Sean Brown and Jenny McNamee
Sean Brown and Jenny McNamee have joined St James' Park.
Rebecca Wayman

This week's North East appointments

Sean Brown and Jenny McNamee, St James’ Park

Newcastle’s St James’ Park - home to NUFC - has appointed Sean Brown as catering services director.

In his new role, Sean will head the Sodexo management team in delivering catering and events services at Newcastle United.

He brings more than 20 years of experience to the position having held senior roles at hotels and conference venues across the UK, including five-star Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire.

Supporting Sean will be fellow new recruit, Jenny McNamee who, in her new role as meetings and event sales manager, will oversee and develop the venue’s corporate and leisure business.

Jenny, from Shotley Bridge, County Durham, who has worked extensively in sales and hospitality, will be tasked with driving new business to the stadium and increasing its event bookings.

She brings great experience in the sector having worked for many Tyneside leisure outlets and as sales coordinator at Sunderland AFC’s Stadium of Light.

Liam Rafferty, Gradvert

Gradvet has appointed Liam Rafferty to the newly created position of operations director.

Liam will assume full responsibility for the day-to-day operational running of Gradvert, bringing with him a wealth of experience in team leadership, project management, initiative and change management, performance management and optimisation.

Liam said: “I’m looking forward to getting involved with Gradvert in my new role, and excited to help chart the course for scaling Gradvert as a company, and what the future is going to bring.”

Colin Churchward, St James’ Square

St James’ Square has appointed Colin Churchward as head of debt recovery department at the firm.

Colin is a debt recovery specialist with over 12 years of experience in the field.

Paul Monaghan, managing partner, said: “Colin is a great addition to the team and we’re really looking forward to working with him.

“His appointment means that he can grow and develop this department which we’re all excited for.”

Jill Donabie and Robin Adams, Muckle LLP

Two lawyers working across the education sector have been promoted to partner at Muckle LLP.

Jill Donabie has over 16 years of experience and specialises in complex employment and HR issues with an in-depth understanding of the challenges faced by schools, colleges and universities.

Robin Adams has 20 years’ experience as a commercial lawyer. In addition to the extensive work he continues to do within Muckle LLP’s commercial team, Robin acts for schools, colleges and universities on commercial transactions.

Tony McPhillips, partner and head of the education team, said: “We are delighted to have promoted Jill and Robin to partner and congratulate them both on their new roles, which enhance the support we offer the region’s education sector.

“It is important that North East educators have access to local legal advisers with the required technical skills, capacity and understanding of sector and regional challenges.

“Our education team has advised many of the region’s universities and colleges and has helped deliver over 150 academy conversions within the North East alone, and I am immensely proud of our team’s growth.”

Martha Craven and Alex Young, Mincoffs Solicitors

Mincoffs Solicitors has strengthened its offering to commercial and employment clients with the addition of two new hires.

The firm, which has forged a strong presence in the region’s tech scene, welcomes newly qualified solicitor Martha Craven to employment, and paralegal Alex Young to the commercial team.

During her training, Martha assisted with several projects for a FTSE 100 company including a large-scale TUPE exercise involving around 800 employees. She also has experience of working with SMEs and startups in both employment and commercial.

Alex has joined the team following graduation from Newcastle University and has had experience in the commercial departments of firms in the North East, London and France.

Alex will be assisting the commercial team with various contracts and agreements, as well as undertaking a variety of intellectual property work.

Antony Hall, partner and head of commercial at Mincoffs, said: “We are very happy to welcome Martha and Alex to their respective teams here. They’re both settling in very well and will add additional strength to our technology and commercial transaction capability.”

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