People: Hill Dickinson makes director hire for new Leeds office; Talent celebrated at Addleshaw Goddard with 18 promotions; and more

Law firm Hill Dickinson has welcomed legal director Esther Venning to its expanding health practice.

Venning will be based in the firm’s Leeds office, which opened earlier this month to service the team’s growing client base.

She brings a wealth of experience to the role, having previously worked in DAC Beachcroft’s Leeds office for nine years and prior to this Bevan Brittan.

She advises commissioners and providers of health and social care services on commercial, contractual and governance issues, such as integration projects, joint ventures, section 75 agreements, shared services arrangements, income generation and primary and secondary care contracting.

Venning will work with commercial health partner Rob McGough, who joined the Leeds office earlier this month from Capsticks. He jointly heads up the Leeds office with health litigation partner Mike McKenna.

McGough said: “Esther’s arrival marks an exciting time for us as we build our presence in Leeds. Her impressive skill set will enhance our existing commercial offering and her understanding of the challenges faced by clients makes her a real asset to the team. We are delighted she has chosen to join us.”


Addleshaw Goddard has announced the promotion of 18 lawyers in its Leeds office.

The firm has promoted five to legal director and a further 13 to managing associate. The newly promoted legal directors include Jonathan Stewart in Pensions; Louise Dobson from Litigation; and Mark Broomfield, Ally MacKenzie and Claire Wilkinson from Real Estate.

Those promoted to managing associate are Beatrice Duke, James Mort, Leanne Oddy and Clare Walker from Corporate & Commercial; Alex Clayton, Geoffrey McGinley and Tom McHugh from Finance & Projects; Matthew Dibb, Jennifer Hedley and Gareth Jones from Litigation; and Graham Garvie, Thomas Hurst and Pamela Kaur from Real Estate.

Tim Wheldon, head of the Leeds office, said: “It is a great pleasure to see the hard work of these great lawyers rewarded with promotion. Each of them have proven their worth and thoroughly deserve the recognition they have received.”


hlw Keeble Hawson has bolstered its commercial property department with the appointment of Simon Best at its Leeds city centre office.

With a track record in acting for investors, property developers and commercial clients, Best is skilled in acquisitions and disposals; landlord and tenant and property development matters – as well as finance and development and asset management.

He joins the 22-strong commercial property team across Yorkshire which boasts a client portfolio including Harworth Group, Coalfields Regeneration Trust and TRIB3. Recent deals include acting for high-profile Taekwondo expert, Mike McKenzie in his latest Yorkshire expansion milestone.

Best said: “I was attracted by the excellent reputation of hlw Keeble Hawson and the quality of its clients and commissions. I’m looking forward to working with talented and experienced colleagues and contributing to the ongoing success of the team.”

hlw Keeble Hawson head of commercial property, Richard Smith, added: “Our department is recognised as one of Yorkshire’s leading property practices.Simon’s depth and breadth of expertise highly complements the talents of our team which continues to be commissioned for wide-ranging deals in Yorkshire and beyond.”


Polypipe Group, a leading manufacturer of plastic piping and ventilation systems, has appointed Paul James as Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Polypipe Board.

Paul succeeds Martin Payne, who will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer on 2 October. Martin will continue to oversee the Group finance function until Paul joins.

Paul has served as Group Financial Controller of Dixons Carphone plc since 2014 and prior to this role he held the position of Group Financial Controller and Treasury Director of Inchcape plc and senior financial positions at British American Tobacco plc. 

Payne said: “I am very pleased to welcome Paul onto the Board. His financial and operational skills, together with his experience of working in public companies will be a great asset. I look forward to working with Paul to lead Polypipe through its continued development.”