Watson Burton's Chris Graham and Kayleigh Mountford
Watson Burton's Chris Graham and Kayleigh Mountford
Richard Bell

This week's North East appointments

Here’s your latest roundup of the top job moves in the region.

Kayleigh Mountford, Watson Burton

Commercial law firm Watson Burton has welcomed solicitor Kayleigh Mountford to its employment law team in Newcastle.

In her new role, Kayleigh will support the department across its work on employment tribunal litigation, injunctions, industrial action, redundancies and discrimination cases.

She graduated in 2010 with an LLB in Law from Teesside University, completed her LPC at Northumbria University and then did her training contract with BHP Law, qualifying as a solicitor in March 2018.

Kayleigh said: “It’s fantastic to join such an experienced and well-respected team, where I am able to further develop my career in employment law and work with a range of high-profile clients.”

Chris Graham, partner and head of employment at Watson Burton, commented: “I’m delighted that Kayleigh has joined Watson Burton: her appointment will help bolster our employment team at a time when we are experiencing increased demand for our specialist services across sectors including education, construction and technology.

“Kayleigh has a real passion for employment law and we look forward to seeing that applied to support the work we carry out for clients.”

Mark Ashton, SLR Consulting

SLR Consulting has appointed Mark Ashton in the role of principal landscape architect.

Joining the company’s Newcastle office, Mark is a chartered landscape architect with a career that includes two years with a local authority and 15 in multi-disciplinary consultancy.

His appointment will expand SLR’s landscape planning capability across the North East, Scotland and Ireland.

Mark has worked within a range of sectors, including residential, commercial, retail, leisure, energy and industrial.

He said: “Joining SLR in Newcastle is an exciting move. It provides the opportunity to establish and develop a landscape planning capability within the Newcastle office, working alongside a highly regarded and long-established landscape design team.”

Sean Ramsden and Mieka Smiles, Publicity Seekers

Hartlepool-based PR agency Publicity Seekers has welcomed a new writer and an apprentice to its team.

Journalist Mieka Smiles is the company’s new senior PR account manager.

Mieka studied media at Leeds Beckett University and an MA at Sunderland University. Over the last 15 years, she has worked across a number of Trinity Mirror (now Reach Plc) publications, including The Journal, Chronicle and The Gazette.

She has also had stories published with national papers, such as MailOnline, The Sun and The Guardian, while working as a freelancer.

At the end of 2017, Mieka decided to begin a career in PR.

She said: “I’ve always felt that my favourite thing about journalism was finding stories that people want to read.

“I felt that if I could do that for some of the brilliant businesses in the region, I would get a lot of satisfaction.”

Mieka is joined by Sean Ramsden, Publicity Seekers’ new PR assistant. Sean is currently undertaking a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing the Virtual College.

He said: “My role with publicity seekers is mainly admin based, assisting the account executives with tasks and filming and editing video content for clients.

“It’s great to receive the feedback on my video work and see how my content is already benefiting both our clients and Publicity Seekers.”

Jess Priest, Jackson Hogg

North East technical recruitment consultancy Jackson Hogg has appointed a graduate to its research team.

Jess Priest graduated from Newcastle University’s Accounting and Finance course last year. summer.

She said: “After studying Accountancy and Finance, I realised that I wanted to work in a people-focussed business, and my best friend asked if I’d considered recruitment.

“I chose to apply to Jackson Hogg because it’s known for its fantastic reputation in the industry.”

Managing director Richard Hogg commented: “We’ve had a fantastic couple of years in terms of our growth, not only increasing our staff at our headquarters in Newcastle, but also expanding our offering in Germany and North America.

“I’m delighted to welcome Jess to the team and am incredibly pleased that Jackson Hogg is able to start the career of such a talented graduate, and for other graduates who are looking to break into recruitment to know that our door is always open.”

Richard Bass, Robertson Homes

Housebuilder Robertson Homes has appointed a regional director for the North East.

Based in Gateshead, Richard Bass will oversee the delivery of new homes across the region while spearheading local development of the Robertson brand.

He has worked in and around construction for more than 25 years, with the last 10 spent as North East regional MD for Keepmoat.

Richard said: “I’m aware that Robertson Homes and our ‘Scottish’ house types are still relatively unknown in the North East but we have a great product that gives us a real USP.

“Robertson Homes tend to be a bit larger and have a superior specification to others in our class so we are selling well across the existing sites.”

He added: “My focus however is to expand the business in England, bringing in new developments and building a team to deliver around 200 homes a year by the end of our current three year plan.”

John Murphy, the company’s managing director, commented: “These are exciting times for Robertson Homes and I’m delighted to be part of it.

“Robertson Homes has been a trusted builder of quality homes in Scotland for more than fifty years.”

He continued: “Our expansion into the NE is a strategic one as sister companies across the wider Robertson Group have been active within the area for some time.”

Four appointments, NGI Solutions

Marketing and PR agency NGI Solutions has appointed a new leadership team and welcomed fresh faces to its office in Gateshead.

The company’s former director of marketing and communications, Kathie Wilcox, is now director of NGI Solutions. She has worked with the firm for 12 years in a variety of roles.

Ian Thomas has been promoted to associate director. He will work closely with Kathie to grow NGI Solutions while leading on the research side of the agency.

The business has also appointed two newcomers, Jodie Balmer and Lucy Nichol.

Jodie joined the team as a senior account manager from Generator, where she was marketing manager.

Lucy is NGI Solutions’ new head of marketing and communications. She has more than 15 years’ experience in PR and marketing.

Kathie Wilcox said of the appointments: “We’re really proud of the breadth of experience and expertise that we have at NGI Solutions and our latest recruits have certainly bolstered the team as we gear up for future growth.

“Over the past five years, the business has developed substantially, with a host of new regional and national clients tapping into our insight-led research, marketing and PR services to support their own business aims; recent new clients include SSE, Newcastle United Foundation and Stockton Council.”

NGI Solutions is the trading arm of NewcastleGateshead Initiative.

David Hall, D-Line

Cable management firm D-Line has announced an appointment in its export sales team.

David Hall, the firm’s new international sales director, said he was eager to join D-Line after hearing about its growth plans.

He explained: “Following initial meetings with D-Line, and having learnt about their growth plans and export activity to 22 countries, I was very excited to join the team.”

Managing director Paul Ruddick commented: “David’s appointment brings valued experience and skills to our team, as we are expanding horizons toward £15m annual turnover.

“David has a great record in our sector, and speaking four languages fluently enables him to work easily across borders and lead multicultural teams.”

David was introduced to Paul and the team by Ian Lewis, director of recruitment company Edward Reed.

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