Movers and Shakers: Julia Stell joins Grant Thornton in Ipswich

FINANCIAL and business advisers Grant Thornton UK LLP has expanded its audit team with the appointment of a new manager based in the firm’s Ipswich office.

Julia Stell joins Grant Thornton following 10 years with another national firm in London where she qualified and progressed through the ranks to become an Audit manager.

In her new role, Julia will work with large and listed companies across all sectors, drawing on her considerable experience and technical expertise.

Julia, who lives in Ipswich, said: “Grant Thornton is one of the largest financial and business advisory firms in the region with a strong reputation. I am excited to become part of the team and look forward to assisting clients as well as helping to further develop the firm’s presence across the region.”

James Brown, partner at Grant Thornton East Anglia, added: “As a national and international firm with a local focus, we are well placed to help clients develop and grow their businesses and realise their goals. Julia’s experience will undoubtedly further strengthen our offering to the market as we go forward.”

Grant Thornton’s East Anglian offices house almost 200 staff providing business and financial advice to a wide range companies and individuals across a variety of sectors in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Essex.

: : IPSWICH-based plant hire specialists Fork Rent has promoted Elaine Miller to managing director.

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Following a highly successful career in transport and logistics, Elaine joined Fork Rent as operations director in April 2011, overseeing an exceptional growth period.

Elaine, a winner of the prestigious everywoman Woman of the Year Award in Transport and Logistics, said: “I’m delighted and honoured to be working with and leading a great team at Fork Rent. We have fantastic customer and supplier relationships and my priority is to continue to forge close business partnerships for the next phase of our growth ambitions.”

“Over the last year we have made positive changes to the business including enhanced systems, a new depot in the South West and strengthening the team structure. I am determined for Fork Rent to be the first choice plant hire partner, providing customers with both state of the art machinery and first class service.”

Elaine began her career with Russell Davies and became the first female director at the age of 30. Following the Securicor acquisition, she took on the role of development director and then moved to Hanbury Davies where she was instrumental in reducing cost and improving service that moved the business from loss making to profits in excess of �3million. Wincanton acquired that business in 2008 and Elaine facilitated that integration and also used her experience to further integrate the CEL group nine months later resulting in the company becoming the UK’s market leader in container logistics services.

Fork Rent’s Chairman, Guy Nicholls said: “Elaine has a great business track record and her can-do, approachable style fits perfectly with Fork Rent’s culture and aspirations. We are delighted and fortunate to have such a committed and high calibre individual and I’m very excited about our future.”

: : EAST ANGLIA-based Birketts solicitors has appointed two new partners, the promotion of seven associates and the recruitment of new legal expertise to the firm.

The law firm has invited corporate law specialist Adam Jones, based at Birketts’ Chelmsford office, to become a partner in the firm. He welcomed the challenge.

“I am delighted to have joined the Birketts LLP partnership. Birketts is one of the strongest law firms in East Anglia, and the only Top 100 law firm in Essex. I intend to play an active part in the firm’s future, not just as a corporate partner, but also in putting its plans for growth into effect in a fast-changing world,” he said.

Birketts has also further strengthened its partnership with the appointment of a new partner, Emma Carter. Emma joins the firm’s commercial pProperty team in Chelmsford. This will bring the total number of partners at the firm to 54.

Seven associates across all four Birketts’ offices have also been promoted to senior associate in recognition and reward of their continued growth in expertise and experience.

The new senior associates in Ipswich are Lisa Hayward, a member of the employment team, Ruth Sunaway, a member of the construction team in Ipswich and Stefan Harris-Wright, a member of the construction team in Norwich. Nick Burt, a member of the corporate team in Cambridge was also promoted to the senior position.

In the Chelmsford office, the new title of senior associate was awarded to commercial law specialist Eileen McKendry-Gray, Wills, Trust and Probate specialist Catriona Semple and commercial property lawyer Ross Wiltshire.

Alistair Lang, CEO at Birketts, said: “It’s encouraging to see so much home-grown talent rising through our ranks. As a full service law firm, the size and spread of this year’s promotions underlines our commitment to all our services as well as strengthening expertise within our core disciplines. I would like to congratulate each of them on achieving their new position and look forward to their continued contribution to our success.”

Finally, the firm has also recruited solicitor Paul Gorman to its commercial property team in Cambridge. Paul recently qualified having trained at a city firm where he gained experience managing a busy and varied case load working with a range of high profile national and international clients. He will specialise in lease and licence negotiations and drafting rent concession agreements.

: : TRISTEL plc, which manufactures infection prevention, contamination control and hygiene products and is based at Snailwell, near Newmarket, has appointed Christopher Samler as non-executive chairman.

Francisco Soler, who has been the non-executive chairman since the company’s flotation in June 2005, will continue as a non-executive director.

Mr Samler was appointed to the company’s board of directors in October 2011 and has been the senior independent non-executive director since then.

He currently has no beneficial interest in the company.

Francisco Soler said: “I am delighted to hand over the Chair to Christopher. He will be able to make a greater time commitment to the company and, with his past experience in healthcare, we can look forward to him providing great support to our management team. I shall continue as non-executive director to support this enterprise that I founded in 1993.”