Peter Rigg, Financial Controller; Bri Cheng, Paralegal; Angela Tiffen, Conveyancer; Marianne Leckenby, Marketing Assistant; Ailsa Charlton, Trainee Solicitor; Rachel Stuart, Paralegal.
Nick Hill

This week's North East appointments

Mincoffs, the Newcastle-based law firm, has announced five new appointments and one newly promoted trainee solicitor.

Mincoffs has now grown to a workforce of almost 80 and more will follow in the coming months.

Paralegal Bri Cheng joins the corporate team from previous roles in the technology sector. Bri will support the wider corporate and commercial teams and has already been involved in numerous multi-million pound company transactions with the firm.

Financial Controller, Peter Rigg, joins Mincoffs from his previous role at a specialist law firm in Newcastle. Peter is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and has extensive experience of law firm accounts and finance.

The Residential Property team has also grown with the appointment of Conveyancer Angela Tiffen and Paralegal Rachel Stuart.

Angela joins the firm with 36 years’ legal experience, having started her career as an Office Junior and worked her way up to her current position. Rachel completed her Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course at Northumbria University and started her legal career at a Newcastle based conveyancing firm.

Marianne Leckenby has been appointed as Marketing Assistant to support Mincoffs’ ongoing marketing activity. A graduate of the University of Sunderland, Marianne has a First Class Honours degree in Events Management and joins Mincoffs with over four years’ experience in marketing, communications and events.

The firm is also continuing to grow from within. Ailsa Charlton, who joined the firm as a paralegal in Commercial Property, has secured a training contract following a successful first 6 months at Mincoffs.

Senior Partner Paul Hughes commented: “This is a notable phase of growth for Mincoffs as we welcome new recruits and recognise the hard work and achievements of our existing staff.”

Nick Gray (right), Watson Burton

Watson Burton, the Newcastle-headquartered commercial law firm, has appointed Nick Gray to its corporate team as a result of growing demand for its work in advising on venture capital and private equity investments.

Nick Gray brings a wealth of experience to Watson Burton’s corporate team. After graduating with an MLaw degree and masters from Northumbria University, Nick was employed in the banking industry before spending more than two years with Particular Legal.

His experience includes advising on equity and debt investments tied to corporate accelerator programmes, as well as working with numerous UK and US-based technology companies.

In his new role, Nick will focus on supporting the team on its venture capital and private equity investment work as well as working with the firm’s clients on their corporate M&A activity.

Nick Gray, solicitor at Watson Burton, said: “I’m delighted to be joining such a renowned team at Watson Burton. The strength of the team and quality clients they work with were major attractions for me.

“Building client relationships are key and I know this is something that is encouraged and put into practice at Watson Burton. I look forward to bringing my project management skills to the team, working with a really diverse and interesting mix of clients, and developing my skills and career further at the firm.”

Duncan Reid, head of corporate at Watson Burton, added: “Nick has gained an impressive level of expertise in the venture capital investment market and the technology sector in particular which will enable us to strengthen the existing expertise we offer to our regional and national clients, who are always seeking the best possible legal advice.

“At a time when we’re seeing a high volume of investment work, I’m delighted to welcome Nick to the firm and the team. I look forward to watching his career develop, as I’m sure he will be a great asset for Watson Burton.”

Watson Burton, which also has offices in Leeds and London, delivers commercial legal services nationwide. Its core practice areas are corporate, employment, real estate, construction and dispute resolution.

Paul Hopkinson, PG Legal

A commercial law firm has announced the appointment of a new consultant as part of its drive to increase the breadth of services the firm offers.

Paul Hopkinson joins North East law firm PG Legal to further bolster the commercial property team headed by lawyer, Phil Dean.

Paul’s appointment supports the firm’s overall business growth strategy as it looks to increase its client base in the region.

Jonathan Fletcher, PG Legal director, said: “We are delighted to welcome Paul to the team. Paul has a great deal of extremely valuable experience in law and business and will be an excellent addition to our senior team, as well as a mentor and inspiration to our more junior solicitors and trainees.

“His appointment supports our ambitious growth strategy and our long-term plan to become the market leader in our field.”

Paul also holds several other senior posts including as solicitor locum for Allerdale Borough Council and as a non-executive director at the QE Trust. Paul is also a trustee for Fighting All Cancers Together (FACT), a governor for Whickham Parochial School and for Stocksfield Avenue Primary.

Paul said: “I am delighted to be joining PG Legal at such an important time for the business. The firm is implementing an outstanding growth strategy which is already showing impressive results.

“The firm has a fantastic passion for supporting the region’s SME’s, and I am proud to become part of such a dedicated team.”

Paul Brown, Burnetts

Paul Brown, a solicitor and accredited litigator, is joining the Burnetts Medical Negligence and Serious Injury (MNSI) team in the North East.

Paul has won a number of multi-million pound claims on behalf of seriously injured clients, defending their rights to significant claims when challenged and, in a number of amputation cases, providing the resources for the best of modern prosthetics, muscle re-innervation and rehabilitation.

Paul commented: “I have seen the devastation that a catastrophic injury can bring for the victim as well as their family so I do my utmost to ensure that the person is rehabilitated as close as possible back to where they were before the accident.

“My motivation is to ensure that our clients secure access to early interim payments to fund rehabilitation, treatment, support, equipment and accommodation. Focusing on rehabilitation needs will often mean that we work hand in hand with the initial treating team, including nurses and therapists in the NHS.

“We then go on to establish a sustainable rehabilitation treatment and support package with a case manager that enables our clients to recover as much as possible and as soon as possible.”

Angela Curran, who is head of the MNSI team, said: “Paul is passionate about getting the best possible rehabilitation treatment and support for his clients and has a strong track record in winning significant claims that will make a huge difference to their futures.

“He is also actively involved as Secretary in both the Northern Acquired Brain Injury Forum and the UK Acquired Brain Injury Forum for professionals working in brain injury, as well as being Chair of Headway Wearside so he has an in depth understanding of brain injury and what’s needed by our clients.

“As part of his role with UKABIF, he is also involved in lobbying on behalf of brain injury survivors to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Acquired Brain Injury in Parliament.”

Paul completed his Legal Practice Course at Northumbria University.

Throughout his recent career, Paul has specialised in serious injury and predominately brain injury work, working solely for claimants, and he is already making a valuable contribution in his new role at Burnetts.

David Crane, Vertu Motors plc

Gateshead-based Vertu Motors plc, the automotive retailer with a network of 125 sales outlets across the UK, has appointed David Crane as an Executive Director of the Company.

David joined Vertu Motors at its inception in 2007 and has 25 years of experience in the automotive sector, both with manufacturers and retailers.

David is currently the Group’s Chief Operations Officer, having been appointed to this role in 2017. Prior to joining Vertu Motors, David was Commercial Director of Reg Vardy plc.

In his position at Vertu Motors, David is responsible for the management and running of the Group’s operations infrastructure, including all of the central aftersales support, IT, purchasing, fleet sales and ancillary business activities as well as two operational franchised dealership divisions.

Robert Forrester, CEO of Vertu Motors, said: “David is a key member of the team which has built Vertu Motors from an idea 12 years ago to the reality of being the UK’s sixth largest automotive retailer.

“David has been instrumental in the operational and strategic development of the Group and the Board will be strengthened by his appointment.”

David Crane said: “We have a fantastic team at Vertu and I am very proud of what we have achieved together over the last 11 years. I am looking forward to working with the Board as the Group continues its growth in the evolving motor retail sector.”

Nathan Millar, Clarke Nicklin

Chartered Accountant and Business Advisor Clarke Nicklin has further expanded its team with the appointment of Nathan Millar .

Nathan, who joins the business as Accounts Senior, joins Clarke Nicklin having just moved back to the UK from Melbourne Australia.

Nathan’s past experience included primarily looking after clients in the SME market space, ranging from individuals and sole traders up to corporate group structures.

He also has experience in annual tax compliance and preparation of financial statements through to advisory related matters such as business valuations, preparation of due diligence reports and assistance in restructuring and refinancing.

Nathan commented: “It’s Great to join an accounting firm like Clarke Nicklin who is well respected within the community. The young and vibrant team has made me feel welcome from day one”.

Andrew Baggott, Managing Partner at Clarke Nicklin, added: “With our expanding workload, adding Nathan to the team will help to ensure we continue to deliver the highest level of advice and support for our clients.

“Nathan is a perfect addition to the team, and will help us continue to expand this service to help existing and new clients achieve their objectives”.

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