Solicitors celebrate qualified status

n ANDREW Parker and Natalie Simpkins, pictured right, of Colchester law firm Ellisons have completed their training contracts and are now qualified solicitors with the firm.

Mr Parker, who joined Ellisons in 2008, qualified on October 1. For the final part of his training period he has specialised in personal injury and is now a permanent member of the growing insurance litigation team headed by partner Robert Jones. Before joining Ellisons, Mr Parker read classics at the University of Leeds before converting to law and completing the GDL and LPC at the College of Law, York.

Ms Simpkins studied Law at the University of East Anglia and then BPP Law School in Manchester before starting a training contract with a firm in Norwich. She joined Ellisons this summer to complete her training contract and qualify as a member of the insurance litigation team last month.

Senior partner Peter Powell is delighted that the two newly-qualified lawyers are now full members of the insurance litigation team:

“Ellisons Solicitors has always taken graduate recruitment very seriously. We are proud of our retention record and the fact that over half the current partners started their careers as trainees with the firm. Having proven themselves as trainee solicitors, both Natalie and Andrew have shown us that they have the right blend of intellect and initiative to succeed in our thriving insurance litigation practice.”

n ONLINE engagement specialist Consense has appointed Denise Parkinson, pictured right, as business development manager.

She will play an instrumental role in developing the Martlesham Heath-based company’s client base in the construction and property industries, by illustrating the benefits of accessible, inclusive and interactive online consultation during the planning and build phases.

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With more than 15 years’ brand and product development experience with blue-chip clients including EMAAR, BP, Santander, bmi, Land Rover and Macmillan Cancer Support, she is committed to simple and practical solutions that support brand values and improve communications.

With the Government’s commitment to the localism agenda and the drive to encourage more people to become involved in decisions about their local environments and neighbourhoods, Consense has developed a practical solution to help the construction industry manage public consultation more effectively.

She said: “The ‘Open Debate’ system has been used extensively by renewable energy developers – a sector which has very strong anti-groups to consider – and more than 70% of the 94 live consultations are running in support of proposed plans.”

Consense director Jessica Topham said: “Denise brings a wealth of communications knowledge to her role and will be instrumental in assisting clients within the property sector undertake wide-reaching, successful community engagement and, through our unique ‘Open Debate’ online system, make consultation accessible, interactive and auditable.”

n IPSWICH-based mechanical and engineering contractor, Bower Fuller, has appointed Paul Wombwell, pictured right, as its new business development manager. He will be responsible for helping to develop the company’s relationships with existing clients as well as seeking new opportunities.

He brings more than 20 years of industry experience to Bower Fuller. He has previously worked as a consultant account manager for various suppliers to the building services industry. Mr Wombwell has lived locally for the majority of his life and is married with five children and has a grandchild. He is an ex rugby player and in his spare time, enjoys cycling, music and reading.

“I have been associated with this market for many years and the role means I can continue to use my knowledge and experience to fuel the growth of the Bower Fuller business within the M&E sector,” he said.

n THE University of East Anglia (UEA) based bio-renewables hub, InCrops, has appointed Marie Francis, OBE, pictured right, as its chair. With project partners across the East of England, Innovation in Crops (InCrops) provides specialist business support for the commercialisation of new bio-renewable and low carbon products derived from crops. It links the region’s top researchers with businesses looking to develop new products for the marketplace.

She brings connections with research-based and commercial organisations across the region and has strong links to the agricultural and food industry.

She holds a degree in biology from UEA and has worked in agriculture in various roles for most of her career. In 2004 she was awarded an OBE for services to agriculture and the rural economy.

She said: “I am really excited about the opportunities that exist to produce new, high value, crop-based products. Satisfying the needs of a growing world population in a sustainable, low carbon way will continue to drive innovation in the bioscience sector and the East of England has a number of world-class research organisations.

“I believe that InCrops has an important role to play in helping to develop the commercial opportunities that this research base represents – I look forward to joining the team.”

Prof Trevor Davies, UEA pro vice chancellor for research, enterprise and engagement, said: “We are delighted that Marie Francis has agreed to be chair of InCrops.

“She will be a great asset for InCrops which is playing a major role in stimulating the contribution of crops to sustainability and new business opportunities.”

InCrops has also appointed two new business innovation managers to its growing team. Bianca Forte and Benedict Binns joined the enterprise hub earlier this year and both bring a wealth of experience within their specialist sectors.

Ms Forte holds a degree in Biological Sciences and an MSc in Environmental Management for Business. Having previously worked as a bioscientist for various research projects, she will be taking on the lead within the biofuels and bioenergy sectors.

Mr Binns is responsible for overseeing and co-ordinating the built environment sector. Prior to joining InCrops, he completed a Strategic Carbon Management MBA at UEA and, along with his experience in generating and developing business, he provides consultancy services to clients looking to develop low carbon products.

Marie Francis is currently chair of Sustainable Food and Farming for the East of England and was previously Rural Board Member for EEDA.