People: Global law firm appoints centre director; Partner announcement at Harrogate firm; Tax partner moves to Pinsent Masons; and more

Reed Smith Global Solutions has today announced the appointment of Barry Spenceley as centre director, Leeds.

Spenceley will head up the new Platfrom base for the firm, bringing 18 years of experience working in shared services operations and delivering transition and change projects. He will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the vision for Reed Smith Global Solutions and creating an environment that promotes continual improvement.

While Leeds will initially be the incubator for this new approach, the firm plans to modernise its service delivery model across its global network of offices.

Reed Smith Global Solutions is a new approach to supporting lawyers in the delivery of ‘more for less’ to clients through continual improvement, workspace design, process definition and the adoption of new technology.

The firm said that the culture of shared innovation will result in highly trained, diverse teams working to complete shared tasks to increase efficiencies and to drive a consistent high quality in the delivery of service to our clients.

Spencely  joins from 2 Sisters Food Group, the largest food manufacturer in the UK, and has previously worked for Morrisons and Hewlett-Packard. He will apply his experience of training and qualifying teams, and running multiple lines of improvements, to ensure Reed

Smith Global Solutions provides the best support to Reed Smith and its clients, globally. “This is a very exciting time for Reed Smith and I’m delighted to be a part of this new venture. I’m really looking forward to creating and further developing a unique approach that works for the firm, its clients and employees, aiming to constantly improve the efficiency and quality of the work we do,” added Spenceley.
Tamara Box, Reed Smith’s Europe and Middle East managing partner, said: “With his wealth of experience, we are confident that Barry will be a great inspiration, internally and externally, for Reed Smith Global Solutions. Under his leadership, we look forward to creating a new, shared services environment where people will want to work and an approach that facilitates continual improvement of our practices.”

Reed Smith Global Solutions began operating earlier this summer with an ambitious growth plan to further develop its legal and business services functions by the end of 2018.


Harrogate law firm McCormicks Solicitors has appointed a new partner.

Stephen Hopwood, who leads the firm’s family department, has been made a partner after five years at the practice.

He is a specialist family lawyer and heads the McCormicks Family Department, ranked as one of the leading Family/Matrimonial practices in the Region by the leading independent Guides to the profession, the Legal 500 and Chambers UK.

Senior Partner, Peter McCormick, said: “We are very pleased that Stephen has become a Partner. His commitment to achieving the best possible outcomes for our Family clients is clear and he is an important member of the McCormicks team.”

Hopwoodhas expertise in all aspects of Family work, with a focus on finance and children. He is equally specialist in resolving normal family breakdowns and those with complex elements such as trusts and international elements.

He is Vice President and President Elect of Harrogate and District Law Society.


Language services provider thebigword has appointed a proven industry leader as Chief Revenue Officer to spearhead the group’s global growth and customer success programme.

Garry Levitt has significant international experience in leadership positions in the customer experience, globalisation and localisation sectors and particularly strong expertise in multilingual content services and technologies.

He was formerly Vice President for Sales at Welocalize, the provider of multilingual content to the world’s largest companies, and a member of the group’s global leadership team.

Previously, he also held a succession of senior roles at SDL, the multinational language translation and content management company, including Vice President of Alliances for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

At thebigword, Levitt will be responsible for growing the group’s translation and interpreting business, which serves many of the world’s biggest and best-known brands and a number of major departments within the UK and US governments.

He will also be responsible for building new language service partnerships with multinational corporations.

Nihat Arkan, global chief executive officer, said: “We are delighted to welcome Garry Levitt to thebigword family. He is an international executive of the highest calibre and brings significant experience and expertise and a proven track record to our business.

“This will be invaluable as we strive to become a top-five language services provider.”

 Larry Gould, founder and executive chairman, said: “Garry Levitt’s appointment completes the strengthening and reorganization of the board, a programme we have been undertaking over the last six months.

 “The growth opportunities for thebigword are tremendous and we look forward to bringing Garry Levitt on board for the next stage of our exciting journey.”

 Levitt added: “thebigword is a highly innovative and successful company with great customers, talent and technology. I’m passionate about all three and am excited by the opportunity to contribute my experience and expertise to thebigword’s Board, its customers and employees.”


International law firm Pinsent Masons has strengthened its tax advisory practice with the appointment of Peter Morley to the firms’ Non-Contentious Tax team in Leeds, which delivers tax advisory work across Leeds, London and Glasgow.

Morley joins from Squire Patton Boggs where he was a partner in the corporate tax advisory team. As a tax partner specialising in corporate and property tax, Morley has extensive experience advising on the tax aspects of mergers and acquisitions, reorganisations and restructuring, joint ventures, and employment taxes.

He will lead Pinsent Masons’ tax advisory offering across the firm’s Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester offices.

Partner Andrew Masraf, Head of Transactional Services at Pinsent Masons, said: “Peter’s arrival demonstrates Pinsent Masons’ continued commitment to being a centre of excellence for tax advisory work right across the UK. Peter has an exceptional tax skills base and his appointment will further strengthen the firm’s corporate tax offering across all target sectors, but especially in relation to advising the firm’s Real Estate sector and Property group clients on all non-contentious tax issues.”


The Institute of Directors (IoD) has boosted its presence in West Yorkshire with the appointment of two new Ambassadors.

Poonam Kaur, managing director of Wakefield-based business support services provider fds and Natalie Allen, business development manager at Leeds Beckett University, join the business leaders’ organisation to promote membership and best business practice.

Kaur will represent the M&A sector while also promoting the IoD’s 99 Club for business start-ups and young entrepreneurs. She is currently working towards the IoD’s Chartered Director status.

She said: “I’m a passionate supporter of the regional economy and a believer that businesses can achieve more by working collaboratively. I can’t wait to connect with fellow members and learn from our industry speakers.”

Allen joined Leeds Beckett University in 2013 and is responsible for supporting colleagues at Leeds Business School with enterprise activity. She focuses on the School’s external partnerships, supporting businesses and organisations to access university services and expertise.

The appointments come as the IoD reveals a strong line-up of industry speakers for its popular Meet-Up Monday events, including international trade advisor Hugh Taylor and Barclays head of SME, Caroline Pullich.

Richard Smith, chairman of the IoD in West Yorkshire and managing director of Leeds-based Surfachem, said: “We welcome everyone from across the business spectrum to join us to for drinks, excellent speakers and networking. It’s also a great opportunity to meet our new Ambassadors.

“Poonam is an award-winning director with an excellent track record in the world of M&A and will be a tremendous asset to our team. Natalie’s appointment cements our strong partnership with Leeds Beckett, which is bearing fruit with the launch of new IoD business hubs in Halifax and Wakefield.”