Movers & Shakers: Sarah Duncan joins East Anglian law firm Ashton KCJ

Sarah Duncan of Ashlton KCJ.

Sarah Duncan of Ashlton KCJ. - Credit: Archant

East Anglian law firm Ashton KCJ has welcomed a new solicitor, Sarah Duncan. She is based at Ashton KCJ’s Waterfront House office in Ipswich and will be working alongside the firm’s commercial property and litigation teams across all of the its seven offices.

Qualifying in 2001, Sarah has worked both in private practice at a top five international law firm and as in house head of legal for a multinational company and is known to provide pragmatic, timely and cost effective advice to her clients, who range from education and public sector clients to developers, funders, contractors and consultants. Sarah has significant experience in drafting and advising on procurement, building and development contracts and associated documents as well as advising on any dispute that may arise with particular expertise in construction litigation, arbitration and adjudication.

James Griffiths, partner and head of commercial property said: “We are delighted to welcome Sarah to the team and especially pleased to enhance the Construction services we can offer existing and new clients. Sarah’s appointment follows a period of growth not only for our commercial property team but also across the firm’s litigation team in the region.”

: : Helen Drain, lead dementia trainer at Saxmundham-based home care firm Christies Care, has been shortlisted for the Dementia Care Manager category at the National Care Awards.

Finalists in the National Care Awards, in its 17th year, will be judged by an expert panel before the winners are announced at the gala awards evening on November 27 in London.

Director Lin Barnes said: “Everyone at Christies is very proud of Helen for her recognition in such a prestigious award – she really deserves it for all her hard work and dedication. Providing a top quality team to deliver a great service to the people who depend on us has been our focus for nearly 30 years. The drive and commitment of people like Helen, in challenging but rewarding roles, is really what sets Christies apart.”

Helen said: “It is an honour to be representing Christies Care for this award. I learnt so much caring for my late husband that drives me to build and maintain a team of quality dementia trained staff who have the desire and commitment to deliver great care.”

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: : The University of Essex has appointed Nigel Pye as MBA director and professor of business and management at Essex Business School.

Professor Pye joins from Warwick Business School, where he headed-up multiple MBA programmes and managed undergraduate and postgraduate modules covering supply chains, operations strategy and project management. He was previously a lecturer at Cranfield University, teaching knowledge management and commercial relationships, as well as delivering professional development courses for executives in the private sector.

Before entering academia, he held senior positions at Ernst & Young, Atos Consulting and KPMG. In his years with the Royal Artillery, he served in numerous countries across the globe, including Germany, Cyprus and Canada.

In his new role, Professor Pye will lead a community of high-calibre students through the Essex MBA.

“What attracts me to Essex is its collaborative approach to business education,” he said.

“We’re not just selling letters after your name, but a fully immersive learning experience. We have MBA students from many different nationalities, who’ve worked for high-profile organisations all over the world; they’re in a unique position to learn as much from each other’s professional experiences as they will from me.

“I’m looking forward to leading our students through a fully-rounded management education and helping them to become the business leaders and entrepreneurs of the future.”

He will be based at the new £21million Essex Business School building on the University of Essex’s Colchester Campus.

Professor Geoffrey Wood, dean of Essex Business School, said: “What sets EBS apart is its emphasis on sustainable management. In the aftermath of the economic crisis, there’s been growing concern that business schools are producing “Rambo Managers” who maximise short term returns, but soon wreck the organisations they’re entrusted to manage.

“The Essex MBA is designed to create leaders who not only have the creativity and innovation to take their organisations forward, but make them more ethical places to do business. Nigel’s wealth of academic and industry experience makes him the ideal candidate to achieve this goal and I’m pleased to welcome him to our team.”

: : Bryony Jones has joined Suffolk enterprise agency Menta.

She joins Victoria Jones in co-ordinating and hosting its two business centres at Hollands Road, Haverhill, which have 37 business units.

“We have a wide range of business tenants,” said Victoria. “Due to the different types of office and unit space we provide there are caterers, digital companies, finance and security firms. Our clients love the fact they’ve got secure, 24 hour access to the sites and don’t need to employ reception staff. That’s our role, making sure the front office function of post, photocopying and looking after visitors is dealt with smoothly and efficiently.

“Businesses use us as we’re in a good location, close to great transport links, and we provide easy-in, easy-out terms at reasonable prices. Both Bryony and I have local knowledge and we’re committed to achieving the best results for our clients.”

Bryony said: “I’m so happy to have joined such a welcoming and inclusive team at Menta who support and celebrate enterprise. I’m enjoying getting to know our clients and their businesses.”

: : Solicitor Samantha Ellis has joined the family team at Essex law firm Birkett long.

The 36-year-old has spent the past 14 years with a smaller firm with offices based along the East Coast where she lives.

She continued studying at London’s College of Law for her Legal Practice course while working at her day job as a criminal litigation assistant.

At Birkett Long she is specialising primarily in the financial aspect of separation and is building up her caseload.

“A break up is a traumatic experience and I aim to guide and assist clients through the difficulties and emotional challenges involved,” she said.

“When couples separate there is the inevitable separation of their finances, which can be difficult for all concerned, I aim not only to provide legal advice but compassion and support throughout the process.”

Samantha is also a member of Resolution, the organisation that promotes non-confrontational solutions to family problems, and says that most cases achieve settlement by constructive negotiation, saving costs for everyone involved.

“After 14 years with the same firm I felt it was time to move on and it was great to be offered the chance to be part of a bigger organisation,” she said.