Matthew Neville

This week's national appointments

This week’s round up of national appointments includes the Institute of Directors, Sydney Mitchell LLP and Vita Group. Read on to find out more.

Emma Gray, Marta Konieczna, Charlotte Jones, Emma-Louise Hewitt, Shilpa Unarkat, Claire Cooper and Shelley Collingbourne: Sydney Mitchell LLP

Sydney Mitchell LLP has announced seven senior promotions. Emma Gray is a family law solicitor who trained with the firm and is a “compassionate and highly skilled solicitor” in her field.

Marta Konieczna is a conveyancing solicitor who has built up a loyal following of clients and referrers such that the firm have recently expanded the conveyancing team at their Shirley office again.

Charlotte Jones, senior solicitor, took a very different path to becoming a solicitor, using the EMA route. She has excelled at every stage and her clients value her skills as a private client specialist.

Emma-Louise Hewitt heads the employment team and joined the firm in 2018. She has doubled the turnover in that team since she arrived and has been recognised as a rising star in the Legal 500.

Shilpa Unarkat has rebuilt the commercial property department in Shirley and developed her own network of clients and is now working on developing and expanding the team further.

Claire Cooper has picked up the reins in the Birmingham office from Fahmida Ismail who has now retired from the firm. Claire will be continuing to build the commercial property team in the City.

And finally, Shelley Collingbourne leads the private client team at the Sheldon office. She has steadily grown through the ranks, having trained at Sydney Mitchell straight from school and has reached the ultimate goal with her promotion to partner.

Debbie Black, Alyson Chadwick and Richard Webster: The Institute of Directors

The Institute of Directors has further bolstered its Manchester team with the appointment of three “leading business figures”. Debbie Black, Alyson Chadwick and Richard Webster join the branch leadership team as ambassadors.

Debbie Black set up DGB Solicitors to specialise in advising directors and shareholders in private companies. As well as being a company director for more than 17 years in the legal sector, Debbie has 30 years’ experience as a litigator, with a focus on good governance, infrastructure and practical policies.

Alyson Chadwick is the co-founder of Hedgehog, which provides consulting, business advisory and coaching services. She has more than 25 years’ experience of leading strategy, planning and transformation delivery. Following spells with LEK Consulting and Co-op Bank, Alyson became group strategy director for Co-op Group.

Richard Webster is a chartered civil engineer and chartered director, with 30 years’ experience in the insurance and support services sectors. Following senior leadership roles with Euler Hermes, Morgan Sindall and AIG, he now works as a non-executive director and advisor.

Debbie Francis OBE, chair of IoD Manchester, added: “I am delighted to welcome Debbie, Alyson and Richard to our fast-growing and vastly experienced Manchester team. By sharing best practice and knowledge, we will ensure that Manchester’s directors can navigate the challenges that lie ahead and prosper.”

Chris Middleton, Vita Group

Vita Group is building out its retail team with Chris Middleton joining the business as retail asset manager. A new role for the business, Middleton will look after Vita Group’s growing retail and leisure portfolio.

Chris joins the business with over five years’ experience in Bruntwood’s retail team. During this time he worked across sites in Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Birmingham with a variety of international, national and regional brands such as Brewdog Beer Hotel, Fred Perry, Rudy’s Pizzeria and Bundobust.

Max Bielby, chief operating officer for Vita Group said: “We’re delighted to welcome Chris to the team, retail and leisure continues to be a key corner-stone to our operational platform, helping to compliment the destinations we create and support the surrounding community.

“Having Chris within the business who can take these opportunities to market is really important as we target future growth.”

Chris added: “Vita Group has established its reputation as an urban regeneration specialist, creating thriving communities. With a host of highly attractive retail and leisure opportunities ready to take market and in the development pipeline, I’m looking forward to continuing to build on Vita’s great work, bringing new brands to amazing spaces.”


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