People: Law firm announces Birmingham office head; Raft of promotions at Shoosmiths; and more

Law firm Mills & Reeve has appointed a new head of office in Birmingham.

Jayne Hussey, a partner in the commercial team who also spearheads the firm’s national mid-market strategy and In-house in Focus programme, will take on the role at the end of May.

As head of the 290-strong office, she will drive forward the firm’s further growth across the region.

Hussey, who joined Mills & Reeve in 2015, is an established commercial contracts specialist with a wealth of experience in advising businesses on complex supply chain arrangements, including outsourcing contracts, contract manufacturing arrangements, logistics and warehousing arrangements and long-term supply and purchasing agreements.

Boasting decades of regional, national and international expertise, she has worked on a considerable number of cross-border arrangements for a wide range of businesses, both in the Midlands and beyond.

This appointment sees Steve Allen, partner and current head of the Birmingham office, continue with the firm specialising in commercial litigation and arbitration. Under his stewardship over the past 10 years, Mills & Reeve’s Birmingham office saw a significant increase in turnover and growth in staff numbers including several high-profile partner hires.

Hussey said: “Mills & Reeve is a wonderful, multi-faceted firm full of talented people with their finger on the pulse of the region. I am honoured to take the position of head of the office, where I will aim to build on the success of Steve’s leadership over the past decade to support and engage further with the business community across Midlands region. We are fiercely proud of our reputation and work across the Midlands, and my focus will be on maintaining and growing that in the years to come.”

Allen added: “Acting as the head of Mills & Reeve’s Birmingham office for the past 10 years has been one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling experiences of my career and I am immensely proud of everything the firm has achieved. Mills & Reeve’s stand-out market proposition is driven by its distinct culture, underpinned by the sheer passion and pride of our people and their steadfast commitment to delivering the best possible work for our clients across the region and beyond. Jayne’s reputation, track record and commitment to the region speaks for itself and is a shining example of the Mills & Reeve approach, making her a perfect fit to lead the firm.”


Nick Vernon

Shoosmiths has announced a raft of promotions in Birmingham.

The May promotions round welcomes two new partners, five legal directors and nine principal associates.

The promotions are across the firm’s corporate, real estate and business advisory divisions.

The newly appointed partners are Nick Vernon in business advisory (employment) and Helen Burnell in corporate.

The legal directors are Michael Bennett, Barbara McGreal, Jill Briggs, Rhodri Glynn and Georgina Rennie.

Meanwhile, Richard Blatchly, Rebecca Bristow, Caroline Chester, Pav Clair, Rebekah Finch, Sophie Jack, Stephen Johnstone, Nick Little and Emma Pearce have become principal associates.

Helen Burnell

Shoosmiths chairman Peter Duff said: “We’d like to congratulate our promotees who took on their new roles on 1 May. We would also like to share our thanks to them for their respective contributions to Shoosmiths over the years.

“They have shown an exceptional dedication to clients, and great commerciality and drive. I have no doubt these individuals will do a great job of supporting and growing the business in the years to come.

He added: “As a firm we have an exceptional level of talent and we are committed to nurturing and further developing that, to further support our people and to underpin our new strategy.”




Law firm Weightmans has made several promotions.

Birmingham-based Richard Briggs – Healthcare; Tania Derrett-Smith – Family, and Richard Vaughan – Real Estate have been made partners.

Meanwhile Sarah Knight – Regulatory; Maryam Storr – Healthcare, and Lisa Watson – Disease have been promoted to legal directors.

Managing partner John Schorah said: “We are delighted to announce these promotions following another year of disruption due to Covid. All our people, not just those promoted, have worked incredibly hard in challenging times to maintain the quality and exceptional levels of service our clients come to us for.

“I would like to congratulate our new Partners for their achievement, with some of them being with us right from the beginning of their careers. Their focus on the client, support for each other and maintenance of high standards, is integral to our success, and I know that they will continue to work hard to deliver creative solutions and results.”