Toby Evans, SoPost.
Jane Imrie

This week's North East appointments

Toby Evans, SoPost

Online product sampling platform SoPost has appointed Toby Evans as director of publishing and platform relationships.

Prior to joining the firm, Toby ran his own consultancy, advising on content strategy and digital transformation for a range of retail, travel and publishing brands.

Before that, he was the digital director of Time Inc’s Fashion and Beauty Group, working across publications like Marie Claire and InStyle.

Jonathan Grubin, SoPost founder and CEO, commented: “This is a significant hire for us. Toby’s extensive market knowledge and his excellent relationships with publishers and advertising platforms fits perfectly with SoPost.

“We have plans to launch some exciting partnerships in both the U.S. and U.K. Toby’s background and expertise will allow us to us to scale up this activity both domestically and internationally over the coming months.”

Speaking about his appointment, Toby added: “I’m thrilled to be joining such a hugely talented bunch of people at an exciting time for SoPost.

“The struggles that publishers have driving sustainable digital revenues is no secret, so I am looking forward to readdressing the troublesome value exchange with online audiences, to bring clear benefits to everyone involved, in a way that supports the SoPost proposition as a leading online advertising product sampling platform.”

Jasmine Mann, Emmersons Solicitors

Law firm Emmersons Solicitors has appointed Jasmine Mann as its newest paralegal.

Joining from law firm Ward Hadaway where she specialised in licensing law, Jasmin joins the team to support the acquisition of hospitality sites including hotels, restaurants and public houses.

Jasmine will also assist clients in obtaining licences for the sale of alcohol, music licences, as well as personal and gambling licences.

Jacqueline Emmerson, director at Emmersons Solicitors, commented: “We were impressed by Jasmine’s experience and dedication, and she has already settled in very well with our team and achieved fantastic feedback from our clients.

“Our recent growth is underpinned by appointing the right people to our business. The core value of Emmersons Solicitors is to maintain the highest quality client care and to truly help local people and business. Jasmine’s approach perfectly fits our ethos and we look forward to her future with us.”

Jasmine added: “I am delighted to have joined Emmersons at such an exciting time for the firm. I have always wanted to be part of a team which prioritises supporting local people and local business, including outstanding client care and fair fees.

“I have had the opportunity to meet so many interesting clients and businesspeople so far, and I look forward to supporting more projects which ultimately impact on our region’s economy and opportunities.”

Sarah Forster, Adam Rayner, Matthew Walsh and Amy Wanless, Muckle LLP

Law firm Muckle LLP has promoted four members of staff to senior roles.

Sarah Forster, Adam Rayner and Matthew Walsh have all been promoted to partner, with Amy Wanless promoted to senior associate.

Sarah specialises in takeovers, acquisitions and corporate governance, with specific experience in delivering public company deals.

Former North East Insider Young Dealmaker of the Year, Adam specialises in private equity, venture capital, mergers and acquisitions.

Having been legal advisor on two North East Deals of the Year, Matthew specialises in private equity, downstream buyouts and acquisitions.

Amy Wanless is experienced in all aspects of corporate work, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments and shareholders agreements. She has also led the development of the firm’s popular Corporate Services offering.

Andrew Davison OBE, Partner and head of the corporate team, said: “Following a strong period of growth and success in our team, we are delighted to announce the promotions of Sarah, Adam, Matthew and Amy to their new roles.

“This is due to their incredible hard work and specialist expertise which has helped to grow our client base. We now have eight partners leading the largest team of dedicated corporate lawyers in the North East.

Andy Shannon, Activ Technology

Business communications and IT firm Activ Technology has appointed Andy Shannon as head of communications.

With over 20 years of industry experience, Andy joins the firm from Adept4 PLC where he was a pre-sales consultant.

Andy commented: “I have a wide-range of sector experience having begun my career as a senior telecom engineer.”

“At Activ, I have the opportunity to oversee and develop the communications side of the business and to grow the department by supporting the sales team when it comes to data, telecom or SIP technology.

“Activ is a forward thinking company and my ambition is to help grow both the business and the team by making key appointments within our engineering and provisioning teams.”

Managing director, Ian Gillespie, added: “We are very ambitious and continue to develop. Andy is a strong addition to the team and that can only benefit our loyal customers.”

Laura Brydon and Deb Tweedy, Gordon Brown Law Firm LLP (GBLF)

Legal specialist Gordon Brown Law Firm LLP (GBLF) has promoted two of its employees into associate roles.

Solicitor Laura Brydon and head of employment and HR Deb Tweedy have both been promoted to associate level..

Laura, who is part of the firm’s wills, trusts and probate team, started her career in law after graduating in 2007 and has been with the business since 2015 specialising in private client matters including the administration of estates, will writing, trusts, mental capacity issues and conveyancing.

Speaking about her promotion, Laura said: “It’s been my aspiration to progress in a firm in the North East and I’m delighted to continue my journey here at GBLF as it is where I see my long-term career.

“I’m really looking forward to getting settled into this new role and taking on the new responsibilities that being an associate brings, as well as supporting our head of department, Rebecca Harbron Gray.”

Deb, who joined GBLF in 2012, was inspired to pursue her career in law since joining the team and completed her master’s degree last summer. At present, Deb supports the North East’s SMEs with their HR responsibilities and works alongside GBLF’s managing partner Kathryn Taylor on the strategic development of the firm.

Deb said: “Since joining GBLF, I’ve been supported every step of the way and gaining my master’s degree was a huge milestone in my career to date.

“This new position will give me the opportunity to continue supporting the team in a management position and ensuring our clients receive the best possible service from the HR and employment team.”

Managing partner Kathryn Taylor added: “It’s important for us to recognise our employees’ hard work and we are delighted to have appointed Deb and Laura to associate.

“We are always keen to develop the practice of people within the team and I’m looking forward to working more closely with both Deb and Laura in our future plans.”

Jonathan Odonde and Graham Lawrence, Seaward Electronic

Electrical safety testing expert Seaward Electronic has made two new appointments to its board of directors.

Systems engineer Jonathan Odonde joins the Peterlee based business as chief technology officer, while financial expert Graham Lawrence takes on the role of finance Director.

Commenting on the appointments, Andrew Upton, Seaward Electronic managing director, said: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Jonathan and Graham to our leadership team.

“Since becoming part of the GMC-I group in 2015, we have worked hard to establish a management structure that supports our staff and gives them real opportunities to develop and shape the business. The appointments of Jonathan and Graham, who are working to develop our people and our company, are critical to the success of this.

“We are delighted to have been able to attract such experienced leaders and their respective technical and commercial achievements speak for themselves. I have great confidence that both Jonathan and Graham will help us continue to grow our market presence.”

Jonathan added: “I am excited to be joining Seaward at this pivotal time in the business. The company is a major player in the electrical safety and biomedical industries and the opportunity to be part of a team that develops such innovative solutions in these sectors was incredibly attractive.

“I am very much looking forward to helping develop Seaward’s technology strategy and helping the company achieve its ambitious business goals.”

Graham commented: “Andrew and the board’s passion for the business was evident from my first interview and I felt early on that I wanted to be part of the Seaward team and its plans for the future.

“In my new role I am looking forward to bringing wide ranging industrial experience that will help us introduce new systems and challenge the status quo – something that is very much welcomed here and will help us drive forward strategic growth.”

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