Movers & Shakers: Female partners now in majority at Essex law firm Fisher Jones Greenwood

Gayle Fordham, Rachel Earnshaw and Marion Knocker of Fisher Jones Greenwood.

Gayle Fordham, Rachel Earnshaw and Marion Knocker of Fisher Jones Greenwood. - Credit: Fisher Jones Greenwood

Essex law firm Fisher Jones Greenwood (FJG) has made four internal promotions, three to partner and one to associate, bringing the firm’s total number of partners to 19.

Experienced solicitor Rachel Earnshaw becomes the seventh partner in the family team, while legal executives Gayle Fordham and Marion Knocker are both promoted to partner in the conveyancing team, bringing the number of conveyancing partners to four.

Licenced conveyancer Donna Duca, who is based at the Billericay office, also becomes an associate in the conveyancing team.

Rachel Earnshaw joined the firm in 2000 and now works in the family team specialising in care at the Colchester and Clacton offices.

Rachel works under difficult circumstances mostly with vulnerable clients and has been instrumental in the success of many new initiatives in the firm.

Marion Knocker and Gayle Fordham both work in the conveyancing team at the Colchester Business Park office and started with the firm as office juniors. Marion is now a Fellow of CILEX and is in the process of completing her level 3 CMI Management training. Gayle is currently working towards the completion of both her CILEX qualification and CMI Management training.

The new appointments bring the total of female partners at the firm to more than 50%.

Most Read

“It’s fantastic to announce the promotion of three long-standing and highly respected lawyers to partnership from within the firm. Not only are they all adaptable, knowledgeable and confident team players but also a great example of our commitment to the career development of our staff,” said managing partner Paula Fowler.

“These promotions also demonstrate the firm’s commitment to equality and diversity. Not only that but of the four promotions, three have just had babies, so we look forward to them starting their new roles once they return from maternity leave.”

•Sandy Ruddock, of Scarlett & Mustard, a food firm based at Earl Soham, near Framlingham, and business investor Dominic Keen have joined the board of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Sandy, who will be the board’s small and mediuim-sized enterprise (SME) representative, was Investec Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year for Best Newcomer in 2014, and in 2015 was appointed one of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ 50 Food Stars. She was also a finalist in the 2015 Lloyds Bank Business of the Year Awards, a finalist in the Women in Business Awards and in 2016 won the East Anglian Daily Times Small Business of the Year.

Dominic is chief executive of Martlesham-based Britbots (, a seed fund investing in and mentoring some of the fastest growing robotics companies in the UK. Having previously worked in engineering and software, he is a champion for the British robotics industry and will bring his expertise in this growing sector to the LEP board.

Both said they were delighted to join the LEP.

LEP chairman Mark Pendlington said: “I am very pleased to welcome Sandy and Dominic to the board. Small businesses are at the heart of our growing economy and the voice of this vital sector must continue to be heard loud and clear around our board table, so we are delighted to welcome Sandy as our new SME representative.

“We also welcome Dominic, whose breadth of expertise in technology, robotics and business funding will add considerably to the depth of experience already on our board. We continue to attract the highest calibre of business leaders, and both Sandy and Dominic bring experience and knowledge which will be invaluable to us.”

Sandy and Dominic take the places of Davina Tanner, of Britannia Enterprises, and Mark Goodall, of Aker Solutions, who stood down from the LEP board.

•A Colchester entrepreneur has been honoured by parliament for his contribution to the beer industry.

Chief executive of Cask Marque Paul Nunny was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group at an event in Westminster attended by more than 150 MPs and peers.

During his 45-year career, Paul, a chartered accountant, has been a director at Lay & Wheeler Wine Merchants and Adnams Brewery and is a non-executive director at Sambrooks Brewery in London. He has been involved in setting up a number of organisations including the Beer Academy and Cyclops, a beer descriptor scheme.

He was one of the four founders of Cask Marque, a beer quality organisation, based in Colchester. He has taken it from strength to strength, and 10,000 pubs across the country have now reached its exacting standards for the quality of cask ale.

MP Mike Wood, chair of the Beer Group, said: “Paul is one of the most energetic and tireless people in the industry when it comes to promoting beer and pubs.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that Cask Marque has transformed the quality of cask ale sold to pub goers across the country.”

Paul’s most recent venture has been the creation of ‘Stay In A Pub’, a website to encourage people to use pub accommodation, making booking easy, and supporting the pub and brewery industries in the process.

Paul said of the accolade: “It was totally unexpected: a great surprise, and a huge honour.”

•Barclays has appointed Sasha Wiggins as managing director for corporate banking in the east and south east region.

In her new role, she will be responsible for the ongoing growth and development of Barclays’ Corporate Banking in the region, looking after clients across a wide range of sectors from manufacturing and technology to retailers and professional firms.

Sasha has held a number of senior leadership positions in Barclays, most recently as chief executive of Barclays Bank Ireland. Previously, she worked as National Head of Charities and Professionals for Barclays Wealth and Investment Management in the UK. She joined Barclays in 2002 as a private banker, having trained as a stockbroker.

“I am honoured and very excited,” she said.

Sasha dedicates considerable time and energy to the diversity agenda and has spoken as a panelist at a number of events, both internally and externally. She is a Chartered Wealth Manager, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment and has more than 20 years’ investment experience.

•Storage provider Portable Space, based at Bacton, has promoted Mark Dolman to be the company’s first commercial director, with responsibility for optimising new opportunities, ensuring sustainable growth and maintaining the current high standards of quality and service.

Mark started with the firm as hirefleet manager before becoming commercial manager and now commercial director. Managing director Mark Black said: “Mark’s promotion provides a firm foundation for our business development programme at an exciting time for the company. Whilst we are keen to grow in a sustainable and innovative way, it is also of paramount importance that our commitment to providing the highest standards of products and service to our customers continues.”

The business, which employs 32 people, provides secure storage or additional accommodation, including shipping containers, steel cabins and modular buildings to sectors such as education, construction, renewables, self-storage and the domestic market.

•John Plested, a senior site manager with local partnership housing developer Lovell, has won the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Warranty Regional Site Manager Award for East Anglia.

The accolade – presented at the LABC Regional Building Excellence Awards – recognises John and his team’s outstanding work on a major housing development for housing association Cross Keys Homes in Orton Brimbles, Peterborough. The team is currently completing work on the Lapwing Apartments scheme which will deliver 54 homes for social rent for residents aged over-55, providing independent living with flexible support provision. There will also be a range of additional facilities including a restaurant, orangery and meeting rooms.

John, who lives in Bury St Edmunds, said: “It’s a real honour to receive this award which I see as recognition for everyone involved in the Lapwing Apartments development. The success of the scheme results from the hard work of the entire team on site.”

Lovell regional managing director Simon Medler says: “I’m thrilled that John has been honoured with this top award. He is one of our most expert site managers whose attention to detail and commitment to meeting the most exacting quality standards consistently delivers superb results for our clients.”