People: Law firm hires from Eversheds and DLA to boost real estate team; Principal appointed to national High Speed Rail college; and more

Corporate law firm Shulmans has welcomed two lawyers to its real estate team.

Kate Johnson, formerly of Eversheds, brings more than 20 years’ experience in the commercial property sector. Johnson’s extensive knowledge of non-contentious matters includes work on complex supermarket, residential and industrial developments, freehold disposals and acquisitions, landlord and tenant matters and portfolio management; acting on behalf of prominent clients from across the UK.

Further strengthening the team is Emma Thomas who joins the firm after 10 years at DLA Piper.  Her specialities include advising on planning issues for the commercial property, residential, retail and energy sectors including the negotiation and drafting of complex infrastructure agreements.

Thomas also advises on proposed lawful development, planning enforcement issues and compulsory purchase matters, in addition to having specific expertise in town and village green issues.

Tim Halstead, Shulmans managing partner, said: “Our real estate team is at the heart of the property industry and is known for being able to solve problems by drawing on a range of specialists.  Emma and Kate are joining us at an exciting time in our development and will play key roles in helping clients to get the results that they want to achieve.”


The National College for High Speed Rail has appointed Jackie Grubb as its principalThe National College for High Speed Rail has appointed Jackie Grubb as its principal to lead the education of next generation rail technicians and engineers at the largest of the government’s five new, employer-led national colleges.   

Grubb will oversee the training provision for around 1,300 learners annually at the new £40m educational institution, in preparation for the country’s future high speed rail infrastructure.  Learners will gain world-class skills at the college as they are taught across two new state-of-the-art campuses, in Doncaster and Birmingham.

With more than 30-years of experience working in further education, including substantial experience in senior positions within the sector; she will be focussed on steering the new employer-led college to success.

She said: “With the college gearing up to launch this September and produce a new generation of highly skilled professionals who will lead Britain’s rail industry, this is a great time to join the team. I’m looking forward to building a new, diverse workforce for the rail sector and I’m absolutely committed to working with our growing network of employers to offer cutting edge technical and professional courses which produce the talented young people they need.

 “The college is set to create a new generation of highly-proficient workers based across the country who will help make Britain’s infrastructure stronger.”


Listed life sciences business OptiBiotix Health, based in York, has announced that Per Rehné and Christina Wood have been appointed to the board.

Rehné has many years’ experience of the food industry, having worked for some of the world’s leading food companies including most recently Cornelius Group where he acted as European director of health and nutrition.

Wood has more than 25 years’ sales experience within the food, nutrition, and nutraceuticals industry.

As the owner and CEO of Confoco, a supplier of high quality food ingredients worldwide, she grew the business from £1m to £11m sales by obtaining strategic supplier status with multiple global corporates including Nestlé, Danone, and Heinz.