Movers & Shakers: Mark Wrinch, Jennie Skingsley and Joann Kebbell appointed associates at Birkett Long

From left, Joann Kebbell, Mark Wrinch and Jennie Skingsley of Birkett Long.

From left, Joann Kebbell, Mark Wrinch and Jennie Skingsley of Birkett Long. - Credit: Archant

Three members of staff at Essex law firm Birkett Long are celebrating after promotion to associate level.

The trio, who are based in the Colchester office, include two support staff and one solicitor, Mark Wrinch, the son of a farmer, who specialises in litigation and is a member of the organisation’s rural business team.

His colleague, Jennie Skingsley, the firm’s marketing manager, originally joined the team to help with admin for a few months, and now, 11 years on, has risen to associate level.

Joann Kebbell, human resources manager, has also been given a promotion to associate.

Since the Legal Services Act of 2007, support staff have been able to attract promotion along the same lines as solicitors. Prior to this, support staff were barred from rising through the ranks and reaching partner status.

Joann, who has been involved with HR for six years. said she was “extremely surprised” at her promotion, which was “totally unexpected”.

“Birkett Long is a huge supporter of staff progression including its support staff. It really is a great place to work,” she said.

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: : Following consistent growth over the past five years in demand among farmers for lending and specialist banking guidance, Lloyds Bank has announced its intention to strengthen its specialist agriculture team by more than 20%, including a key appointment in its East of England team.

Paul Sullivan has been appointed senior manager based at the East of England region’s flagship offices in Bury St Edmunds. He will be part of Lloyds Bank Agriculture which supports a wide network of rural businesses with annual turnover of up to £25million, providing financial expertise, funding and guidance to help drive confidence and growth in the agricultural sector.

With nearly 30 years of banking experience, Paul brings a wealth of knowledge to the role. Before joining Lloyds Bank Agriculture, he held a number of senior roles at Lloyds Bank, most recently as senior manager with responsibility for commercial banking across west Suffolk and before that Cambridge.

Paul, who lives in Steeple Bumpstead in north Essex, enjoys golf, cricket and “ferrying his teenage children around the county” in his spare time. He said that while agriculture is on the ascendancy due to growing global demand for food and energy, Lloyds Bank has seen almost double the Bank of England rate of growth in lending to the sector.

“This shows both the importance of agriculture within Lloyds Bank and its significance in the wider business arena,” Paul said. “So this is an exciting time to be joining the East England-based team as the farming sector has such a crucial role to play in the on-going resurgence of the UK economy. My banking experience will help farmers in the East deliver their growth and development objectives, and whether they are looking to access finance for their investment plans or improve their cash and risk management strategies to strengthen their balance sheets, we have a commitment to support farmers right across the region.”

Andrew Naylor, recently appointed UK director of agriculture for Lloyds Bank as part of the measures to strengthen its offering to the agricultural sector, said: “Paul brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our growing team. His appointment adds strength to our offering in the East of England at a time when we are looking to increase our lending to farming and agricultural businesses across the region.”

The specialist team will continue to be supported by Lloyds Bank’s long-standing agricultural policy director Alick Jones.

: : Chartered accountancy firm Larking Gowen has promoted Steven Burgess to audit manager at its Ipswich office.

Steven originally joined accountants Manning & Girling, in Ipswich, as a trainee and the firm was subsequently taken over by Larking Gowen in 2006.

Since then he has built up considerable expertise in all types of audit work.

“I am delighted with my promotion and am really looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead,” he said. “These are very exciting times at Larking Gowen as the firm is continuing to grow and I hope to play my part, particularly in developing our energy sector specialisms.”

Ipswich-based partner Ian Webster said: “Steven richly deserves his promotion and he is a valuable member of our team in Ipswich. I am sure he will have an important role in helping us to grow our business in Suffolk and Essex.”

: : Ipswich-based seeds firm Thompson & Morgan has appointed Kris Collins as its communications officer.

He joins from Amateur Gardening magazine and brings with him more than a decade’s worth of experience of both trade and consumer gardening titles, plus plenty of hands-on gardening know-how.

Kris said: “I’m really looking forward to getting behind this trusted brand and promoting it to as wide an audience as possible. As a journalist I was always impressed with T&M’s ever-expanding portfolio of innovative garden plants and products.”

Horticultural director Paul Hansord said: “We are very excited to welcome Kris to our team at Thompson & Morgan. He brings with him a wealth of experience, enthusiasm and professionalism that will represent Thompson & Morgan well.”

: : Becky McConnell has been appointed by Danbury-based turkey firm Kelly Turkeys to manage its participation in shows and events.

The company exhibits at a number of top food, consumer and trade shows through the year, and is this year organising special activities to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the launch of the KellyBronze, the premium traditional Christmas turkey.

Becky McConnell has experience as events manager for IT firms in the City of London, and has previously worked in the pub catering and restaurant trade.

She will also take over administration of the KellyBronze Farmers franchise scheme while its co-ordinator, Nicola Tremain, is on maternity leave. The scheme involves farmers in most areas of the country providing a local supply of the award-winning turkeys.

Becky McConnell, who lives at Bicknacre, near Danbury, has a teenage daughter and enjoys cooking and walking.

: :Bury St Edmunds-based recruitment consultancy Cooper Lomaz has launched a new division primed to deliver the next generation of captains of industry and commerce to East Anglia.

Global head-hunter David Sneddon has been recruited from a specialist London firm to lead Cooper Lomaz Executive, which will focus on challenging, board-level appointments, attracting salaries of £80,000-plus.

“Many businesses are looking at their senior management structure to make sure they have the best people in place to take advantage of the recovery in the economy,” said Cooper Lomaz operations director Mark Fletcher.

The new division be will complementary to existing Cooper Lomaz operations, based at the company’s Bury St Edmunds, Lowestoft and Norwich offices.

“Cooper Lomaz has a fantastic relationship with our client companies. They love our brand. They love what we do for them at a general recruitment level,” said Mr Fletcher.

“We are proud to be in a position to build on that relationship and provide a bespoke, proactive C-Suite service clients may previously have gone to a London headhunter for.

“At this level, confidentiality is everything. The organisations Cooper Lomaz works with across Suffolk already know they can trust us implicitly.”

Sales director Richard Mould, who will have overall responsibility for Cooper Lomaz Executive, said discretion and sensitivity are paramount.

“There are many sound business reasons why companies do not want it to be known they are looking for a new leader. Similarly, potential candidates do not usually want it known they are considering moving from their current roles,” he said.

“No two contracts will be the same. We will work with the client to prepare a campaign mandate, using a methodology agreed with them and tailored specifically to their needs.

“Our focus will be to identify the very best individual to fill a specific senior role.– whether he or she is actively seeking a new position or not. It will then be our mission, working hand-in-hand with our client, to make that appointment happen.”

David Sneddon, who is heading the new division, has 20 years’ expertise in the industry. The past five years have being exclusively dedicated to high-powered, top-end executive recruitment.

Mr Sneddon’s previous role has involved casting a worldwide net to meet the challenging requirements of household name companies in the purchasing and supply chain sectors, particularly in the areas of aerospace and defence and technology and telecoms.

He has provided recruitment solutions for blue chip businesses such as Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, Apple Europe, Vodafone, Fujitsu and FedEx, regularly recruiting executives to £200,000-plus posts.

“I’ve always worked in niche areas, specialising in delivering exceptional people at a very senior level to global companies,” he said.

Scotland-born Mr Sneddon and his Norfolk-raised wife Carol, who have a grown-up daughter, have relocated to Norwich from London.