Movers & Shakers: Futura Park John Lewis at home store welcomes Sabrina Murphy as manager

Sabrina Murphy at the John Lewis at home store, Futura Park, Ipswich.

Sabrina Murphy at the John Lewis at home store, Futura Park, Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

The John Lewis at home store at Futura Park in Ipswich has welcomed Sabrina Murphy as its new branch manager.

Sabrina joins the Ipswich branch from John Lewis’s head office in London where she has been working as a project manager for the last year.

Having worked for the John Lewis Partnership for more than 10 years since joining as a graduate trainee in September 2003, Sabrina has worked her way up to her new appointment to branch manager level through roles at various branches throughout the UK including John Lewis Southampton and John Lewis Nottingham.

Sabrina’s varied career with the partnership has involved her holding 12 different roles within the business and so she has experience of working in nearly every department John Lewis has.

Born and brought up in north London and having moved around the country for work, Sabrina is looking forward to the move to Suffolk. Sabrina said of her new appointment: “I am thrilled to be taking up the role of branch manager at John Lewis at home Ipswich and very much looking forward to meeting both customers and partners there.”

Suffolk and Cambridgeshire-based law firm Charles Fraser & Co has strengthened its team with the appointment of a new partner.

Mark Beaton has joined after 20 years of working in property law in Suffolk, most recently at Ashton KCJ. Charles Fraser & Co is linked to Irena Spence and Co and so is represented in both Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge.

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In his new role Mark will be looking at all aspects of property sales and management in the region including residential sales and landlord and tenant law.

He said: “I am delighted to join partners Charles Fraser and Graham Woodhouse in a company with a refreshingly friendly and straightforward approach to legal issues.

“The property market has come a long way since the start of the credit crunch. Landlord and tenant activity has grown over the period as more people have moved to rental rather than enter into new mortgage contracts. Estate agents are reporting a significant rise in prices in the East of England which is bringing about a resurgence of activity, particularly from people who have been holding off on property moves because of uncertain economic conditions. The market has been suppressed for a while but the fact that interest rates are remaining at an all time low means we expecting to see a busier period in the months ahead.”

Mark’s specialism is conveyancing for those who want a no-frills service to cover buying, selling, property transfers, equity release and remortgages.

Mark was born in Melton near Woodbridge. He attended schools in Felixstowe and Stowmarket before taking a law degree at Middlesex University and completing his Law Society Finals at the Guildford College of Law. He is married with two children and now lives on the Suffolk/Norfolk border.

Partner Charles Fraser said: “Mark has a great deal in common with Graham and I and will be a great bonus to the business. His many existing clients will know of his considerable expertise in all areas of property law. For us, everything revolves around property – and with this additional expertise and the recent improvements in the economy, we expect to be working harder than ever in the future.”

Mark and wife, Paula, are involved with the Forge Community Church based at Debenham and he is Chair of Trustees of Sizewell Hall – a Christian Conference and Camping Centre on the Suffolk coast.

Jacqui Spicer has joined the team at Gipping Homes of Baylham, near Needham Market as sales and marketing manager.

Jacqui brings a wealth of experience with her having worked previously as new homes manager for Bidwells Suffolk and most recently with Crest Nicholson Eastern, as well as with local developers and selling agents.

She lives near Drinkstone Green, next to the company’s Cherry Tree Rise development.

Her role will be all-encompassing, working with the existing team, including looking for new sites, meeting potential buyers, handing over keys on completion and everything in between.

“I’m really excited and delighted to be joining a company with a reputation for quality and service, and cannot wait to roll up my sleeves and get stuck in,” she said.

“It feels as though I’ve come full circle, having started my new homes life with a similar sized private developer in Woodbridge. Having worked on both sides of the fence helps in understanding what people want so, as a company, we can maximise our resources to achieve even stronger sales and growth, and continue providing a quality product and service which keeps our buyers coming back to a Gipping Home.”

Managing Director Peter Blemings says “with the company’s continuing expansion plans and exciting ideas for the future we are fortunate to have been able to appoint someone of Jacqui’s calibre. Having worked with her previously I look forward to her contributing to our ongoing success.”

The Ipswich office of regional law firm Birketts LLP has grown its agriculture and estates team with the appointment of Stephanie Metcalfe-Mason as Solicitor. Birketts boasts one of the largest dedicated agribusiness teams in the UK with over twenty staff working across its four offices in the region.

Stephanie joins the team with a criminal law background, originally training as a barrister before cross qualifying as a solicitor in 2012. With a keen interest in practicing equine law, Stephanie will provide an equine specialism to the firm’s already established agriculture team, advising on all agricultural and equine matters including the sale and purchase of land and property, land exchanges, tenancy agreements, grazing licenses, ownership and boundary issues and rural rights of way. Stephanie is a member of the Agricultural Law Association and the Suffolk Agricultural Association and writes a monthly advice column for Absolute Horse magazine.

Stephanie said: “Birketts is one of the most reputable regional firms with an array of talented lawyers, coupled with an established agriculture department. I’m very excited to be focussing on equine law, as horses are a passion of mine, and hope to become an integral part of the team.”

James Dinwiddy, partner in Birketts agriculture and estates team, said: “I’m thrilled to welcome Stephanie to Birketts. She has a lot of great experience and her personal interest in horses is a fantastic asset as she brings both a personal and professional understanding to the team. We’re delighted to be able to expand our staff in line with the increased demand for our services and are looking forward to another successful year.”

Felixstowe PR firm Pier has recruited Chrystal Harris on a six month internship.

Chrystal is working alongside the existing Pier team to increase her understanding of how a PR firm operates via on-the-job and external training. In her role, she will experience all areas of agency work, from writing press releases to selling in stories to media and will provide support to Pier’s portfolio of national clients.

As a digital marketing enthusiast, Chrystal will be able to use her talent for graphic design and develop her online experience. Chrystal has recently completed a degree in English Language and Linguistics at Kent University and is a regular volunteer for Felixstowe based charity, BASIC Life.

Director Kate Bowden Smith said: “I am delighted to welcome Chrystal to Pier. With recent new client wins and upcoming office expansion, it is fantastic to be able to continue to grow the current team.”