People on the move: Woodcocks Haworth and Nuttall Solicitors; Clarke Willmott

Fiona Williams

Lancashire law firm Woodcocks Haworth and Nuttall Solicitors has made four new appointments.

Laura Beth Thompson

Sarah Collier

Sophie Raby

Trainee solicitors Fiona Williams and Laura-Beth Thompson, along with paralegals Sarah Collier and Sophie Raby have all joined the company, which has 100 staff in offices across Greater Manchester and Lancashire in Accrington, Bacup, Bury, Blackburn, Haslingden, Great Harwood and Rawtenstall.

Williams, 24, has been appointed as a trainee solicitor in the commercial property department, with a remit to assist with landlord and tenant work, as well as sales, purchases and running her own cases.

Previously she worked as a paralegal in the commercial property department of a Manchester law firm, with responsibilities for organising and assisting a team of six fee earners.

Thompson, also 24, has also joined the firm as a trainee solicitor and works in the commercial property team at the Bury office. He role includes advising clients on leases, transfers of property and remortgages, as well as residential conveyancing.

Collier, aged 28, has been appointed as a paralegal in WHN’s personal injury department after joining the firm as an office junior in 2007 and later becoming a secretary.

She works with Pam Roberts in the personal injury team at the Bury office, handling a wide range of claims including road traffic accidents, accidents at work and public liability accidents.

Raby, 22, has also joined the firm as a paralegal, working in the family law team to support parents who are going through Children Act proceedings.


A new family law partner has joined national law firm Clarke Willmott to head up the firm’s family department in the North West.

Chris Longbottom, a recommended lawyer in the latest ‘Legal 500’ guide, joins Clarke Willmott’s Manchester office and will be advising private clients on a range of family and matrimonial issues, with a focus on complex matters and the high net worth market.

Chris Longbottom and Leah Taylor

Longbottom is joined by legal assistant Leah Taylor who worked alongside him at his previous firm Shoosmiths, where he headed the family law team for more than three years.

Longbottom and his team specialise in advising separating couples dealing with the many issues that arise during the course of a divorce or dissolution – and also the consequences caused by that break up, whether related to children, businesses or personal finances.

Partner Rayner Grice, who manages the national family law team at Clarke Willmott, said: “Chris has a wealth of experience and is widely recognised for his pragmatic and sensible approach to resolving issues arising from relationship breakdown.”

Roy Crozier, head of the Clarke Willmott Manchester office, added: “Chris has a strong reputation and network within Manchester and the wider North West and is committed to developing the Family Law and Private Client offering at Clarke Willmott, Manchester, adding also to the firm’s national offering.”

Longbottom said: “Clarke Willmott has a fantastic brand, reputation and heritage in Family Law; providing legal advice tailored to individuals, which protects their interests but is also pragmatic, cost effective and sensible.”