L-R: Christian Rowe and Neil Capstick, Executive Compass.
Jane Imrie

This week's North East appointments

Christian Rowe, Executive Compass

Bid and tender specialist Executive Compass has appointed Christian Rowe as managing director designate.

Career changer Christian joined the firm in 2016 as a bid writer, before being promoted to client relationship director in 2018.

Now studying for an MBA with Durham University, sponsored by the company and with core modules including leadership, finance and marketing, Christian will assume greater responsibility to run day-to-day company operations in his new role.

Executive Compass managing director Neil Capstick commented: “Christian’s progress has been phenomenal. The leadership skills were already there, but he’s had to learn about an entirely new, and highly specialised, business along the way.

“From the outset, he rapidly demonstrated an affinity for bid and tender writing and excelled when working across our whole client base, operating in many highly varied industries. The MBA is also helping enormously with the grounding he will need to steer the company forward.”

Christian added: “After many years of working in different fields and disciplines, I really feel I’ve found the right specialism.

‘I’m thrilled to be playing an integral part in the future of the firm and Neil’s succession planning and, all being well, the aim is to take over as MD of this exciting, high-growth business.

Simon Ellis and Stephen Bennett, Close Thornton LLP

Close Thornton LLP has appointed Simon Ellis and Stephen Bennett as associate solicitors on its corporate team.

With 19 years of experience in private practice, Simon specialises in commercial property and conveyancing.

With qualifications in health and safety, Simon has worked for a regional mechanical company where he managed his department.

Simon commented: “Having worked in the region for a few years, I am pleased to have joined the team here at Close Thornton.

“I have always held them in high regard and to have the opportunity to continue developing the commercial department here is a great move for me.”

Stephen recently qualified as a solicitor, having gained a first-class honours degree at Northumbria University.

Since then, Stephen has spent two years in practice gaining experience in all aspects of commercial law including commercial litigation, employment law, disputes and commercial property.

Stephen commented: “This is a great step forward for me at this point in my career.

“I am eager to continue developing my experience and to become a member of the Close Thornton team is ideal.”

Shaun Burke, senior partner at Close Thornton, added: “We are delighted to welcome Simon and Stephen to the team.

“They are excellent candidates and have exactly the right experience and approach for us. They have an exciting future here and we wish them every success in their roles.”

Sarah Ward, Samuel Phillips Law

Samuel Phillips Law has appointed Sarah Ward as senior associate.

Divorce and family law specialist Sarah joins from the position of director at a national family law firm specialising in complex, high net worth and international cases.

Sarah advises on all legal issues resulting from the breakdown of relationships, and on pre-nuptial, post-nuptial and cohabitation agreements. She has experience in dealing with complex and high-value financial disputes, often involving trusts, offshore assets, pre-acquired assets, inherited wealth and hidden assets.

In addition, Sarah also advises on private children’s law matters such as residence and contact disputes, relocation, parental alienation and financial claims on behalf of unmarried parents.

Jenny Goldstein, senior partner and head of Samuel Phillips Law family law, commented: “Sarah has an outstanding track record and exceptional knowledge in the complex area of divorces, financial disputes and children’s law.

“Sarah’s expertise and experience in family law has been recognised nationally by Legal 500 national directory, which named her as an expert in her field. We are delighted to welcome her, and she will undoubtedly boost our team’s depth and strength.”

Sarah added: “Samuel Phillips Law’s reputation as an excellent firm for family law matters is widely recognised.

“I’m so pleased to be working with Jenny Goldstein, who has forged a very strong reputation in family law. It’s great to be joining a first-rate team.”

Helen Marks, YoungsRPS

Chartered Surveyor and property consultancy Youngs RPS has appointed Helen Marks as planning and development consultant.

Helen brings with her almost 20 years’ experience working in both the private and public sectors, and joins the company from the Newcastle office of Lambert Smith Hampton, where she was for over ten years acting as director, and head of planning for North East and Yorkshire for the last three years.

Helen’s specialism is in providing commercial planning advice to public and private sector clients for major commercial, residential and mixed-use redevelopment proposals. including negotiation of development proposals, planning applications and planning appeals and includes expertise for public inquiries.

As well as private clients, Helen has worked for the Crown Estate, the Ministry of Defense and a number of local authorities and education providers.

Commenting on her appointment, Helen said: “I am thrilled to join the YoungsRPS team and I am looking forward to further enhancing the excellent services they provide to their wide client base.

“Having worked on a diverse range of projects, everything from residential developments to commercial regeneration sites, I will use my commercial expertise to provide expert advice on all the complexities that surround the planning system.

“My overall aim at all times is to offer support to landowners and developers and to help them realise the potential of their land or property.”

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