Movers & Shakers: Joanna Millican joins law firm Birkett Long

Joanna Millican, Birkett Long.

Joanna Millican, Birkett Long. - Credit: Archant

A Colchester lawyer who specialises in wills, trusts and probate has been recruited by Essex law firm Birkett Long.

Joanna Millican, who grew up in Dedham and went to school in Colchester, first became interested in a legal career while working for a financial advisers before attending university to study history.

She became interested in estate planning and after gaining her degree at Exeter University, she made the conversion to law.

“Each person’s case is different and I really enjoy the challenge of working out the best way to deal with the client’s situation in order to achieve their aims,” she said.

“I feel that, in this area of law, we are able to assist those who are going through an extremely difficult time in their lives. It is very rewarding when I am able to support them through this process and make it feel a little easier.”

The 27-year-old, who trained as a solicitor in Bishop’s Stortford, described her new role as “exciting”.

: : Observatory the Opticians has welcomed trainee manager Anna Puiy to its Ipswich practice in Queen Street.

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Anna, 33, has 15 years of experience working in the optical sector, working for some of the biggest names in the industry. For the past two years she has been running her own cake baking business but has decided the time is right to return to the optical world.

“I made the decision to return to optics when this opportunity came along and I am absolutely loving it,” she said.

“I am delighted to have joined such a lovely team, which shares my passion for customer service and commitment to drive a business forward. I am confident my experience in the optical sector will be of benefit to Observatory the Opticians.”

Practice manager Emma Mobbs said Anna would be “a fabulous asset”.

“We are delighted to welcome her to the team. Anna will take on the practice manager role allowing me to focus on the wider group. We already have a great team in place and Anna coming on board gives us another dimension, which we are confident will lead to greater success.”

The firm also has branches in Beccles, Southwold, Leigh-on-Sea and Muswell Hill in north London.

: : Framlingham-based cloud telecoms provider X-on has appointed Martin Kemp as service delivery manager.

The experienced ICT service desk manager, who has also recently worked as a release manager, will be drawing on his skills and experience in his new role at X-on, which processes several million SMS and call minutes a month.

Martin was at Vodafone for six years before joining the firm.

Chief executive Paul Bensley said: “Martin brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge to further enhance the quality of our service delivery.

“It is essential that we are able to provide our clients with the best possible service, and we look forward to Martin overseeing us with this task for the foreseeable future.”

: : Mick Shaw has been appointed to the new role of certified pre-owned (CPO) sales manager at Ipswich-based commercial mower maker Ransomes Jacobsen.

The firm’s used machinery arm offers turf maintenance equipment that has been factory refurbished and reintroduced to the market with a one year manufacturer warranty.

Mick has more than 30 years of experience in the turf care sector, having joined Warwick District Council based at Leamington Spa in 1982. He later moved to Carlton Horticultural, a family-owned business introducing commercial mowers into their product range before establishing Abbey Mower Supplies as a Jacobsen dealer for the West Midlands. More recently, he set up MCS Machinery, specialising in the sale of second-hand mowing machinery.

In this newly created position, he will be responsible for the day-to-day sales enquiries relating to the CPO programme, working closely with the UK dealer network and his existing network contacts to leverage business and maximise sales opportunities.

As he expands the role, his responsibilities will expand to include mainland Europe and Ransomes Jacobsen’s international territory.

He will be based out of his home in the West Midlands, where he lives with his wife and three adult children.

“We are delighted to have secured Mick’s services,” said Jason King, customer care director at Ransomes Jacobsen.

“He has a wealth of experience in this sector, especially the second-hand market. Mick’s all round experience as a franchised dealer, equipment supplier and customer will be invaluable as we grow this important part of the business.”

: : Martlesham-based law firm Barker Gotelee has welcomed an associate solicitor and two new paralegals to the team.

Simon Tilling joins the private client team as an associate solicitor. He qualified as a solicitor in 2001 and has extensive civil dispute resolution experience, having handled a wide variety of property and professional indemnity related claims. He specialises in wills, succession and asset protection planning, powers of attorney, court of protection and contentious probate matters.

Rebecca McCarthy joins the private client team, while Alice Brunning joins the property department. Both are looking forward to starting their training with the firm and qualifying as solicitors.

Senior partner James Skellorn said: “These new appointments to our private client and property teams are the latest in our continuing investment to grow and to develop our people and our business. We welcome Simon, Rebecca and Alice to the team and look forward to working with them.”

: : Two firms based at enterprise agency Menta’s business centre in Haverhill are celebrating after their apprentices scooped ONE Haverhill Apprenticeship Awards at an event held at the town’s Days Inn.

Madeline O’Mahoney, who was named Apprentice of the Year, works for Fiscale Ltd, a no-win, no-fee special adviser on the Government Research and Development Tax Credit scheme which was launched last year by John Mayhew and Stephen Bunting.

Madeline impressed the judges with her drive and willingness to learn. Since starting with the company she has taken a wide range of professional exams and made the most of every opportunity to improve her skills.

Fiscale Ltd also scooped the Apprenticeship Employer of the Year Award for its work with its staff.

John, of Fiscale, said: “Whilst we’re a young company we understand the importance of ensuring our staff have every opportunity to grow with us. We work hard to ensure our team receives the support and encouragement they require and value them all.

“Our congratulations go to Madeline. To win Apprentice of the Year is a huge achievement and richly deserved.”

Huffers Café apprentice Charlie Harris, took the Overcoming Adversity Award.

Café owner Maggie Tuson said: “Charlie left school with no formal qualifications and little knowledge of food or life skills. Since working with us she has grown in confidence, is a great asset to us and continues to study to gain her GCSEs and hospitality qualifications.”

Charlie said, “I had no idea I was going to receive an award. I’m very grateful to Maggie for taking me on and having faith in me. I’ve worked very hard since joining the Huffers team and my confidence and skills have grown tremendously.”

: : Fellstead, which operates Carlton Meres Country Park in Saxmundham, is strengthening its management team with two more staff.

Ryan Davis becomes marketing manager, while Dennis Purchase joins as business development manager.

Ryan oversees four holiday parks at Fellstead, having joined the company from his own business consultancy assisting holiday parks with their sales and marketing strategies.

He also served as a regional sales manager for a holiday company on the Isle of Wight, where he managed national press and web-based advertising campaigns.

Dennis joins from the retail sector and will be working closely with director David Macdonald to expand the business.

Part of his new role will be examining opportunities for new business and ensuring projects run smoothly.