Movers & Shakers: 23 years on, Jo Perrins rejoins Essex law firm Birkett Long

Jo Perrins of Birkett Long.

Jo Perrins of Birkett Long. - Credit: Archant

Jo Perrins has returned to Essex law firm Birkett Long, which has offices in Chelmsford, Colchester and Basildon, as a chartered legal executive after a 23-year absence.

Jo, a specialist in residential conveyancing, was surrounded by members of the legal profession whilst growing up as it was her grandfather, Sir Ronald Long, who was a partner at the firm that bears his name, and who died in retirement in 1987.

Jo, 52, who lives in Braintree, has fond memories of visiting Sir Ronald at his Halstead offices while still a child when the firm was called Smith, Morton & Long. Her father, Sir Ronald’s son, Richard, was also a partner with the firm.

Jo said: “I remember my grandfather’s office was a really traditional affair – wood panelled and dominated by a huge mahogany desk, the walls were lined with legal books and there was this fantastic red carpet.”

Sir Ronald received his knighthood in 1964 and became founder and first solicitor member of the criminal Injuries Compensation Board.

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Jo added: “My memories of him were that he was a really kind, knowledgeable person and he treated his 15 grandchildren really well.”

She first started working for Birkett Long in the late Eighties as a legal secretary but left five years later, after training as a legal executive, to raise her two sons.

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She has always remained close to her roots, though, and picked up her legal career again working for other firms in Essex. In between, she found time for a career diversion when she spent five years as a police constable before returning to legal-executive work.

Now she is back with Birkett Long and works in the firm’s Chelmsford offices at Faviell House, which it moved to in April this year.

She said: “I’m really loving it. It’s so great to be back and it’s such a lovely environment and a world away from the traditional setting my grandfather was used to!”

::East Anglian law firm Prettys has appointed Lynn MacDonald as human resources manager for its Ipswich and Chelmsford offices.

Lynn has 12 years’ experience in human resources having previously acted as HR business partner at Maersk Line covering its Felixstowe, London and Birmingham offices. She has also held HR roles at B&Q and Ipswich Borough Council.

Lynn has been CIPD qualified since 2009 and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development.

Since expanding seven of its legal teams this year and with plans in place to make further appointments, Prettys has brought Lynn on board to manage the recruitment process and other HR matters.

Chief executive Ian Carr said: “I am delighted to welcome Lynn to the Prettys team. As the business is growing, we are proactively looking to recruit more staff across a number of our expanding client service teams.”

Lynn MacDonald said she was looking forward to working closely with Ian and the staff at Ipswich and Chelmsford.

Prettys employs 84 staff across the two offices.

::Ipswich-based commercial mower maker Ransomes Jacobsen has appointed Ella Boyden as public relations and communications officer.

Ella will be responsible for building relationships with editors and industry partners and managing all aspects of internal and external public relations including social media.

Ella joined the company as a marketing co-ordinator in June 2015 after graduating from the University of Essex with a BA (Hons) first class degree in English Literature.

Peter Driver, Ransomes Jacobsen’s current public relations manager, will be taking early retirement at the end of August. Peter has had a 17 year association with the company, first as a consultant with Command Publicity and for the past nine years as an employee of the company. Ella will be working closely with Peter over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition of public relations activities as Peter departs the business.

Ella said, “I’m really looking forward to getting fully immersed into this role. It’s an area that has always interested me and my background in English Literature should give me a good platform to build upon and ensure that I continue the successful public relations effort that Peter has nurtured over the years.”

::Ipswich-based law firm Birketts has appointed a team of former Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspectors to help organisations manage their own health and safety.

The team of ex-HSE inspectors - Frank Sykes, John Claxton and Martin Kneebone - have an in-depth knowledge of how the regulator works and what it looks for it, allowing organisations to gain an insight into the health and safety issues surrounding their business.

Laura Thomas, partner and head of the health and safety team at Birketts, said: “Birketts’ health and safety team uniquely comprises specialist solicitors and barristers as well as expert health and safety consultants. Our team of experts can tailor their services to any organisation, industry and businesses of any size. They provide emergency response to incidents as well as day-to-day practical assistance and have the support of our team of specialist solicitors and barristers where needed.”

::Three new solicitors have joined Greene & Greene.

The Bury St Edmunds law firm has expanded its employment, company commercial and dispute resolution teams with the appointment of Greg Jones, Megan Radcliffe and Kate Struthers.

Greg Jones qualified as a solicitor in 2009. He focuses exclusively on the area of employment law and advises on all employment and HR matters including executive appointments and dismissals, Employment Tribunal litigation, HR queries, TUPE transfers, mergers and acquisitions. He is recommended by a leading independent guide to the UK legal profession as “a name to note”.

Solicitor Megan Radcliffe trained with an international firm in the City. She has also worked as an in-house lawyer at an offshore marine engineering company. She advises on commercial and corporate matters including business purchases and sales, commercial contracts, corporate finance and fundraising and also has experience in both construction and engineering law.

Kate Struthers qualified as a solicitor in 2014 and advises on commercial litigation, property disputes and insolvency. Kate has provided in-house legal support to one of the UK’s largest private healthcare providers.

Senior partner Chris Thomson said: “We are delighted to welcome Greg, Megan and Kate. These appointments reflect the confidence that we and our clients have in the East Anglian economy. The demand for our services continues to increase so I am very pleased that we have found three such talented people to help us and to help our clients. I wish them every success in their careers here in Bury St Edmunds.”

::Adrian Sage of Ipswich-based insolvency practitioners McTear Williams & Wood has been promoted to senior associate

Adrian joined the firm in 2008 and specialises in working with underperforming businesses in financial difficulty, often working alongside local accountants to achieve the best possible outcomes for their clients.

Adrian has spent the majority of his working life since 1980 in the business recovery sector based in the Ipswich area and has helped hundreds of businesses in that time.

::Frinton-based employee research consultancy The Survey Initiative has appointed Linda Dare.

Linda, who will oversee the firm’s project and account support division, has more than 20 years’ experience in market and social research, and joins the consultancy from a board level position.

Director Gary Cattermole said: “With a BA Honours in Geography and Post Graduate Degree Business Administration, she has applied her knowledge to the management of business systems and resources, administration, accounting, quality assurance and client liaison. Thanks to her eye for detail and understanding of business processes she has already become a major asset to The Survey Initiative.”

Linda said she was “thrilled” to join the team.

She enjoys walking in the Cotswolds, the odd glass of Prosecco, laughing with family and friends, and most things Italian.

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