(Clockwise from top left) Jonathan Pollard, Emma Digby, Stephen Lewis, Sarah Macauley are amongst the recruits to Ward Hadaway Leeds.
Jane Imrie

This week's Yorkshire appointments

Jonathan Pollard, Emma Digby, Stephen Lewis, Sarah Macauley, Neil Armitage and Amber Wilson, Ward Hadaway

Law firm Ward Hadaway has made a series of new appointments at its Leeds city centre office.

New partners Jonathan Pollard, Emma Digby and Stephen Lewis have joined the firm alongside associates Sarah Macauley and Neil Armitage and paralegal Amber Wilson.

Jonathan joins forces with partner Adrian Ballam who joined at the end of 2019. They both specialise in corporate law, including management buy-outs, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity investments. They have also both previously worked with a range of local, national and international organisations.

Emma and Stephen are both specialists in commercial litigation. Emma has a multi-disciplinary background, practising in Sheffield before moving to Leeds. She has been involved in high value, complex cases.

Stephen meanwhile has over 20 years of experience handling commercial and contractual disputes, particularly where material damage is involved, working with major contractors, local authorities, insurers and insurance brokers across the UK. Stephen joins with his team of Neil Armitage and Amber Wilson.

Associate Sarah Macauley is an insolvency specialist, and brings with her a network of clients from across the region.

Martin Hulls, managing partner of Ward Hadaway, commented: “We are delighted to welcome all the new recruits on board.

“They join us in very unusual circumstances, but as a firm, we are fully set up to deliver a full service to our clients remotely, and so they have still been able to hit the ground running.

“Our strategy to build our reputation and profile to attract the best talent has been a long term strategy, and we are not going to be diverted from that path by the current extreme circumstances.

“We are, therefore, very pleased to welcome this cohort of fantastic talent to the firm.”

Elizabeth Bell, Jones Myers

Family law firm Jones Myers has appointed Elizabeth Bell as partner.

Joining Jones Myers as a solicitor in 2015, Elizabeth’s experience spans 13 years with a track record in complex high value cases involving company structures and trusts.

Representing clients across the UK and internationally, she is also experienced in advising on relationship matters such as cohabitation agreements and disputes.

Jones Myers director, Richard Peaker, commented: “Elizabeth’s promotion is well deserved – she is highly respected and her reputation and expertise speak volumes.

Elizabeth added: “I’m proud and delighted to have been promoted to partner. I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Jones Myers team over the last few years and they are truly specialists in their field.

“I look forward to playing my part in the future success of the firm in my new role.”

Keith Madeley, Intelligence Forums

Intelligence Forums has appointed Keith Madeley as thought innovation coordinator for Yorkshire.

Known in the business community as ‘Mr Yorkshire’, Keith is a local entrepreneur and businessman, and is involved with several organisations throughout the region.

Keith commented: “Having already established a working relationship with Intelligence Forums through my role as Chairman of the Unity Club, it is with delight that I have become directly involved with their mission of creating a greater link between Parliament and business and connecting Yorkshire in particular with the South and Midlands.

I have a passion for linking business and education and Intelligence Forums’ aims of greater public and private collaboration build on this desire.

“My connections enable me to engage with financial power to invest in business to create hope and opportunity for the wider society.”

Intelligence Forums founder Harry Corbett added: “The Intelligence Forums team is delighted to have Keith Madeley as our thought innovation coordinator in Yorkshire. We have been fortunate to have had a great deal of assistance from Keith.”

George McCanney and Grace Holliday, Secerna LLP

Intellectual property specialist Secerna LLP has appointed George McCanney as trainee patent attorney and Grace Holliday as executive assistant.

George earned a degree in Bioscience from the University of Liverpool before undertaking a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Glasgow. His PhD project focused on the repair of the central nervous system, particularly working on drugs that may be able to help MS sufferers.

George commented: “Whilst I enjoyed my time in academia, I always felt that my future lay elsewhere once I had completed my PhD.

“Working in IP law appealed as no two cases are the same, you’re constantly learning about new technology and facing different challenges.”

An experienced and a fully trained legal secretary, Grace worked in conveyancing for Leeds law firms before spending two years living and working in Australia.

Grace explained: “When I returned to the UK, I was looking for a new challenge in a new area of law.

“As soon as I sat down with Jason and Charlotte, I knew that intellectual property law was where I wanted to be. There has been lots to learn and take in but working with a tremendous team has helped that process.”

Secerna partner Charlotte Watkins added: “Despite challenging times, the firm is experiencing continued growth, and we are committed to providing clear development paths for talented young science and technology graduates who, like George, are looking for an alternative to a career in academia.

“We are very happy to welcome two new starters to the team of George and Grace’s calibre. Both bring a wealth of knowledge to their roles and are already proving incredibly valuable to our work with clients across the UK and beyond.”

Deborah Marsh, Wake Smith Solicitors

Sheffield-based Wake Smith Solicitors has appointed Deborah Marsh as an associate and collaborative lawyer.

Deborah joins the family law team specialising in all areas of the practice, including divorce/dissolution of civil partnerships, separation, finances, private children matters, cohabitee disputes, domestic abuse and pre and post nuptial agreements, with a particular emphasis on complex and high net worth cases.

Deborah also qualified as a resolution-accredited collaborative lawyer in 2011. She has previously worked across South and West Yorkshire as a family and matrimonial solicitor at firms in Leeds, Chesterfield, Barnsley and Sheffield.

Deborah commented: “The chance to come back to Sheffield and work within such a well-known company as Wake Smith was too good to miss. I join a strong team recognised as providing considered, professional and friendly advice.

“The current unprecedented time may have meant an unconventional start to my time at Wake Smith, but it is very much business as usual here through our online and digital systems and I am delighted to be joining such a highly regarded company.”

Lindsey Canning, head of family law at Wake Smith Solicitors, added: “I have known Deborah for a number of years and she is highly experienced, tenacious and professional. She makes a fantastic addition to our team.”

Gil Chimon, Vida Healthcare

Harrogate-based specialist dementia care provider Vida Healthcare has appointed Gil Chimon as home manager of Vida Grange.

Gil brings over 25 years experience in the voluntary and community sectors with him. Working with the team at Vida Grange, Gil will be responsible for the continued safety and security of residents during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond, maintenance of services and preservation of the homes’ Outstanding rating.

Over the past 25 years, Gil has held a number of roles including group CEO at Hill Homes, director North of England at Alzheimer’s Society, and a national leadership role at Relate.

Commenting on his role, Gil said: “I’m passionate about advocating high quality, needs led and person centred care, and my role at Vida Grange will enable me to deliver this to our residents.

“I’m honoured to be given the opportunity at a leading organisation like Vida Healthcare and to work with such a fantastic and dedicated team. Although times are turbulent, people seeking high quality support for their loved ones shouldn’t hesitate to look to care providers.”

James Rycroft, managing director at Vida Healthcare, added: “It’s people like Gil who enable us to protect society’s most vulnerable and offer them a high quality, and relatively independent life.

“Despite the barriers to recruitment and success presented by COVID-19 we are continuing to invest in our residents and staff, and technology like video conferencing has enabled us to do this.

“Although we are already successfully tackling the challenges of the pandemic, Gil’s appointment will give us an even greater ability to navigate our way through this unprecedented situation. I’m looking forward to working with Gil and seeing how his expertise strengthens our already outstanding care delivery.”

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