course of his time there, he helped the firm grow from £11m turnover in 2011, to £17 m turnover in 2014.

Anthony added: “Everyone talks of the opportunities available in legal services, and they are right – it is an exciting market to operate in. But it is also one which demands the right combination of confidence, ambition and prudence.

“The management team of Ridley & Hall has steered the firm into a sensible and strong position for growth and I very much look forward to keeping it on that course for many years to come.”

Ridley & Hall aims to reach £5m turnover in 2020.

Philip Nelson, Harrowells

Law firm Harrowells has expanded its private client department with the appointment of a new partner.

Philip Nelson joins from specialist national private client law firm, Wrigleys, Leeds. He is based at Harrowells’ office in St Saviourgate, York, and will also work out of its branches in Thirsk and Easingwold.

He is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), and has experienced in a wide-range of trust and estate planning matters, particularly involving landed estates, farms and businesses facing complex ownership and inheritance issues, as well as inheritance tax relief for farmers, wills and probate and lasting powers of attorney.

After completing an economics degree at the University of York, Philip Nelson studied at York College of Law before joining Wrigleys in 2003 where he qualified in 2005.

He worked out of Wrigleys’ Leeds office, specialising in private client work and became a partner in 2013.

Ed Ryder, head of Harrowells private client department, said: “We are very pleased to welcome a senior specialist solicitor from a highly-regarded national firm to strengthen our department, especially with regard to estates facing complex issues.”

Philip Nelson’s appointment takes Harrowells private client department to five partners, five solicitors and three chartered legal executives working throughout the firm’s office network.

Harrowells Solicitors offers a wide range of legal services to commercial, farming and private clients. The firm has three offices in York and others in Thirsk, Easingwold and Pocklington.

Kris Wigfield (far right), Begbies Traynor

Begbies Traynor, the business rescue and recovery specialist, has appointed Kris Wigfield as a partner in its Sheffield office.

Joining the firm from Wilson Field, where he acted as its Sheffield-based national head of sales for five years, qualified accountant and insolvency practitioner Kris will focus on growing Begbies Traynor’s presence within South Yorkshire.

He will work alongside fellow Begbies Traynor partner Gareth Rusling and directors Joanne Hammond, Ashleigh Fletcher and Claire Dowson.

Julian Pitts, regional managing partner for Begbies Traynor in Yorkshire, said: “We are really pleased that Kris is joining the firm at an exciting time of strategic growth and development for us in Sheffield.

“He brings a wealth of experience of the regional market and will be a valuable resource for our clients in and around the city who require advice on restructuring, refinancing and insolvency.

“Kris’s role will complement Gareth Rusling’s work on expanding our offering in Lincolnshire and I’m delighted to say that we expect to be able to announce the opening of a new Begbies Traynor office in Lincolnshire very soon.

“In addition our commercial finance team under Karl Hodson continues to grow with the recent appointments of Charlotte Davison and Richard House.”

Gareth Rusling added: “We have great plans for expansion at our Sheffield office and we welcome the opportunity to boost that growth and our presence here still further with Kris now on board. His experience is the perfect fit with our team and he will be a great asset to the firm”

Kris Wigfield commented: “This is a really exciting time to be joining Begbies Traynor, which is going from strength to strength and is the largest national independent rescue and recovery firm in the city.

“As one of the UK’s historic manufacturing heartlands, Sheffield is facing a period of economic uncertainty as we prepare to leave the EU, and it’s essential that businesses know where to turn for sound advice, whether that’s on commercial finance or consulting, advisory and restructuring work.”

Sam Bannister (left), Brass

Brass, a Leeds-based integrated marketing agency, has expanded its insight offering, with the appointment of Sam Bannister to the newly created role of head of insight.

Bannister spent an earlier part of his career at Brass, as a senior researcher. A position at RDSi followed, where he was responsible for a number of FMCG, shopper, and financial services accounts, before his return to Brass.

In his new position, Bannister will be establishing the role and benefits of insight within the broader agency offering, and is already beginning to implement his experiences.

Discussing his new role, Bannister said: “It’s a great time to re-join an agency that’s known to deliver high quality, award winning insight.

“We want to be able to do something different to what’s currently in the marketplace - a more progressive approach to insight - and Brass offers a fantastic opportunity to do this.

“We’ve been listening to the needs of clients, and strongly believe we can combine research expertise with the talented Brass creative and digital resource to build an agile and distinct insight proposition”

“The atmosphere in the workplace is as exciting as ever. Insight is on the agenda of every team, and I’m really looking forward to journey”

Paul McGann, managing partner, added: “All businesses face greater uncertainty during the Brexit transition and our clients need innovative research and insight more than ever.

“Whether it is launching new FMCG products, devising an advertising campaign or creating a better user experience, Sam brings a wealth of knowledge to help optimise the opportunity and drive ROI. Watch this space for some exiting developments in the world of research!”

Rob Cohen, Sanderson Weatherall

Sanderson Weatherall, the chartered surveyor and commercial property consultancy, has grown its national rating team with the appointment of Rob Cohen, who joins the firm’s Leeds office as a partner.

Rob has 12 years’ experience specialising in the provision of rating advice for clients across the North of England.

He joins the firm following six years at Colliers in Leeds, and five years prior to that at Sanderson Weatherall’s Newcastle office.

At Sanderson Weatherall, Rob will be responsible for providing advice to public and private sector clients in order to mitigate their business rates liability.

Commenting on his return, Rob said “Sanderson Weatherall has a long history of providing expert property advice in the market I operate and has a strong team of experts and loyal client base due to their service excellence.

“I was particularly keen to return due to their clear strategy for the future and the opportunities this presents. I believe the company is going places and want to be part of that journey.”

Richard Farr, partner at Sanderson Weatherall’s business, added: “We are thrilled to welcome Rob back to Sanderson Weatherall. Having worked with him previously I have no doubt that he will be an invaluable asset to our team.

“Rob’s reputation and vast experience will help to cement our reputation as one of the leading business rates advisors and we look forward to moving forward with Rob on board.”

David Spence, Stephanie Shepherd, Avril Mullin and Hannah Newbery, Clarion

Leeds law firm Clarion is continuing to invest in new talent with the appointment of four trainee solicitors.

David Spence, Stephanie Shepherd, Hannah Newbery and Avril Mullin are the latest recruits to begin a training contract with Clarion this month.

Initially joining the corporate team at Clarion, David comes from an arts background, taking a graduate diploma in law in 2013. He recently gained a distinction in his legal practice course at BPP in Leeds.

With a first class law degree from Canterbury Christ Church University and an MSc in law, business and management, Stephanie Shepherd will begin her traineeship in Clarion’s IP team.

Hannah Newbery and Avril Mullin, who have both spent the last 12 months as paralegals in Clarion’s banking team, will move to the property team and the family team respectively for their first placements.

Roger Hutton, joint managing partner at Clarion, said: “We have been fortunate once again to have been able to choose from some of the brightest law graduates.

“Investing in teaching and training young people at the very start of their career is something we are passionate about as a firm and we are extremely proud of our retention rate which has seen 100% of our recent trainees choose to stay with Clarion once they have qualified as solicitors.”

Clarion 150-strong team, which includes 21 partners, is based at the firm’s Elizabeth House offices on Queen Street in Leeds.

Chris Chadwick, Perfect Storm

Perfect storm, the Leeds-based digital marketing agency, has appointed a new digital producer.

Chris Chadwick brings to the role a background in account management and data, which will help the agency to develop new offerings for clients.

Chris has previously held roles at marketing agencies Coolpink and Home, working on a number of high profile clients and, most recently, delivering live data dashboarding solutions and Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) projects.

Launching just one year ago, Perfect Storm was set up by Dave Nutter and Adam Errington Instead of employing in-house designers, coders, copywriters and analysts, the agency is staffed by client service roles, project managers and strategists, bringing in external specialists from a network of partners as needed.

The agency is already working with big brands including Crown Pet Food owned James Wellbeloved and Greenies and sustainable developer Citu.

In his new role, Chris will be helping to drive projects forward, managing relationships with both partners and clients within the process. His recent background in CRO and data will also be used to increase the number of services the agency can offer to existing and new clients.

Adam Errington, co-founder and director at Perfect Storm, said: “The time was right to bring in someone new. We’ve got off to a flying start in the last 12 months - clients are seeing the benefits of our working model and we’re expanding quickly.

“We wanted someone senior and really capable to help us move on to the next level and Chris is ideal. He brings a whole new arm to the business.

“He’s multi-talented - not only is he great with clients, helping us to manage and deliver projects, but his data background underpins what we’re all about which is performance and providing insights to clients.”

Andy Gomersall,, the Leeds-based digital marketing agency, has appointed Andy Gomersall as lead developer in a newly-created role.

Andy will head up jrc’s development team and lead on digital innovation across all web projects for the agency whose clients include The National Bed Federation, Leeds City Council, University of York, Shipley-based Incommunities housing association and award-winning international family law solicitors Tracy Miller Family Law.

Prior to joining, Andy managed his own web design business following his completion of the FdA Web Design Course at the University Centre, Wakefield College.

Andy joins the jrc team at The Tetley in Leeds city centre. Established in 2010, is a digital marketing agency offering bespoke web design, web development, social and content marketing, with strong roots in search engine optimisation (SEO).

The agency also delivers bespoke training, workshops and consultancy in all aspects of digital marketing strategy, SEO, email marketing and social media marketing.

Jonny Ross, managing director at, said: “I’m really excited to welcome Andy on board in what feels like another great step forward for jrc. Andy is not only an exceptional coder but also a great ‘people person’ and is already making a positive impact on our team.”

Andy Gomersall, lead developer at, added: “I’m really looking forward using my expertise to further improve the development process at jrc and creating coding practices that will ensure we future-proof all websites for our clients. This is an exciting time to be a jrc client.”

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