People: Ballards; Lodders; Ardent

Helen Sutherland and James Syree

Worcestershire accounting firm Ballards has promoted Helen Sutherland to the role of group finance and operations director.

Sutherland has been with the firm since 2019, previously serving as group finance director.

In her new position, as well as continuing to oversee the finance function, she will oversee internal operations for Ballards and she will lead key operational initiatives across the firm’s offices.

Before joining Ballards in 2019, she gained experience at two accounting firms, working as an auditor at KPMG and later as a financial accountant at Deloitte.

James Syree, CEO of Ballards LLP, said: “Helen has displayed strong leadership during her time with us, becoming a valuable member of our executive team. Her financial acumen, forward-thinking approach, and commitment to operational excellence give us confidence in her ability to succeed as group finance and operations director.



Experienced private client lawyer Dawn Oliver has joined Midlands and South West law firm Lodders as a partner.

With over 30 years’ of experience advising on private client matters, Oliver specialises in all aspects of private client work with a particular interest in lifetime and estate planning.

Dawn Oliver and Louise Igoe

She joins Lodders from a regional law firm where she led the private client practice for more than 20 years and was a senior partner.

Before this, she trained at Gateley, qualifying in 1992.

In addition to her role, Dawn is a trustee of local charities Worcestershire Breast Unit Haven, The Ancient Parish of Ripple Trust, Worcester Theatres, The Roger & Douglas Turner Charitable Trust, and The Kildare Trust.

She also supports The Myriad Centre in Worcester, which works with young adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD).

She said: “I am thrilled to join Lodders’ well-respected private client team. Having worked in private client law for over three decades, I have always enjoyed the personal aspects of the role, getting to know clients and their families, and helping them to manage their private wealth in the best and most tax-efficient way. Here at Lodders, I am looking forward to supporting new clients as well as developing our junior fee earners into leaders of the future, which is something I am particularly passionate about.”

Louise Igoe, Lodders’ partner and head of the Private Client team said: “We are delighted to welcome a private client solicitor of Dawn’s calibre and experience to the firm and partnership. Dawn is a highly skilled and talented lawyer who brings with her a reputation for excellence. As demand for our specialist private client services continues to grow, we look forward to working with Dawn to further enhance Lodders’ top tier, well-established offering in this area.”



The Birmingham office of a national surveying, stakeholder communications and consents management practice has promoted three members of the team.

Sukhi Somal and Rebecca James

The company has promoted Sukhi Somal to senior associate director in the land referencing team and Rebecca James to associate in the land assembly team.

Heather Hegarty has also been promoted with the company’s consents management consultancy.

Ardent’s Birmingham office, which is situated in The Colmore Building, is now home to 42
members of the company’s overall team.

Richard Caten, the CEO of Ardent, said: “We are ahead of our growth targets that we set out last year, and that is down to the fantastic work of the whole Ardent team, so we are delighted to be able to announce our latest round of promotions. Providing transparency, support and development opportunities for our people in reaching their career aspirations whilst being engaged in their work is key to us at Ardent.

“We support this in many ways and complement it by our internal coaching programme to support our people in continually developing in a way that works for them and to be the best versions of themselves. We are really proud of everyone at Ardent and wish all our newly promoted people lots of success in their new roles.”



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