People: Armstrong Watson recruits from Grant Thornton; PwC appoints director; and more

Armstrong Watson has added to its legal sector team.

Tom Blandford has been appointed as legal sector director and will focus on supporting lawyers throughout Yorkshire and the UK with specialised advice.

The firm said his appointment comes following an increase in demand for its specialist legal sector services, which include succession planning, buying, selling and merging law firms.

Blandford has more than 13 years’ experience in not only auditing large businesses but also in advising and supporting them to help them to understand their financial picture and plan for the future.  

He has moved to Armstrong Watson’s Leeds office from Grant Thornton, having previously worked with PWC and Deloitte.

Andy Poole, legal sector partner, said: “We are experiencing very high levels of growth in demand for our legal sector services and have established a fantastic reputation in the market which we are very proud of.  As we grow, we need to ensure that our clients continue to receive a service that is second to none, and Tom’s appointment will help to ensure that.  Tom brings with him valuable knowledge and experience which I know will benefit our clients.

“Tom will focus 100% of his time on supporting lawyers, which means that we have even more dedicated resource to the legal sector and are best placed to support lawyers and legal firms throughout the UK. We are delighted to continue to build upon our success so that we can protect the law firms that we support and advise.”


PwC has appointed Stephen Mills as a new data analytics director Stephen Mills has been recruited by PwC as data analytics director to focus on the North of England.

Mills will also be part of the national leadership team of PwC’s Risk Assurance Analytics & Data practice.

He joins from IBM where he spent 12 years as an associate partner in theData, Analytics and Cognitive consulting group. Mills has spent a number of years working with clients on complex data and consulting projects ranging from data-warehouse programmes through to data and analytics strategies.

In his new role, he will focus on leading the analytics and data capability for PwC in the North of England across all industries to help bring new and innovative solutions to market.

Mills said :“I’m really pleased to be joining PwC’s Analytics & Data practice. With the continued explosion in available data sources it is an exciting time to be working with clients across the north region on analytics opportunities.”


Andrew PalmerThe Institute of Directors (IoD) has appointed Andrew Palmer as an ambassador for the Harrogate district.
The Ambassador network consists of high-profile business leaders who represent and promote the IoD in their area and grow the region’s voice on national policy matters.

Palmer is the chief executive of North of England Excellence (NoEE), a not-for-profit membership organisation that helps businesses on the journey to excellence through collaboration, networking and training.

He was a director of business organisation CBI in Yorkshire and the Humber and, more recently, Scotland.

He said: “I have a passion for helping individuals and organisations to succeed and achieve their full potential. That is one of the IoD’s core propositions so I’m delighted to come on board.”