People: Lodders; Liquid; CIPP

Grace Walton and James Hamilton. 12/3/2024,Stratford upon Avon,Warwickshire,UK. Lodders staff. Photo credit: Dave Warren/Picture Team

Law firm Lodders has boosted its Management Board with the appointment of two new directors.

HR specialist Grace Walton joins Lodders as People and Culture Director. In her role, she will lead and coordinate the delivery of the firm’s strategic and operational HR function, people initiatives, and talent management activities, as well as growing the HR team.

James Hamilton also joins the firm as IT Director. He will deliver a technology strategy that is aligned with Lodders’ overall business aims and lead a high-performing IT team.

With a strong background in IT, James joins Lodders from Wright Hassall LLP where he worked for over 16 years. During this time, he built a multi-disciplined IT team and progressed to head of the IT function, leading on all aspects of the firm’s IT infrastructure and support, development, reporting, and training.

Grace brings years of dedicated HR experience, as well as legal sector expertise, having worked in- house at law firms since 2017. Prior to Lodders, Grace was head of HR at law firm Wiggin. She has also worked in various HR roles across a number of professional services businesses including Browne Jacobson, Parexel, Capital One, and a forensic accounting firm.

Commenting on the new appointments, Paul Mourton, Lodders’ managing partner says: “We are really pleased to welcome these high calibre individuals to the firm. With a strong background and in- depth understanding of the legal sector, both Grace and James are proven candidates, who will help drive the next stage of Lodders’ development and growth.

“As a multi-site firm, we recognise the importance of maintaining the scale of our growth strategy, with our people at its very heart. Grace and James represent significant additions to our leadership team and will deliver the necessary strategic expertise to drive excellence in these key areas of our operations.”


International integrated communications agency, Liquid, has announced six promotions, recognising the outstanding contributions and dedication of its team.

The promotions come after a strong year, following the opening of its office in Brisbane, Australia in March 2023, and reflect Liquid’s commitment to fostering a culture of growth and development.

Spanning across various departments and levels within the company, the promotions include Warren Clarke, who has been promoted to head of creative and content. Reflecting his dedication, the calibre of work and the growth of the wider creative team, Warren’s role will help consolidate creative strategy across all campaigns, business proposals, and client work.

Emily Burnett and Emma Johansson-Webb have been promoted to junior account directors. This role will see them both taking on further strategic responsibilities, leading their accounts to greater success. Since joining Liquid, both have demonstrated commitment and passion, achieving extraordinary results for their clients.

Hannah Ashley has been promoted to account manager, upping her management duties and client remit. Antonia Hall has been promoted to senior account executive, developing her understanding of client liaison and crisis management ahead of moving towards the managerial level.

In the digital team, Tom Morris has been promoted to senior digital marketing executive, following his dedication to growing and learning with Liquid. His new role will see him take on more client responsibilities and project management.

Liquid CEO, Elisabeth Lewis-Jones, said: “We’re thrilled to announce these well-deserved promotions across the business. Each individual has demonstrated dedication and hard work, and we think it is imperative to recognise their success.

“We remain dedicated to providing all employees with growth opportunities and look forward to the year ahead. A big congratulations to those who’ve been promoted.”


The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) has announced the appointment of three new members to its board of directors, following its Annual General Meeting held on the 6th February 2024.

Elected to the board of directors, the CIPP welcomes Chartered members Ana Laiu and Brian Sparling, as well as Lara Smart, who will officially take up their roles on the 1st April 2024.

Ana Laiu (MSc, FCIPPdip, AATQB) is a highly skilled strategic leader in payroll, who is passionate about championing the sector. She has worked with the CIPP as a tutor since 2018 and has held multiple senior positions during her career. Ana is currently the Director of Pay and Reward at PPHE Group, a company she has worked for since 2015.

Brian Sparling (ChFCIPPdip) has worked for many big-name brands to deliver excellence in payroll and systems. Working for brands such as Dayforce, TSB Bank, JD Wetherspoon and BSkyB, Brian’s work has seen him recognised as one of the Top 50 Payroll and Reward Professionals for the past five years. He is a keen leader, mentor and advocate of best practice and personal growth at all levels of experience.

Lara Smart (FCIPPdip) works with clients from all areas of business and provides high level consultancy skills. Strategic and focused on problem-solving, Lara is passionate about education improvement and offering exceptional payroll insight and expertise to her clients. She has worked in the industry for over 15 years, including global payroll positions for Endeavor and Just Eat, as well as being a member of the CIPP for over a decade.

Commenting on the appointments, Jason Davenport, Chief Executive Officer at the CIPP, said: “Having three new members elected to the CIPP board represents a shift in the way we want to work as a business – a shift for the better. With only ten members sitting on our board of directors, introducing three new faces will be a big change, and one we’re looking forward to implementing.

“Ana, Brian, and Lara all bring unique skill sets, perspectives and experiences that will be hugely valuable in guiding the future of the CIPP and helping best serve the needs of our members. We’re excited to officially welcome them and work together to make a positive impact for the industry.”

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