Movers & Shakers: Essex law firm Birkett Long announces four new partners

Birkett Long partner Emma Clarke.

Birkett Long partner Emma Clarke. - Credit: Birkett Long

Four experienced solicitors have become partners at Essex law firm Birkett Long.

Birkett Long partner Lisa Collins.

Birkett Long partner Lisa Collins. - Credit: Birkett Long

The four women, Emma Clarke, Lisa Collins, Mel Loxley and Emma Wraight, bring the number of female partners at the firm to 11 and the total number of partners at its offices in Colchester, Chelmsford and Basildon to 23.

Chairman David Wisbey said: “I am delighted that four such accomplished lawyers have agreed to join the partnership. This is an exciting time for Birkett Long as we prepare to move into new offices in Colchester and focus on providing the best possible service to our clients across Essex and beyond.”

Lisa Collins, 31, from Colchester, is team leader of the south Essex divorce and family team. She is a former student of St Mary’s School and the Sixth Form College in Colchester, and trained at the firm, joining in 2008 after achieving a distinction in her Legal Practice Course at the College of Law.

Mel Loxley, 39, is a member of the divorce and family Colchester team. She is also a member of the Law Society’s Family Law Panel and Resolution.

Birkett Long partner Mel Loxley.

Birkett Long partner Mel Loxley. - Credit: Birkett Long

Mel has specialised in family law and divorce since 2001, and has been involved in a number of complex cases involving self-invested pension schemes, inherited wealth, foreign property and offshore trusts. She is experienced in dealing with private child law cases, securing residence and contact orders and, in one case, ensuring a father maintained contact while in prison.

Emma Wraight, 36, is based in the Chelmsford office as team leader of the residential real estate south Essex team.

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The former Hedingham School student studied law at the University of Hertfordshire, working in-house with British Sugar and One Housing Group before joining Birkett Long in 2005. She has worked in Birkett Long’s Basildon and Colchester offices and is a trustee and company director of Farleigh Hospice in Chelmsford.

Emma Clarke, 35, works in the Chelmsford wills, trusts and probate south Essex team and will take over leadership of the team in July. She qualified as a solicitor in 2006 and joined Birkett Long in 2010 from another Essex firm.

Birkett Long partner Emma Wraight.

Birkett Long partner Emma Wraight. - Credit: Birkett Long

She is a member of The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and a committee member of the Essex branch, and a member of Solicitors for the Elderly.

•First-class Oxford graduate Miles Coates has joined Birkett Long’s specialist team of agriculture and estates experts.

Miles, who grew up near Woodbridge and attended Orwell Park School, has joined the dedicated agriculture and estates team based in the firm’s Colchester office.

After graduating from the University of Oxford, Miles completed his Legal Practice Course in London and worked for a City law firm, where he qualified as a solicitor two years ago.

A keen horserider, Miles, who lives near Manningtree, said: “The countryside is my area of interest, and I chose a career in which I would be supporting rural businesses and landowners. I enjoy both the legal and personal sides of the role, in which an appreciation of the family context and history is so important.”

Miles provides advice to clients across Essex and Suffolk relating to land sales, agricultural tenancies, rights of way, mortgages, overage agreements, and many other issues relating to land.

•Broadcaster and voiceover actor Nick Pandolfi has joined the staff at Bury St Edmunds-based business support organisation MENTA.

He is woking with the business team at MENTA to help start-ups and established businesses improve the promotion of their brand, products and services through social media as well as traditional media.

Nick brings with him a wealth of experience in brand building, using social media, and visual and audio content and online tools, to enhance impact.

Chief executive Alex Till said: “Nick Pandolfi is a very welcome arrival - as MENTA expands we must grow our digital delivery and presence. We’re eager to tap into his wide experience to communicate effectively to Suffolk businesses across all media platforms.”

Nick said it was “a privilege” to join the team.

•East Anglian law firm Birketts has promoted Rachel Mc Killop-Wilkin to legal director.

Rachel, who joined Birketts in 2011, specialises in agricultural law.

“I’m delighted to have been promoted to legal director,” she said.

Jack Royall, head of the agriculture and estates team, said: “Rachel’s promotion is richly-deserved. Over the years she has become a central component of our successful team, ensuring that the highest standards are maintained.”

Chief executive Jonathan Agar said: “I look forward to seeing Rachel continue to play a central role in helping to continue the growth of our agricultural practice. Her promotion is fully merited and is indicative of our commitment to ensuring that we recognise the talent coming through at all levels with Birketts.

Rachel is based in Birketts’ Cambridge office but supports colleagues across Birketts’ four offices in Cambridge, Chelmsford, Ipswich and Norwich.

•East Anglia-based Ensors Chartered Accountants has welcomed Jayson Lawson as corporate director to its team in Cambridgeshire.

Jayson, who has over 25 years of experience in providing accountancy services to businesses in and around Cambridge, joined the firm in May having previously worked for Grant Thornton, Price Waterhouse Coopers and Price Bailey.

He is experienced in a variety of sectors including manufacturing, construction and technology and understands the needs of businesses of all sizes, from owner-managed businesses and small and medium sized enterprises right up to major global corporations. Jayson prides himself on providing reliable advice and expertise in a straight forward, down-to-earth manner, to help business owners deal with the myriad of compliance challenges that they face in today’s commercial landscape.

Ensors partner Paul Williams says “Jayson has fitted into the team here in Cambridge extremely well and is already very popular with clients and colleagues alike. He brings a wealth of experience with him, which not only strengthens the senior management team, but also allows us to develop and enhance our existing skills which is invaluable as the firm moves forward.”

Jayson said: “I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to work for a well established regional firm of chartered accountants. I look forward to developing my skills further and support my colleagues as the firm continues to grow in Cambridgeshire.”

•Professor Aled Jones, director of the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University, has been awarded the title of Honorary Fellow by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.

Professor Jones is an acknowledged global leader in public-private finance related to the green economy. His research focuses on risks and opportunities for financial markets and governments from global resource trends such as food, energy and water.

He said he was “delighted” at the appointment.

He is currently a Co-Investigator on the £6m ESRC Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP), the £4m European MEDEAS project exploring energy transitions and the AHRC Debating Nature’s Value network.

In 2013, the Global Sustainability Institute produced a report for the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries showing that resource constraints will, at best, lead to a steady increase in energy and commodity prices over the next century. In the worst case scenario, it found that constraints on precious resources could see pensions wiped out, lead to a serious, long-term decline of the global economy, and even trigger civil unrest.

That study, and other research carried out by the Global Sustainability Institute for the International Social Security Association and Lloyd’s of London, has helped to shape the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Limits to Growth.

Professor Jones has also chaired a working group on climate finance within the Capital Markets Climate Initiative (CMCI) on behalf of the Minister for Climate Change in the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), and was appointed a member of the UK-US Taskforce on the Impact of Extreme Weather on US/UK Food Security. He sits of the expert panel for the HRH Prince of Wales’ Accounting for Sustainability (A4S).