Movers & Shakers: Maria Peyman joins Birketts as senior associate

Maria Peyman of Birketts with colleagues Katherine Shadbolt and Kitty Rosser.

Maria Peyman of Birketts with colleagues Katherine Shadbolt and Kitty Rosser. - Credit: Archant

Maria Peyman has joined the commercial litigation team at law firm Birketts as a senior associate.

Maria specialises in advising clients in relation to disputes arising from or in connection with various intellectual property rights, including copyright, trade marks, and design rights. She also advises in relation to passing off and breach of confidence, and the exploitation and protection of intellectual property generally.

Maria said: “Birketts is regularly listed in the top bandings in the leading legal directories for commercial litigation and has more ranked contentious lawyers than any other firm in East Anglia.

“I’m thrilled to be joining a team and firm with a reputation for excellence that represents a large number of national and international businesses, organisations and individuals in a wide range of cases.”

Matthew Atkins, partner at Birketts, said: “Birketts fields a team of over 50 lawyers engaged in litigation and the management of commercial disputes of one kind or another and Maria will be a fantastic addition to the team.

“The recruitment of such a highly qualified member of the team will help ensure that the team continues to offer our clients a premier legal offering when advising on the legal aspects of intellectual property disputes.”

Maria is based at the firm’s Cambridge office but supports colleagues across Birketts’ four offices in Ipswich, Chelmsford, Cambridge and Norwich.

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The inauguration took place at the annual general meeting held in Ipswich in July, and he was elected on a one year term to represent local solicitors at a regional level, and to help to promote the interests of the area’s legal firms to the national Law Society.

“It’s a real honour to be chosen to represent the many lawyers in the Suffolk and North Essex area.

“I hope that under my presidency the legal profession in this region can continue to work together to better serve our community and enable their opinions and views to be heard,” he said.

Nigel joined Birketts in 1977, became a partner in 1982 and has been senior partner since 2006.

: : Ipswich-based property developer, The Churchmanor Estates Company, has expanded its team by appointing chartered quantity surveyor Leon Beards as project manager.

Leon joins from architectural and surveying firm Nicol Thomas Ltd in Birmingham after developing his expertise in project management as a quantity surveyor for global property and construction practice, Bucknall Austin.

In his new role, Leon will be joining the project management team who are responsible for Churchmanor’s retail and commercial projects from feasibility through to construction and final completion.

He is moving from Shropshire to Suffolk to take up the new role.

Leon said: “I’m really enjoying working with the team at Churchmanor and expanding upon my previous success of delivering high quality developments across various construction sectors.

“I am sure this new chapter in my career will be challenging, but it is a great role which provides involvement with a wide range of interesting and stimulating projects.”

Managing director Stephen Clark said: “We’re very pleased to welcome Leon to Churchmanor Estates. His knowledge and experience in construction project management will be a great asset to our team as we work on several major developments in the East of England.”

: : Essex law firm Birkett Long has promoted five members of staff to executive level.

The firm operates an office-wide egalitarian policy of offering promotions to support staff as well as legal staff.

The five employees are executive secretary Sue Catterwell and executive receptionist Suzanne Revett, both from the Chelmsford office, Gillian Dulieu, financial services executive, Sarah Watson, marketing executive and Trudy Hooper, IT and business operations manager, all from the Colchester office.

David Wisbey, chairman of the firm and a member of the commercial and corporate finance team, said: “Birkett Long is a progressive firm. We believe that if employees excel, whatever their role, they should be recognised, which is why we introduced our executive scheme.

“Too many law firms reward legal staff only with promotion. We feel that promoting support staff to executive status is an appropriate reward for highly valued members of our team, whatever their role, and a great incentive, too.”

: : Property developer Hopkins Homes, based at Melton, Woodbridge, has taken on 26 new staff.

Its head office at Melton Park House has welcomed John Eldridge as head of technical along with Graham Theobald as senior technician, Verity MacMahon as land manager, Karen Barker fulfils a newly created role as customer variations manager working closely with the buyers department which has been joined by Cheryl Harbut.

Meg Tyler strengthens the customer services team whilse Valerie Woodhouse and Andrea Thompson have joined the accounts department. Meanwhile Ashley Harrigan has joined as design assistant.

Hopkins Homes, together with sister company Hopkins & Moore, will be delivering 12 new sites throughout the eastern region this year and has appointed nine new site managers, Jason Catling, Jason Wright, Brian Cooper, Christopher Meadows, Richard Howes, Mike Rose, Christopher Harle, David Hawkins and Derek Penny, and a further four assistant site managers - Ryan Leggett, Adam Hook, John Baker and John Bottomley.

The construction management team has also been expanded with the promotion of Jamie Howe and Neil Wilcockson to contracts manager under the leadership of Marcus Armitage, construction manager. Meanwhile, a further three dedicated consultants, Julie Smith, Dianne Bates and Lawrence Bates have been appointed to the sales department.

Rebecca Sochon has been promoted to production secretary, having first worked with the company as an assistant in the sales and marketing department, which has also welcomed Heaven Sochon in this role.

The company has welcomed back Iain Jamie as land director.

Executive chairman James Hopkins said: “I am extremely pleased with what we have been able to achieve as a team and delighted to be have been able to create so many career opportunities throughout the company.

“I am particularly proud that our reputation, and continued expansion as the largest independent property developer in East Anglia, enables us to attract people of the highest calibre and I am fully confident that our ongoing expansion and investment will enable us to continue to lead from the forefront as we strive to build ever further upon our success.”

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Pippa Geaves has joined the agency as account executive, and she will be working alongside managing director Helen Rudd, editorial director Ellen Widdup, and PR executive Holly Court supporting their portfolio of local, national and international clients.

After graduating from the University of St Andrews with postgraduate qualifications in art history and creative industries management, Pippa completed an internship at Suffolk Libraries, project managing the establishment of the new Enterprise + Innovation Hub.

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Pippa said: “It’s definitely a really exciting time to be joining Prominent PR as their client list continues to grow and diversify and the agencies services strengthen.

With my training in graphic design I am looking forward to using my skills to contribute to the services that Prominent PR offers and to help make our clients stand out from the crowd.”

Helen, who set up the agency in 2014, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Pippa to the team.

Her skills increase the number of services we can offer our clients and as the agency grows she will work closely with clients to ensure they get the highest level of service at all times.”