People: The latest West Midlands hires

Sarah Perry

A Leamington-based law firm has announced 17 promotions across its business as part of its ongoing growth plans.

Wright Hassall has appointed three partners, two senior associates, eight associates, a legal director and promoted three people within its wider business services teams.

Those who have been promoted to partner include Gemma Baker (Invoice Collection and Debt Recovery), John Gregory (Planning) and Tracy Ashby (Wills and Tax Planning); while Luke Moulton (Intellectual Property) and Sarah Beer (Agriculture and HS2) are now Senior Associates.

Kaleigh Brown, (Real Estate), Laura Steel (Commercial) and Nathan Hinks (Commercial Property) have been appointed as associates, as have Patrick McCallum (Commercial), Rees Herrod (Corporate) and Sandra Piaskowska (Construction).

James Leighfield (Real Estate) and Jennifer Rhind (Litigation) have also achieved associate status, while Claire Halle-Smith (Data Protection) has moved up to the position of legal director.

Also being promoted are three members of its business services teams, Ann-Marie Davis (Senior Executive Assistant), Shaan Johal (Compliance) and Charlotte Bowler (Sales & Marketing).

Sarah Perry, managing partner at Wright Hassall, said: “As a firm we pride ourselves on helping to develop and nurture the talents of our staff, and these promotions further underline this commitment.

“Our business, like so many others, has had to adapt and show resilience in what has been a challenging year, and we are delighted to now be in a position to promote these outstanding individuals who have all shown such dedication, application and teamwork in everything they do.”


Qualified barrister, tax, estate planning, wills and trusts specialist Alana Graham has joined regional law firm Lodders in its private client department.

A barrister for over 20-years, Graham has a wealth of tax and private client experience having worked for a number of national law firms and inheritance tax consultancies, and one of the UK’s big four accountancy firms, and regularly advises clients based around the world on tax, wills and trusts matters.

At Lodders she will advise on all tax related matters, and, as she retains her rights of audience, she will also use her advocacy skills to represent clients in all the courts.

“Alana combines an impressive breadth of knowledge with being able to represent clients in the tribunals and courts,” says Louise Igoe, head of Lodders’ private client department.

“For the private client department, Alana represents the addition of a tax expert, which not only strengthens our current offering, but will also contribute to the development of our estate and tax planning services in other areas.”

Azets, the accountancy and business advisor to SMEs, has hired Paul Tallon as transaction services partner.

He will be part of the Azets Midlands Corporate Finance team, based out of its Birmingham city centre office.

He joins Azets after spending nearly nine years at Grant Thornton.

Tallon will be focused on supporting growing and acquisitive businesses in the SME space, working closely with banks, acquirers, acquisitive corporates and private equity houses to deliver Transaction Services and Financial Due Diligence.

Mark Selby, national head of corporate finance at Azets, said: “Paul is a highly experienced advisor and has an outstanding reputation as a talented and respected Transaction Services professional. His appointment as a Partner is a tremendous reflection on the growing reputation of Azets and its Corporate Finance business and puts a marker in the ground as we continue to grow and expand our regional capability. Paul will bring great breadth and depth of knowledge and expertise to the team and we are delighted to have him on board.”



mfg Solicitors has announced the appointment of lawyer Andy Ward who joins the company as an associate solicitor at the firm’s Telford office.

Ward will provide expert commercial property legal services and advice to clients across Shropshire, the wider West Midlands and beyond.

Working with partners David Raymont and Michael Payne, Ward brings a wealth of experience from advising clients in the pub, brewery and licensed premises trade, ranging from a listed PLC to small and medium enterprises and individuals.

He also specialises in acting on behalf of charities.

Ward said: “I’m looking forward to using my experience to assist clients in managing their property portfolios and continuing to grow the firm’s commercial property offering here in Telford.”

Raymont added: “We are really pleased to be able to announce Andy Ward’s arrival as an associate solicitor with mfg.

“His expertise in the pub and licensed premises trade will be vital to clients in that sector, particularly as they work to rebuild their businesses after a year of lockdowns and restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

mfg Solicitors also has offices in Ludlow, Kidderminster, Worcester, Bromsgrove and Birmingham.