Movers & Shakers: New audit director Jo Fox part of expanded team at Larking Gowen in Ipswich

Jo Fox, audit director, Larking Gowen.

Jo Fox, audit director, Larking Gowen. - Credit: Archant

East Anglia-based chartered accountants Larking Gowen has expanded its Ipswich based team.

Several of the firm’s senior partners and managers will be based in the Ipswich office, including recently-promoted audit director Jo Fox. Jo specialises in offering advice to commercial and not-for-profit clients on matters such as financial reporting, audit and independent examination, as well as providing advice on systems, structures and governance across a wide spectrum of clients.

“I am delighted to have been given this new opportunity to continue the firm’s growth in Suffolk,” she said.

“These changes mean we are well placed to deliver excellent audit and advisory services, and to really add value to our clients.”

Jo is also a member of the firm’s tourism team offering specialist advice to clients within the tourism, leisure and hospitality sectors.

Managing partner Jon Woolston said: “One of our key business objectives is to grow and develop into Suffolk and North Essex. Our brand is well known in Norfolk but there is still much work to do in Suffolk. We have had offices in and around Ipswich for over 10 years and by strengthening the team we are hoping to really demonstrate our commitment to Ipswich, across Suffolk and North Essex and help to drive our expansion plans forward.”

:: Global research and technology leader Tim Whitley has been named as the first BT Industrial Visiting Professor in the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at the University of Essex.

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Professor Whitley, from Felixstowe, is the communication giant’s research and innovation managing director and managing director of its research and development campus at Adastral Park. He will be sharing his experiences of industrial research and the fast moving worlds of software and telecommunications innovation, and fostering further research collaborations between BT and the university.

Professor Wheatley, who completed his PhD in Telecommunications at the University of Essex in 1996, said he was “honoured” at the new role.

“BT has a strong commitment to research partnerships and to supporting the East of England region. This role further strengthens our long-standing links with the University of Essex. I am really looking forward to working closely with the University, who are also a partner in the recently launched Tommy Flowers Institute, which will develop the research leaders of the future,” he said.

Vice-chancellor Professor Anthony Forster said: “Tim is a world-renowned figure in research and an outstanding Essex alumnus so I am absolutely delighted he is to become our first BT Industrial Visiting Professor. The University of Essex and BT have always enjoyed a close relationship with many joint research projects and PhD students working on projects that not only push the boundaries of knowledge but also address real-world problems and applications of science and technology. This new role will hopefully allow us to forge even closer links and open new opportunities to work with BT in the future.”

Professor Whitley joined BT in 1981 as an apprentice engineer in Wrexham, North Wales. After sponsored study at university he joined the Optical Physics Division of BT’s Research department at Martlesham in Suffolk.

At Martlesham he spent nearly 10 years conducting experimental research into optical fibre amplifiers and lasers and their application in high-speed communications systems. During this period he authored or co-authored over 50 peer reviewed, journal and conference papers.

On leaving the research department Tim held a number of roles ranging through technology consultancy, technical architecture, techno-economic analysis and Group Technology office.

In 2007 he was appointed as BT Group Strategy Director and in 2011 he became Managing Director of Research and Innovation for BT. In 2012 he also became MD of Adastral Park, BT’s global engineering HQ. He is an inventor on three patent families that gave rise to eight granted patents.

:: Four staff at Ipswich-based law firm Ashtons Legal have qualified as solicitors following completion of their training contracts.

Elliot Clarke, Katy Williamson, Paul Mitchell and Sophie Hearle all undertook two year training contracts which saw them move around Ashtons’ offices and working in a number of disciplines. All four of them then went on to accept roles internally in their chosen fields upon qualification.

Elliot Clarke has joined the medical injury team in Thetford, Katy Williamson the family law team in Ipswich, Paul Mitchell joins the firm’s corporate and commercial team in Cambridge and Sophie Hearle has joined the French Legal team in Bury St Edmunds.

Ed O’Rourke, CEO of Ashtons says: “It has been an honour helping Elliot, Katy, Paul and Sophie to learn and grow professionally, and I am really pleased they have qualified and remained at our firm. I wish them all the very best in their future careers at Ashtons.”

:: Ipswich-based Ancient House Printing Group is employing new recruits from varying backgrounds to undertake structured training programmes.

The new trainees are trainee estimator David Strike, assistant print technician Kieron Mandley, business administration apprentice Kathryn Filby and trainee estimator Liam Young.

“We have tremendous talent and experience within the business already,” said joint managing director Micheal Underdown. “But we understand the need to complement our existing knowledge base with young people as well as fresh ideas.”

:: Portable Space, which supplies storage or accommodation with its range of shipping containers and modular buildings, has appointed Natasha Lingwood as key account manager.

In her new role, Natasha looks after larger customers for the firm, which is based at Bacton, near Stowmarket.

She is also responsible for business development, identifying potential customers for its products.

Natasha brings a wealth of experience gained in the temporary and modular building industry, where she managed a range of key customer accounts in the public sector, education and healthcare, helping to identify the best solution for their specific needs.

“I am delighted to have joined Portable Space and am enjoying the variety of my job – one day I can be in the office raising quotations and designing compound layouts and the next, out on the road introducing our products to potential customers,” she said.

:: Essex wedding venue Hylands Estate has appointed Eddie Farrell as Hylands House Manager.

Eddie will be responsible for growing the corporate hire business and maximising the venue’s offering, as well as developing a number of new events to be hosted at the estate, which is at Writtle, Chelmsford, and is owned by Chelmsford City Council.

Averil Price, director of community services at the council, said: “Eddie will ensure Hylands House retains its position as the premier venue for weddings and corporate hire as well as developing a number of new high profile events to further cement Chelmsford’s new-found city status.”

Eddie’s previous roles include head of commercial operationsfor the Royal Horticultural Society and director of operations at Newmarket Racecourse. He has held management roles at London 2012, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Pan Am Games in Toronto.

“I am delighted to be part of the team,” he said. “I shall be focusing on the creation of a long term strategy to ensure Hylands House remains part of the community, whilst also being the region’s first choice for business conferences, weddings and large-scale events.”