Jane Imrie

This week's North East appointments

IT support and services firm Activ Technology has appointed Tom Johnston and Jessica Ivison as graduate business development executives.

Tom, who studied business and management at Manchester University, and performing arts graduate Jessica both joined the firm’s first graduate scheme through recruitment firm Pareto.

Leeds Beckett graduate Jessica explained: “Having completed a performing arts degree… I did a complete u-turn and switched my attention towards a more business-focused role.

“Through Pareto I applied for the role of business development executive at Activ Technology and was delighted to become a member of the team. Sales is in my blood. My father and grandfather worked in sales roles and the idea of working for a family business really appealed to me.

“My role at Activ is part of a development programme, Tom and myself are working across all sales functions of the business under the supervision of Dean Cowens and Michael Fulthorpe to discover which area is a best fit for us.”

Tom commented: “Like Jessica, I also joined from Pareto and being able to share our knowledge and support each other during continued learning, is an added bonus.

“I am really enjoying building my client knowledge and will look forward to developing my own portfolio of clients as I continue my journey with Activ.”

Managing director at Activ Technology, Ian Gillespie, added: “We warmly welcome Jessica and Tom to the team. The graduate scheme provides an opportunity for them to pursue an area of the business they feel would be best suited to their skill set.

“It is also interesting to note that although Jessica and Tom both left the region for university, they have returned to the North East, choosing to progress their careers with Activ Technology. It is very good news for the local economy if this is to be a growing trend.”

Alexis Wood and Michael Taylor, Hay & Kilner

Law firm Hay & Kilner has appointed Alexis Wood and Michael Taylor as trainee solicitors.

Alexis and Michael have started on a two-year training programme which will see them spend four blocks of six months working alongside experienced practitioners in different departments within the Newcastle-headquartered firm.

Taking a chemistry degree at Durham before deciding on a change of career direction, Alexis completed a Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course qualifications at Northumbria.

Having worked as a paralegal in Hay & Kilner’s residential property unit for the last year, Alexis has begun her first training assignment within the firm’s clinical negligence team.

Michael holds a law degree from Durham University and a Legal Practice Course qualification from Northumbria University. He is now part of the firm’s commercial property department.

Commenting on her appointment, Alexis explained: “I wanted to go into law when I was younger, and after I graduated, I decided to take another look at my career options within the North East and did placements at a few different law firms.

“The atmosphere at Hay & Kilner really made it stand out from the crowd. I was really keen to join once I’d completed my studies and working here has very much lived up to my expectations.”

Jonathan Waters, managing partner at Hay & Kilner, added: “We aim to give our trainees the best possible grounding in the law, as well as a detailed understanding of the high client service standards to which we adhere.

“Many members of our senior team have built successful careers at the firm after joining as trainees, and both Alexis and Michael now have the chance to follow in their footsteps.”

Matthew Sigsworth, Saira Farook, Gemma Holmes and Francesca Angelucci, EMG Solicitors

Law firm EMG Solicitors has appointed Matthew Sigsworth, Saira Farook, Gemma Holmes and Francesca Angelucci to its growing team.

Matthew has joined the company from Ramsdens in York, and specialises in litigation, general disputes and employment issues.

Matthew commented: “I am very impressed by the rate at which the business is growing and how successful it is. It is also a place where there are lots of opportunities to develop my own career.”

Saira has also joined the team, having worked across a number of areas she now specialises in conveyancing.

Saira explained: “I joined EMG because of the importance put on the relationship between directors and other staff. Our opinions and input are valued and our morale and happiness at work are considered important.”

Associate solicitor Gemma specialises in family law and matrimonial cases, with more than 12 years of experience in working on cases involving arrangements for children, pre-nuptial and cohabitation agreements, along with promoting non-confrontational resolution of disputes.

Gemma commented: “At EMG there is a constant buzz in the office and it’s bursting at the seams with enthusiastic, creative and hard working people at every level.”

Associate solicitor Francesca has joined the firm’s Newcastle office after returning to the North East from London. Francesca specialises in residential conveyancing and will be based at the firm’s Gosforth High Street branch.

EMG Solicitors’ managing director Emma Gaudern commented: “EMG is going from strength to strength and bringing in Matthew, Saira, Gemma and Francesca as part of our team is good news for everyone.”

Abbie Osguthorpe and Becky Ramsey, Clothier Lacey & Co

PR Agency Clothier Lacey & Co has appointed Abbie Osguthorpe and Becky Ramsey as PR executives.

A graduate in multimedia journalism, Abbie will be working alongside politics graduate Becky to secure online and offline coverage for clients, as well as planning and delivering PR and social media strategies.

Abbie and Becky will also be responsible for spearheading the development of the digital output as well as business development.

Commenting on her new role, Abbie said: “Clothier Lacey has a brilliant reputation and client base and I’m hoping that my knowledge and experience around digital and social marketing will offer clients some new perspectives and ideas.”

Becky added: “I am delighted to have been taken on, Clothier Lacey has a long-established reputation working across multiple industries which makes it the ideal place for me to gain experience and develop my skills.”

Philippa Clothier, founder and managing director commented: “Becky and Abbie will be great additions to the excellent team we already have at Clothier Lacey & Co.

“Their enthusiasm and skills are suited to the professional atmosphere we promote here. We work with several high-profile clients and are looking forward confidently to the future.”

David Summerhayes, Sintons

Law firm Sintons has appointed David Summerhayes as partner.

A commercial litigator, David has over 15 years of experience of acting for national and multinational businesses, including global brands, FTSE 100 companies and fast-growth SMEs.

Experienced in a range of areas including breach of contract, company law and partnership disputes, professional negligence, fraud actions and probate and trusts litigation, David is also known for his work in defamation and privacy, particularly around social media.

David commented: “Sintons has an excellent reputation for its strength and capability across the business and I am very pleased to join a firm which supports my own professional aspirations and ambitions, but which also has its focus on delivering an outstanding legal service and being absolutely committed to its clients.”

“This feels like a very exciting time to be joining - while many other firms are downsizing or merging, Sintons is growing and is continuing to recruit and invest. The ambition it displays sends out a clear message to the marketplace and I am delighted to be part of it.”

Mark Quigley, managing partner of Sintons, added: “Our dispute resolution team has an excellent reputation which we have built over many years, and to add someone of David’s calibre at such a time of growth and opportunity for the department is very exciting.

“David is a leading litigator with an outstanding track record and we are very pleased to welcome him to Sintons and to the partnership.”

Clara Riach, Ascent Homes

Northumberland-based housebuilder, Ascent Homes, has appointed Clara Riach as graduate quantity surveyor.

In her new role, Clara will be responsible for assisting the senior quantity surveyors with new procurement opportunities and sub-contract packages, undertaking site valuations and assisting with the day-to-day running of projects.

Clara joins the team after graduating from Northumbria University with a MSc in Surveying, Construction and Housing and has recently held a position as Assistant Quantity Surveyor.

Commenting on her appointment Clara said: “I’m thrilled to have landed a role with one of the leading housebuilders in the region.

“Ascent Homes has some great up and coming projects and I can’t wait to develop my knowledge and understanding in the housing sector by working with the rest of the team.”

Duncan Bowman, Ascent Homes’ development director said: “We are delighted to welcome Clara to the team, who joins us with a very good degree and similar experience within the housing sector.

“Ascent Homes is committed to providing sustainable career opportunities for young people as we believe they can offer a fresh and dynamic approach to projects.

“Clara will also benefit from close mentoring by Senior Quantity Surveyor, Jane Simpson, who has dynamic experience working abroad and in the UK.”

Emma Callaghan, Alex Kennedy, and Andy Darby, Lichfields

Planning and development consultancy Lichfields has appointed graduates Emma Callaghan, Alex Kennedy, and Andy Darby as planners.

Emma joins from University of Glasgow where she completed an MSc in city planning and real estate, after earlier graduating with a first class geography degree from the University of St Andrews.

Alex secured a first in economics from Manchester Metropolitan University, before returning to the North East to successfully complete an MSc in urban planning and development at Newcastle University.

Andy took a degree in Geography at the University of Liverpool, securing an Upper Second class degree, and then completed a masters degree in civic design; town and regional planning.

Lichfields’ senior director Jonathan Wallace commented: “We are delighted to recruit three more talented young people to further strengthen our team, and support the office’s growth.

“Our three new planners will support a growing and increasingly diverse workload, which includes projects across the industrial, health and education sectors as well as work in housing and town centres, for which we are often best known.”

Andrew Alexander, Anna Tucker, Sam Young, Adam Pickard, Liam Eltringham and Jamie Patterson, MHA Tait Walker

Accountancy practice MHA Tait Walker has welcomed six new recruits to its North East offices.

Andrew Alexander, Anna Tucker and Sam Young have all joined the firm as business services trainees.

Adam Pickard has also come onboard as IT assistant on a 12 month work experience placement while studying computer science at Northumbria University, Liam Eltringham joins as tax assistant and Jamie Patterson has been appointed as business services outsourcing manager.

Business services trainee Anna joins the firm with a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics from Newcastle University and is currently working towards her ACA qualification.

Anna said: “I’m really excited to have joined the MHA Tait Walker team and I’ve already learnt a lot about how my career can progress here.

“For my first year I’ll be working in accounts and then for the second and third year I’ll move into audit. We’ve got lots of other specialist teams here, which I am keen to explore further and learn more about as I develop my career here at MHA Tait Walker.”

With AAT, ACCA and FCCA accounting qualifications, Jamie brings a range of expertience to his new role, which will see him reviewing management accounts and working with clients to help them to manage their business finances day to day.,

Commenting on the new hires, Mark Parkinson, HR partner at Tait Walker, said: “It’s fantastic to welcome six new recruits to the MHA Tait Walker team and to continue our work with the recruitment of trainees and graduates.

“We are passionate about the talent here in the region and each year we recruit team members at every stage in their career.”

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