Movers & Shakers: Suzanne Bradbury joins Essex-based Birkett Long

Suzanne Bradbury of Birkett Long.

Suzanne Bradbury of Birkett Long. Picture: TREV WRIGHT - Credit: Archant

Associate licensed conveyancer Suzanne Bradbury has joined Essex law firm Birkett Long’s residential property specialists team.

Suzanne, 35, from Felsted, who qualified as a licensed conveyancer at Chelmsford College 13 years ago, is based at the firm’s Chelmsford Office.

A former pupil at Chelmer Valley High School in Broomfield, Suzanne took a summer temping job with a local law firm after completing her GCSEs.

“I really enjoyed it, so I left school and got a job with a law firm,” she said. “I realised when I was 19 that I couldn’t progress any further without qualifications so I enrolled on the licensed conveyancer evening course.”

After qualifying, Suzanne worked locally for many years before moving to Birkett Long to further progress her career.

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Mother-of-two Suzanne said: “The work is fast-paced and high-pressured, that’s what I enjoy about working in the residential property department. The team here has a diverse workload, acting for the developers of new builds, and working on property transfers – including recently a water tower - for clients in Essex, London and further afield.”

Birkett Long has offices in Chelmsford, Colchester and Basildon.

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•Biotech firm PBD Biotech, based at Thurston, near Bury St Edmunds has appointed Tom Green as chairman of its board.

From 2002 to 2016 Tom was chief executive of leading European agri-business, Spearhead International Ltd, farming more than 80,000 hectares, including arable, potatoes and vegetables, and dairy operations in five EU countries. Following the sale of Spearhead to Paine Schwartz Partners, Tom now serves as a non-executive director of the company, and is non-executive chairman of its UK subsidiary Greens of Soham Ltd.

Tom said: “I am very excited to be joining the PBD Biotech team. PBD has a remarkable combination of expertise, IP and technology which can make a transformational positive impact on the huge global challenges of bovine TB and

Johne’s disease. I look forward to working with Berwyn and his team to support ambitious plans for commercialisation of the technology.”

PBD Biotech chief executive Dr Berwyn Clarke said: “The acquisition of such a high calibre chairman to our board is testament to the potential of our technology to transform the management of tuberculosis in agriculture. Tom has huge experience both in the UK and overseas markets which will be an enormous asset as we roll out our global commercialisation strategy.”

•A partner and head of Birkett Long’s divorce and family team is celebrating 30 years with the law firm.

Philip Hoddell’s successful legal career was launched when, as a teenager at a careers meeting at college, he was advised to consider law because of his argumentative nature.

He went on to study law and politics at Cardiff University and, after a gap year travelling around Australia, attended law college in Chester, then joined Smith, Morton & Long in Essex as a trainee.

He qualified as a solicitor in 1989. He has seen many changes to the law firm over the years including the rebranding from Smith, Morton & Long to Birkett Long in 1995.

“Thirty years ago, our main office was in Halstead with a much smaller office in Colchester,” he said.

“Now Colchester is the largest office, with offices in Chelmsford and Basildon, and the firm’s presence in Essex is much greater.

“The expansion of the firm has been incredible; when I began I covered everything from divorce and family law, to employment, criminal, contractual disputes and personal injury, but our growth has allowed all of our lawyers to become specialised.”

Philip focused his efforts on divorce and family law. Over the past 15 years, he has seen the team grow from two part-time employees to eight full-time solicitors.

“There have always been huge opportunities at Birkett Long and that is why I have never felt the urge to leave the firm,” he said.

“I and the entire team at Birkett Long want to keep adding value to the relationships we make and I am looking forward to helping to continue to expand the firm, as it is well on the way to becoming the pre-eminent professional services and legal firm in Essex.

Philip is a governor at Colchester Royal Grammar School, a former chairman of Colchester Round Table, and a keen member of the Suffolk and North Essex Law Society, and its president in 2014-15. He is now part of the University of Essex Court. For 10 years he coached rugby at Colchester Rugby Club.

“I have no plans to hang up my wig any time soon. I still thoroughly enjoy what I do and I get great enjoyment from making a contribution to planning Birkett Long’s future,” he said.

•Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking has made three senor appointments to boost its support for mid market businesses across the eastern region.

James Meakin has been appointed head of asset-based lending in the mid markets global transaction banking team. He will lead ten business development directors and client managers to deliver working capital and asset-based lending solutions to local businesses such as Sertec. James has been at Lloyds Banking Group for 10 years and moves from a previous role at the mid markets chief operating office.

David Rooney has joined the team as director of structuring and syndication asset-based lending, moving from a similar role at Royal Bank of Scotland. He takes responsibility for structuring, negotiating and executing new asset-based lending facilities, as well amending existing facilities.

James and David will be further supported by Sinead Johnson, who has stepped into the role of business development director from Royal Bank of Scotland and previously Barclays. Sinead will support mid market businesses with their future growth through the provision of working capital and asset-based lending solutions.

James Meakin, head of asset-based lending in the east at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “The addition of David and Sinead to our team adds experience and further strengthens our local coverage. Our focus is on supporting our clients’ growth through our specialism in providing working capital and funding solutions.

“Developments within the team are geared towards supporting our wider goal to help Britain prosper. For businesses, this includes help for start-ups and increasing lending to SMEs and mid sized companies.”

•East Anglian property management firm PMS Group has promoted two experienced employees to key leadership positions.

Daniel Malone, who joined the Colchester-based company eight years ago, is promoted to managing director and Liam Furr, who has worked for PMS for nine years, becomes director of property management.

The PMS Group comprises two separate companies and manages a portfolio of more than 6,000 homes across East Anglia, London and the Southeast.

Both Daniel and Liam are Members of the Institute of Residential Property Management and Associates of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Daniel Malone said: “The commitment to training and development at PMS means that with dedication it is possible to advance within the business. This should give a positive message to all employees wishing to progress as the company continues to grow.”

Daniel and Liam promote a strong team ethos within PMS and are equally ambitious in their desire to see the continued expansion of this local business across East Anglia, London and the Southeast.

Liam, 46, started his career with Ford, one of the early UK-based companies to embrace a customer service culture, and subsequently spent 10 years working in Spain in hospitality and customer-focused roles.

When he returned to Essex in 2008, PMS founder and chairman Terry Sutton invited him to work for the growing company.

Liam said: “I hadn’t intended to work in property management, but I find it genuinely interesting, you are dealing with real people, real property and real money.

“The industry has changed significantly in recent years – it is much more consumer driven and leaseholders are more empowered. There is an important educational process, as more people purchase properties in the leasehold sector and they don’t always fully understand the relationship between leaseholder and landlord.”

As head of PMS’ property management department, Liam will oversee policy on property management, customer liaison, marketing and business development.

•The Weeping Willow in Barrow, Bury St Edmunds, which has undergone a major renovation by new owners florist Paula Pryke OBE and architect Peter Romaniuk, has appointed a head chef.

Nick Claxton-Webb has worked across some of the most renowned restaurants in Suffolk, including The Leaping Hare and Ickworth Hotel, where he also first worked with Weeping Willow manager, Martin Edwards.

Nick is putting together a seasonal menu aimed at appealing to a wide range of diners.

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