Dan Matthews, Kevin Scully and Ashleigh Tokarski, Knight Frank.
Chloe Shakesby

This week's North East appointments

Ashleigh Tokarski and Dan Matthews, Knight Frank

Knight Frank Newcastle has welcomed two new commercial property professionals to its 50-strong team.

Ashleigh Tokarski has joined Knight Frank as an associate and Dan Matthews is a senior surveyor. They are both working alongside partner, Kevin Scully, in the valuation and advisory team.

Ashleigh has over 10 years’ experience, having previously worked as an associate director in the development consultancy team at Cushman and Wakefield.

She was also previously an estates officer at Durham County Council and a surveyor at DTZ, where she started her career in commercial property.

She said: “We are incredibly busy so it’s been great to come in and get straight to work. As well as general commercial property valuations, I will be working closely with James Platts in our residential team, carrying out appraisals of residential development schemes.”

Dan Matthews has joined from Sanderson Weatherall where he was a chartered surveyor and valuer.

Kevin Scully, partner at Knight Frank, said: “We are delighted to have been able to recruit Ashleigh who brings some useful experience of working with all the major housebuilders and Homes England.

“Dan, likewise, is an excellent appointment and is already contributing greatly to the valuation team.”

Alexandra Withers, R3

A Newcastle solicitor has taken over as chair of the North East arm of insolvency and restructuring trade body R3.

Alexandra Withers is now responsible for leading R3 campaigns to highlight the benefits of accessing qualified advice from North East insolvency and restructuring professionals for both individuals and businesses with financial concerns, and will serve a two-year term in the post.

In her new role, Alexandra will be continuing R3’s drive to raise regional awareness of the support insolvency practitioners can provide to both businesses and individuals that may be experiencing financial difficulties.

She commented: “The North East is home to a community of high-quality insolvency practitioners and restructuring experts who make a significant and often unsung contribution towards the overall well-being of the regional economy.

“Much of the work that R3 members do goes unseen, such as the pre-emptive support and advice which helps to save hundreds of companies and thousands of jobs across the UK every year, without businesses necessarily having to go through a formal insolvency procedure.

“The insolvency and restructuring profession takes a planned and professional approach to dealing with distress and effecting rescue, and our message to both businesses and individuals is always to act as soon as any issues become apparent.

“Proactively tackling financial problems is crucial in maximising the chances of resolving them, and there are a wide range of tools and procedures that can be put in place to find a positive way forward.”

William Green, Muckle LLP

North East law firm Muckle has appointed William Green as consultant.

William is an experienced rural and private client specialist.

He said: “Muckle is a progressive and forward-thinking firm that has a reputation for delivering practical, personal and cost-effective advice to its clients.

“I was drawn to its fast-growing agriculture team because of its focus on delivering an exceptional, hands-on client experience.

“I am looking forward to introducing many of my long-standing clients to the firm and in working with the other team members on our continued growth and development.”

David Towns, partner and head of the Agriculture, Estates and Rural Property team at Muckle, said: “I have known William for a number of years and I have always been struck by how pragmatically and professionally he deals with things.

“He is fantastic to work with - a true gentleman - as his extensive professional network and loyal client-base will testify.

“William also embodies our ‘muddy boots’ approach and, like all of us at Muckle, he relishes being out and about, helping people and businesses in person.

“That is why it gives me great pleasure to welcome William to the team and continue to deliver excellent service to our ever-growing list of clients.”

David Richards, Jane Ward and Robin Hill, North

Shipping and marine insurer North, has promoted three of its team.

David Richards has been promoted to the role of director in protection and indemnity insurance claims, while Jane Ward and Robin Hill have both been appointed to the roles of senior executive (underwriting operations).

David joined North in 2018 after leaving his role as partner at Ince & Co. Having worked for the legal firm for more than 12 years, he was most recently head of its Japan office and was listed in the Legal 500 as a specialist in commercial shipping and trade.

His appointment to director will see David responsible for cargo claims and provide expertise on dealing with complex issues.

Both Jane and Robin have been with North since 1991 and have a wealth of experience in managing the operations of the 34-strong underwriting department.

Their new roles will focus on the underwriting executive function, as well as taking care of the company’s core documentation that shipowners, operators and charterers rely on to trade.

Paul Jennings, North’s managing director, commented: “We’re committed to developing our people, so it gives me great pleasure to see David, Jane and Robin progress in their careers and take on new responsibilities, enabling them to achieve their ambitions.

“David has a wealth of experience in cargo claims and will play a pivotal role in the growth of this side of the business in the months to come.

“Similarly, Jane and Robin have proved themselves to be fundamental to the continuing development of North’s underwriting operations.”

Richard Walsh, Surgo

Surgo Construction has appointed Richard Walsh as senior estimator.

With many years working for a regional construction company, Richardwill now have responsibility for managing and winning tenders for the company, as well as assisting the estimating team in the day-to-day running of project costings.

He commented: “I’m delighted to have joined Surgo as they have an excellent reputation in the marketplace.

“I have worked in a variety of tendering roles in civil engineering and building for regional and global contractors, so my experience aligns perfectly with my newly found role at Surgo.”

Martin Blight, director at Surgo, added: “I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Richard to the team.

“I believe his experience with different companies and projects equips him with the perfect skills required to develop the company and win new work.

“He will be a great asset to the team.”

Danielle Knowles, Robson Laidler Wealth

Robson Laidler Wealth has appointed Danielle Knowles as a paraplanner.

strengthened its team with the appointment of Danielle Knowles, with more than 15 years industry experience, as a paraplanner.

Danielle has more than 15 years of industry experience, and has joined Robson Laidler Wealth from a specialist medical accountancy and financial planning firm where she worked in the Corporate Department for 12 years supporting businesses and their employees who needed retirement advice.

Director of Robson Laidler Wealth, Amanda Cowie, commented: “We are really happy to have someone of Danielle’s calibre join our growing team.

“Our business continues to expand, and we know how important it is to have a group of fantastic individuals supporting us in providing advice and a quality service to our clients.

“Danielle is industry qualified and with her level of experience has already hit the ground running”.

Robson Laidler Wealth’s turnover has doubled in the past five years and they now manage over £100million of investments on behalf of their clients. Danielle brings the team to a total of six employees and RL Wealth has plans to appoint even more staff next year.

Danielle added: “I am really excited to be joining Robson Laidler Wealth. When I met with Amanda and Neil [directors] and they shared their vision for the growth of the business and their customer service ethos, I knew it was too good an opportunity to miss.

“I am very much looking forward to working with the team and supporting them with their research and preparation of advice.”

Alex Erskine, RWO

North East engineering specialist RWO has appointed Alex Erskine as its new director to oversee the expansion of its civil engineering operations.

Alex has been promoted to director of civils in a move that will see him working alongside the senior management team at the Seaton Burn-based firm on planned strategic growth, new business development, client liaison and managing a seven strong team of engineers and technical specialists.

He will also be involved in technical compliance for designs and pushing forward with workflows across the business, to continue to keep RWO ahead of the curve.

Managing director Ross Oakley, commented: “Since joining us, our clients have benefitted from his strong technical insight, leadership qualities and project management experience.

“He also brings a creative approach to delivering sustainable civil engineering solutions to the role, along with a strong work ethos and commitment to quality.

“I look forward to seeing his career continue to go from strength-to-strength at RWO.”

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