Movers & Shakers: Seamus Clifford joins management team at Ellisons Solicitors

Seamus Clifford, Ellisons Solicitors.

Seamus Clifford, Ellisons Solicitors. - Credit: Archant

Seamus Clifford has become one of East Anglia-based Ellisons Solicitors’ three managing partners.

Seamus joined Ellisons in 1996 as a trainee solicitor, qualifying into the corporate commercial team in 1998. In 2000 Seamus left Ellisons to join the London corporate finance team at Berwin Leighton Paisner where he remained until 2006, working primarily within its highly regarded hotel, leisure and restructuring teams. Seamus re-joined Ellisons as a partner and head of the corporate commercial practice later in 2006.

Senior partner Guy Longhurst said: “I am delighted that Seamus has agreed to join the management team and Graeme Wallington, Tim Logan and I all look forward to working with him.”

: : Ellisons has also welcomed Bernice Spurgeon to the personal injury department at Ipswich, due to an ever expanding client portfolio.

Bernice Spurgeon, a legal executive, joined Ellisons from another large firm in the region, and will work alongside partner and head of personal injury, Robert Gair. Bernice specialises in road traffic, workplace accidents and trips and slips.

Robert Gair, lead partner of the Ipswich branch, said: “I am delighted to welcome Bernice to our Ipswich branch. The office is going from strength to strength, despite it only being open for seven months. I am also delighted that Ellisons’ reputation for claimant personal injury work is growing exponentially judging by the number of enquiries we have been receiving over the last few months across the office network in Suffolk, Essex and beyond. We look forward to a successful 2015 and I am sure Bernice will contribute significantly to that.”

: : Claire Sharp has been appointed customer director for Northumbrian Water, to lead the company’s service to its 4.5million customers in the North East and in Essex and Suffolk.

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She succeeds Ian Donald who has moved to the new role of market reform director as the water industry looks towards the full introduction of competition for all business customers by 2017.

Claire, who lives in Weardale, County Durham, is originally from Seaton Sluice, Northumberland.

She has extensive experience of the water industry and customer service. She started her career with the then Northumbrian Water Authority in 1986 as a distribution technician, helping to deal with customer inquiries.

Since then, Claire, aged 45, has held a number of senior management roles in operations, leisure, organisation development, marketing and communications.

Just over a decade ago Claire returned to frontline customer operations, leading billing and contact centre teams to drive forward customer service strategy.

Before taking up her new role of customer director, Claire was distribution manager, leading the 380 strong team which looks after 17,500km of water network across the North East of England and keeps excellent quality drinking water flowing to customers.

In parallel with her water industry career, Claire has completed an Honours degree in Business and a Masters in Leadership.

Claire now heads a directorate of more than 600 employees and is spearheading the company’s continued drive to deliver excellent service. “Our vision is to provide unrivalled service to every one of our customers and the communities we serve,” she said.

“We provide essential water and sewerage services and our customers rightly expect those services to provide exceptional value for money and be of a consistently high quality. We regularly listen to our customers and make sure our services reflect what’s important to them. We are already industry leading in many areas such as interruptions to supply and have made significant improvements in other aspects of customer service.

“Central to this is strong leadership and high levels of employee engagement. We have fantastic people across our company who are passionate about delivering great service round the clock for our customers. It’s my responsibility to make sure they are supported to be ready and able to do this.

“Whether we’re answering calls or using social media to keep customers informed, visiting people at their homes or businesses, carrying out emergency repairs or undertaking longer term investment for future generations, we always aim to do this with our customers in mind,” she said.

As director, Claire is responsible for the customer relations around drinking water supply and waste water treatment for Northumbrian Water’s 2.7m customers in the North East and 1.8m drinking water customers in the south, where the company operates as Essex & Suffolk Water.

Claire added: “We are one of the best water companies in the country for delivering top quality service. I’m privileged and excited to lead our quest not only to be best in industry but to be recognised as a company that consistently delivers world class customer service.”

“We’ve a great team of people and I’m confident that we will succeed.”

: : Ipswich Building Society has appointed Patrick Girling to a new role of head of risk and compliance. Reporting to chief executive Paul Winter and based at the society’s headquarters in Ipswich, Patrick bolsters an existing risk management function.

Patrick has been an “approved person” for 20 years both in an executive and non-executive capacity covering risk management, compliance, money laundering and internal audit. He led and developed risk management frameworks for both insurance companies and building societies and was previously group risk director at Royal London Mutual Insurance. He joins Ipswich Building Society from his own consultancy business where he provided interim management support to clients on risk management and governance. He is a regular speaker at practitioner conferences and also a non-executive director chairing the audit, risk and compliance committee for a Friendly Society.

Paul said: “Patrick is a welcome addition to our leadership team as we continue to evolve our risk management strategy ahead of regulatory requirements.”

: : Terry O’Regan has joined the specialist shipping, logistics and international services team at law firm Birketts as a legal director.

Terry was previously head of the London international trade team at a leading international law firm and has particular expertise in marine (“dry” and “wet”), trade, energy and insurance, acting for ship owners, charterers, insurers, state and private oil companies, traders and banks.

Terry said: “Birketts is a highly respected law firm in the shipping and maritime sector, and one of just a few that are outside London. The shipping team was recently ranked in the top tier by Legal500 and has built an excellent reputation with a global client base. Moving from the City has meant that I can enjoy the quality of lifestyle Suffolk offers while working with the same range of both UK-based and overseas clients.”

Nicholas Woo, head of the shipping team at Birketts, said: “The addition of such a highly qualified member of the team will help ensure that the team continues to offer our clients a premier legal offering. With over 20 years’ experience in the City, Terry provides advice on all aspects of international trade and maritime law and he is one of six accredited speakers to one of the world’s leading trade banks. We continue to strengthen our market share in the sector, offering high quality work at a more competitive price compared to London firms.”

Terry is based at the firm’s Ipswich office but will also support colleagues at Birketts’ offices in Chelmsford, Cambridge and Norwich.

: : Rose Ling has joined Ipswich-based EP Marketing as marketing executive, working alongside company director Emma Pratt on managing tactical marketing projects for client accounts.

Rose previously worked for the Aldeburgh and Felixstowe Tourist Information Centres following her graduation from Bath Spa University with a degree in business and tourism.

EP Marketing provides strategic marketing advice and integrated marketing support, from one-off website, design, branding and print projects to complete marketing campaigns and on-going project management for its clients.

Emma said: “I am delighted that Rose has joined us and her appointment has enabled us to continue to provide a swift and flexible service to our existing clients and enabled us to take on more client work as the business grows.”