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Movers & Shakers: Law firm Ellisons appoints Toby Kramers as a partner

17:46 13 February 2014

Toby Kramers who has joined Ellisons.

Toby Kramers who has joined Ellisons.


Law firm Ellisons, which has four offices across north Essex, has appointed Toby Kramers as a partner.


Toby’s arrival comes at the start of a year in which Ellisons will be celebrating 250 years within the town of Colchester.

Toby, a commercial property solicitor, brings with him a wealth of experience to the firm having qualified in the City and worked in the area for the last 20 years.

“Ellisons has a fantastic reputation in and around East Anglia, and so I am proud to be a partner here,” he said.

“I am looking forward to meeting the firm’s many clients, working within this great community and celebrating this milestone year for the firm.”

Senior partner Guy Longhurst said: “Toby’s appointment is a very positive step for us. We look forward to 2014 and the opportunities that will present themselves to us and I am certain that Toby will contribute to this significantly.”

The appointment of Toby brings the total number of partners to 19 across the firm’s offices in Colchester, Clacton-on-Sea, Dovercourt and Frinton-on-Sea.

: : Hi-tech firm UltraSoC Technologies has appointed Chris Gilbert as non-executive chairman.

The pioneering University of Essex spin-out company, which is developing advanced debugging and optimisation technology for embedded electronic systems, is entering a period of rapid growth and Chris is set to play a key role in its development.

Chris is an experienced executive and a successful entrepreneur, with significant experience in company strategy, globalisation, fundraising, building companies, investor relations and mergers and acquisitions.

He has held a series of general management positions in two large American technology companies, Data General and Motorola. At Motorola, Chris was general manager of EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) for cellular infrastructure products in around 60 countries.

In 2000, he began his entrepreneurial journey in Silicon Valley as chief executive of IPWireless. His most recent company, Ubiquisys, was the main pioneer of the burgeoning cellular small cell industry, and its recent sale to Cisco for $310million was one of the biggest private company sales in Europe over the last two years.

UltraSoc chief executive Karl Heeks said: “I am delighted that Chris is joining us at this most exciting phase in the development of UltraSoC. Chris’s experience in company development will be an invaluable asset as we commercialise our technology in the global market. I would also like to thank Matthew Trowbridge for his chairmanship of the company over the last couple of years.”

Chris said: “The complexity of System-on-a-Chip (SoC) grows every year. Many companies’ sub-components are fitted together to make the SoC, and UltraSoC has developed an extremely valuable set of IP to allow super-fast on-chip analysis and optimisation of these components. Now that the technology is largely built and tested itself, I believe UltraSoC is ready to make a major impact on the time-to-market of the major chip manufacturers.”

Luke Hakes, a member of the Ventures team at Octopus Investments, said: “We are excited about Chris joining the team at UltraSoC. As a successful entrepreneur with a track record of making good returns for investors, Chris’s experience in growing businesses comes at an important time for the Company. We look forward to working with him and the rest of the team over the coming months.”

The company was originally founded in 2006 by Cambridge entrepreneur Dr Karl Heeks and University of Essex academics Professor Klaus McDonald-Maier, research director in the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, and Dr Andrew Hopkins.

: : As a result of an extension to its trading territory, which now includes South America, grounds machinery-maker Ransomes Jacobsen has announced further promotions at its European head office in Ipswich.

Richard Comely, former director of marketing and product management, has been promoted to director, global product management, responsible for a team of product management specialists in both Ipswich and at parent company Textron’s head office in Charlotte, North Carolina.

His team is responsible for all new products coming on stream in the near future and the continued development of existing products.

Richard was a technical sales representative for Ariens Company in Europe for many years and joined Jacobsen UK in 1997. Following Textron’s purchase of Ransomes in 1998 he was appointed as product manager in the new Ransomes Jacobsen organisation.

He earned a Textron Six Sigma Black Belt and helped develop a more measurable method of understanding end user unmet needs, helping the business to develop more customer focussed products. Early in 2011 he was promoted to director of marketing and product management

As a result of Richard’s move into a dedicated and focused product management role, Gina Putnam, the company’s former international marketing manager, has been promoted to director, marketing and communications - international. Previously employed with Bernhard & Company, she joined Ransomes Jacobsen in 2011 as marketing manager and was promoted to international marketing manager is 2013.

Gina was born and raised in Southern California and is a graduate of the University of Kansas. She began her career with the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) in 2002, promoting professional development and educational standards for golf course superintendents worldwide. She joined Bernhard’s in 2005 in the role of marketing and communications manager.

Managing director Alan Prickett said: “The extension of our trading area has resulted in the Ipswich business now being responsible for all sales and marketing activities worldwide, with the exception of Canada, USA and Mexico, which remains with Jacobsen in Charlotte. As a result Richard Comely is heading up our global product management function and will have the product management teams from both Ipswich and Charlotte under his remit. With his vast knowledge of product management from over 20 years in the turf management sector, Richard was the obvious choice for this position.

“Gina’s rise within the business has been nothing short of meteoric, having joined us back in 2011. She has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the global turf industry from her time at the GCSAA (Golf Course Superintendents Association of America) and Bernhard’s. Her contacts around the world have been an invaluable resource to our business and her work ethic is prodigious. These are well merited promotions.”

: : Justyn French has joined Lawford-based Rose Builders Ltd as quantity surveyor for housing projects.

Formerly with Brooks and Wood for more than nine years, Justyn is a strong addition to the team.

He brings with him a wealth of knowledge, skill and success in the Essex and East Anglian construction market.

: : Essex law firm Birkett Long has promoted two of its staff to associates. Unusually for legal firms, Birkett Long offers independent financial advice, and its financial planning manager Mike Cracknell, who joined the firm in 2000 and who has worked for 29 years in the financial services industry, is one of those promoted.

He previously managed a building society branch office but now specialises in the technical aspects of wealth creation and preservation involving trusts, pensions, pre and post retirement planning, personal taxation and inheritance tax advice.

Mike said: “There are not many legal firms that offer independent financial advice, too. The advantage to our clients is that all their requirements can be met in house, saving them time and money. This promotion gives a great lift to those of us who receive it. I’m proud to be on the receiving end of it.”

Solicitor Claire Wiles has also been promoted. She started working in the legal profession as a paralegal in 1999 and worked her way up, joining Birkett Long as a solicitor in 2006.

Claire works mainly on commercial contract disputes that include construction disputes, property litigation and injunctions. She said: “It’s a great accolade to have been promoted in this way in a firm that has such a strong standing not just in legal circles but the public, too.”

Birkett Long has offices in Chelmsford, Colchester and Basildon.



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Picture: Stephen Waller  www.stephenwaller.com

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