People: Mills & Reeve; Wates; Bevan Brittan

Law firm Mills & Reeve has appointed Dr Sara Warner to its competition law team.

Warner has joined as a senior associate from Sky UK where she was legal counsel in the competition and regulatory team.

Mills & Reeve launched the competition law team last December with the arrival of partner Kate Newman from Eversheds Sutherland in a move to develop its offering and help corporate clients pursue their growth strategies.

Warner, who has a PhD in competition law from Warwick University and will be based in the Birmingham office.

She said: “It is an incredibly exciting time to join Mills & Reeve as a competition lawyer wanting to make an impact.  I look forward to getting to know colleagues and collaborating with other teams, so that we can maximise the many opportunities which will already exist to grow the competition practice.”


Wates has appointed Matt Johnson as regional director for its construction business in the Midlands.

He brings more than 20 years experience within the construction industry, most recently as operations director for Wates in the Midlands.

Before he joined Wates in 2022, he worked as a project director for Lendlease and Balfour Beatty, as well taking up an executive director position for leisure contractor Pulse Design & Build.

His career has focused on delivering large, complex projects within both the public and private sector, overseeing some of Wates’ largest projects in the Midlands including Sandwell Aquatics Centre, Hartshill Academy in Nuneaton, and Coundon Court in Coventry. Elsewhere, he’s also been responsible for the delivery of National Automotive Innovation Centre at University of Warwick and 60 Holborn Viaduct – Amazon’s head office in City of London.

Dave Saville, managing director at Wates Construction North, said: “The sheer range of projects being planned and delivered makes the Midlands an absolute strategic focus for our business, as we seek to increase our portfolio. The diverse experience that Matt brings reflects this, making him a perfect fit to lead the region and take advantage of the opportunities here.

“He has already proven himself at Wates to be incredibly trusted and respected in both our business and with our customers, and I’m looking forward to working together as we seek to grow our Midlands operations and wider North division even further.”


A lawyer from Bevan Brittan’s Birmingham office has been invited to join a national committee.

Senior associate and clinical negligence expert Elena Goodfellow has joined the Attorney General’s Pro Bono Committee of England and Wales as part of her role as chair of Birmingham Law Society’s Pro Bono Committee.

The Attorney General’s Pro Bono Committee meets twice a year in Parliament and encourages effective and coordinated legal pro bono work in England and Wales.

Goodfellow said: “Pro bono work is something I really care about and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to represent Birmingham Law Society on this national group.

“As a lawyer I have gained the knowledge and skills to handle problems that may occur in day to day life and pro bono work allows me to share that experience with others who may not be able to afford to pay for legal help. I’m lucky to work for a law firm like Bevan Brittan that is so supportive and encourages us to give back to the community.”

Rebecca Pendlebury, head of Bevan Brittan’s Birmingham office, added: “Elena does a fantastic job of sharing her passion for pro bono work and I know she will make a great contribution on the Attorney General’s committee.

“As well as her role on the Birmingham Law Society’s Pro Bono Committee, Elena coordinates Bevan Brittan’s involvement with the Birmingham Legal Advice Clinic. She is a real asset to the office and this was highlighted by her recent promotion to Senior Associate. This is a fantastic opportunity and we all wish her the best.”


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