Law firm expands senior team

SUFFOLK law firm Gotelee & Goldsmith, has expanded its senior team following the promotion of Jane Fowles and Emma Woollard to partner.

Family law expert Ms Fowles qualified as a solicitor in 1998 and has worked exclusively in the family law department of Gotelee & Goldsmith since her appointment in 2000. Her role involves all aspects of family law, including divorce and disputes relating to the financial elements of family breakdown.

Ms Woollard, who qualified in 1999 and has worked at Gotelee & Goldsmith since 2005, works in the private client department and specialises in wills, administration of estates, elderly client advice – which includes court protection work – powers of attorney, nursing home funding and trust administration.

Managing partner Martin Whitworth said: “We are seeing continued strong demand in the areas of family law and private client law and are delighted to be able to offer our clients the highest possible level of expertise in these areas under the leadership of two exceptionally experienced lawyers like Jane and Emma.”

CONSENSE, the online engagement specialist based Martlesham Heath, near Ipswich, has appointed Jason White as head of development.

With an MSc in Computer Science and more than 10 years’ experience in web development, Mr White will be responsible for the build of all online consultations, ensuring that clients continue to benefit from the most cutting edge online tools and technology. He will also manage clients’ hosting and database requirements as well as developing additional Consense products and features.

Jason joins from Timberweb.com, the global timber and lumber e-market, where he has spent the last six years working on a variety of ecommerce projects, managing the full project cycle from scoping initial requirements, through to design, testing and overall systems support.

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Jessica Topham, director at Consense, said: “Jason is an ideal candidate with proven expertise in web development and online marketing. His expertise will be a real asset to Consense and our clients.”

Consense is the UK’s leading provider of online consultations. Its “Open Debate” system currently helps a range of businesses, including renewable energy developers, house builders, leisure companies and planning bodies, to consult with more people than the more traditional consultation methods do, reaching people who wouldn’t normally take part in consultation.

LOUISE Ramsden has moved to East Anglian law firm Prettys to develop her practice in the commercial property department. She will be based in the Chelmsford office, although she will be out and about as usual meeting clients and contacts.

She brings with her a wealth of experience in all areas of commercial property, having previously worked in the West End, a City firm and another leading commercial Essex firm. She acts for landlords and tenants, developers, landowners, investors and receivers. She also assists on the property aspects of corporate acquisitions and disposals.

Her most interesting work has included acting for an international cosmetics company in their boutique expansion across the UK, acting for the Competition Commission when it forced Tesco to sell a half-built superstore to a competitor (the first case of its kind) and complex land assembly involving a 100 acres of agricultural land in the Thames Gateway area.

Outside the office, she is sporty, and enjoys running and mountain biking, competing in both. Her main passion is ski-ing and snowboarding.

PRETTYS has promoted Georgina Rayment to associate. Ms Rayment joined Prettys in 1999 and, training with the firm, she qualified as a solicitor in 2006.

She is an integral part of Prettys’ Family Law Department, specialising in all aspects of the area, including divorce, financial settlement and children disputes. She is a member of Resolution, which promotes a non-confrontational approach to resolving legal matters in a practical way.

Chief executive Paul Dickie said: “As a firm we believe that the continued development of our staff is vital to the quality and standard of our work. Georgina is an asset to her department and we are delighted to recognise this through her promotion to Associate.”

EAST Anglia residential letting company Linnet Property Management has appointed a new manager.

Patrick Lawrence has joined Linnet Property Management, which is based in Northgate Street, Bury St Edmunds, after spending the previous five years working at an independent letting agency and estate agency, both based in Thetford.

“I’ve worked in the housing industry ever since leaving school, and really enjoy the challenges and variety it brings,” said Mr Lawrence, who lives in Honington.

“In my previous roles, I was responsible for carrying out daily functions such as arranging viewings and valuations, overseeing accounts and liaising with landlords and tenants. My new role at Linnet takes that work a step further.”

Linnet currently manages more than 300 properties on behalf of investment landlords, including 60 of its own. Specialising in lettings and property management, the company offers a wide range of services to both tenants and landlords.

Richard Carter, chairman of Linnet Property Management, said: “We are delighted to welcome Patrick to the experienced team at Linnet. His energy and enthusiasm will be of huge benefit as the company looks to expand still further, and will help to ensure that both landlords and tenants continue to get the best possible service.”

EXPERIENCED retail specialist Mubeen Skeikh has joined The Hearing Care Centre, as its new business operations manager.

The Hearing Care Centre, based in High Street, Ipswich, is a private, family-run, company offering hearing care services from 13 branches across Suffolk.

Mr Sheikh, who has joined the company from a popular chain of opticians, has enjoyed 20 successful years in the retail industry. His new role is to oversee the smooth and efficient running of the entire business.

Managing Director Karen Finch said she was delighted to now have him on board as part of her growing team.

Mr Sheikh said: “I have been fortunate enough to have worked under the wing of some truly great companies, and I am very grateful for this new opportunity. I have an overwhelming passion for providing service levels above and beyond the customers expectations, and I hope to achieve this here at The Hearing Care Centre.”

INDEPENDENT East Anglian homebuilder Hopkins Homes has further strengthened its team with two internal promotions and another new appointment, its ninth in seven months.

Dawn Urry has been promoted to the position of field sales manager, leading the team of sales negotiators, implementing and overseeing all site sales activity and ensuring consistent high standards are maintained at every stage of the home buying process.

Lesley Lewendon has been promoted to the position of sales and marketing co-ordinator. Her previous position within the customer care department has given her a highly transferable skill set that will be a major asset to the department.

The latest new appointment that of Matthew Atton to the land department as land manager. A graduate of Anglia Ruskin University, he has strong links with the region and in particular Essex and Cambridgeshire which feature significantly within the company’s expansion plans.

James Hopkins, executive chairman, said: “The strength of Hopkins Homes lies very much in the team we have assembled; who are able to progress careers through internal promotion, and the highly talented people that want to join us and be part of the Hopkins Team.”

BURY St Edmunds-based registered charity Focus12 has announced the appointment of Sarah Stamp as its public relations and events co-ordinator. The move comes at a time when much needed government funding for the charity is due to be cut, making the need for fresh fundraising initiatives and raising the profile of the charity critical.

Sarah Stampt has 16 years’ experience in PR, marketing and event management, and is looking forward to the challenge. She said: “To be given the opportunity to do what I love, for a cause that I passionately believe in is very exciting! In these difficult economic times, when more and more families are in crisis, it is more important than ever to raise the necessary funds to keep this vital facility running, and I am looking forward to helping Focus12 do that”. Chip Somers, chief executive of Focus12, added: “Although we are fortunate to have very loyal patrons and supporters, in reality we are reliant on fundraising events and donations in order to survive. In this tough economic climate, it is more important than ever to be able to raise awareness for the good work we do and to continue the support we give to those who need us and their families. I welcome Sarah to the Focus12 team and look forward to working with her”.