December 13 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Ipswich-based Ashton KCJ Solicitors has appointed new associates from within the firm.
Four members of staff - Gillian Brasher, Jennie Kingham and Teresa Callender, from the lifetime planning team and Mark Watson from the corporate & commercial team - have been appointed as associates, having successfully completed the firm’s development programme.
Gillian, who heads the trust and tax team, is based in the Cambridge office, Jennie is based in Ipswich, Teresa works at the Bury St Edmunds Guildhall Street office and Mark is based in Norwich.
Chief executive Edward O’Rourke said: “I would like to congratulate Gillian, Jennie, Teresa and Mark on this achievement, which is richly deserved. These appointments demonstrate Ashton KCJ’s commitment to investing in the professional development of our staff. It is always rewarding to be able to promote talented team members from within the firm.
“These appointments take the number of associates in the firm to 17, together with our 40 partners, they are working to meet a wide range of legal needs across the region and beyond.”
: : Andrew Benn, managing director of Spicerhaart Residential Lettings, has been appointed as a main board director of the Spicerhaart Group.
The 44-year-old, who started his career as a trainee negotiator, joined the Colchester-based estate agency group two-and-a-half years ago. Since then Andrew has helped Spicerhaart embark on an aggressive growth programme for its lettings division which trades under the group’s haart, Felicity J Lord, Darlows and Haybrook brands.
Last year, the lettings division grew the number of properties let by 30.2% compared to the previous year and is forecast to exceed that figure again this year, with half a dozen new lettings branches opening in 2013 to date.
Andrew, who lives in Kent, has also championed Spicerhaart’s Lettings Graduate Training Development Programme as well as its newly-launched summer internship scheme.
Andrew said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been invited to join the main group board and I look forward to working with our chief executive Paul Smith and the rest of my fellow board members at Spicerhaart in continuing to build our lettings division into a UK market leader.”
Paul said: “Andrew has a wealth of experience and has played an instrumental role in the impressive growth of our lettings division. I am confident that in his new role as a Spicerhaart group board director he will help us deliver our strategic objectives and continue to grow the business.”
: : Sudbury-based opticians Drage & Tozer is celebrating this week as a member of staff who has worked for the company for 17 years has recently become a Fellow of the Association of British Dispensing Opticians.
Andrea Hunt joined Drage & Tozer when she was still at school at the age of 17, working on Saturdays as a receptionist. After a short spell with another company, Andrea returned to Drage & Tozer and worked her way up. Three years ago Andrea started her degree course at Anglia Ruskin University which was followed by a series of professional exams. She completed her studies while also looking after her two young boys and working in the North Street practice.
Rupal Lovell-Patel from the department of vision and hearing sciences at Anglia Ruskin University presented Andrea with her qualification in the practice.
She said: “We are always proud to see our students achieve a high qualification, supported by such an excellent practice team.”
The FdSc FBDO qualification enables Andrea to dispense spectacles, advise on frame and lens selection to adults and children, as well as sight impaired patients.
Andrea also launched a new contact lens service that has dramatically improved how local patients receive contact lenses.
Owner Helen Drage said: “We pride ourselves on excellent patient care and are committed to supporting staff training. Andrea is a real asset to our team and a testament to how a local business like ours should support its talent. Sandra Tozer and I are delighted with what Andrea has achieved.”
: : Gary Church, electrical contracts manager at Blueflame, the Colchester-based gas, electrical and renewable energy specialists, has been promoted to general manager.
Co-founder and director Kevin Bull said: “We are very pleased that Gary has accepted the position of general manager. He has always contributed most ably to the development of Blueflame and we know he will in the future. He will now be providing the managerial link between the directors and our field and office based teams, as well as our customers, and we have every confidence that he will be successful.”
Gary said: “We’re quite unique at Blueflame; we take advantage of the best in new technology to design and install the most efficient commercial and domestic heating systems, and combine this with good old fashioned customer service. I’m delighted that I can focus on continuing to keep our levels of customer service consistently high and, thanks to the supportive and collaborative nature of both field and office-based teams, I have plenty of help.”
Blueflame Services was established in 1987 by British Gas engineers Kevin Bull and Tony Schatten. The 40-strong team provides gas, oil, electrical and heating engineering services, plus renewable energy and energy saving solutions, across Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.
: : Colchester and Clacton-based law firm Thompson Smith and Puxon (TSP) has appointed Eleanor Harries as marketing and business development coordinator.
Eleanor, who is local to the area, has just returned from Somerset where she was working in marketing for a highly regarded engineering company. Since working in marketing, Eleanor has built up a wealth of knowledge, but is particularly interested in web design and print media as a marketing platform.
Eleanor said: “I have always had an interest in law, so being able to work for a firm like TSP, which has such a breadth of practice areas and at the same time build on my own skills, is a fantastic opportunity.”
Chief operating officer Sean Stuttaford said: “I am delighted to add Eleanor to our team to help ensure our continued success.”
: : Timber and builders’ merchant Ridgeons has appointed Iain Bell as its new trading director. Previously with the John Lewis Partnership, Iain brings a wealth of valuable trading experience to the group.
Iain joined the John Lewis Partnership in 2005. In his role as head of transformation he played a key role in establishing a new shared services division. Prior to that, he was head of retail operations for the East of England and the midlands regions, and held a variety of branch manager posts at Waitrose stores across the UK.
Prior to joining John Lewis, he served in the Royal Air Force across several sites including RAF Wyton and RAF Alconbury.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunities that working for Ridgeons will present,” he said. “I am looking forward to utilising my experience to address operational challenges and maximise trading opportunities as business confidence grows across the region and the market continues its recovery from the recent economic downturn.”
Managing director Angela Rushforth said: “We believe that the experience Iain brings to the group will prove invaluable in helping us to continue growing and developing our people and to deliver on the high standards of service that our customers expect.”
: : Essex law firm Birkett Long has promoted solicitor Caroline Dowding to an associate, after working her way up within the firm since joining as a legal executive in 2000.
Caroline, who is the head of wills, trusts and probate in Birkett Long’s Colchester office, specialises in the administration of estates and reclaiming health care fees. She was thrilled to be appointed as an associate within the firm and is eager to continue to grow the reputable team.
She said: “I would like to thank the partners at Birkett Long for giving me this opportunity and I look forward to playing an important role in the development of our wills, trusts and probate team across East Anglia and south Essex over the coming years.”
Adrian Livesley, managing partner at Birkett Long, said: “Caroline has been with the firm for 13 years, during which we have seen her grow and develop her expertise and skills. She is an asset to our Wills, Trust and Probate team and we are pleased to be able to offer Caroline this promotion as a reward for her significant contribution to the firm.”
Caroline is also a member of the Essex branch of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) committee, sits on the Older Persons Forum of Colchester Borough Council and is a Full Professional Member of Solicitors for the Elderly, advising on NHS Continuing Healthcare and care home fees regularly.
Birkett Long has offices in Colchester, Chelmsford and Basildon.