People: KPMG names new joint heads of financial services; Three property partner promotions announced; interim Chair appointed at Royal Armouries; and more

Business advisory firm KPMG has announced the appointment of partners Richard Little and Simon Ryder as joint heads of financial services in the UK regions.

Based in Leeds, Little and Ryder will oversee KPMG’s financial services teams across its regional office network, including Leeds, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Bristol.

Little became a tax partner in 2005. Most of his career has been spent in the North of England, with periods on secondment with KPMG in Australia and with a UK-based FTSE100 global business.

Today, Little is the client lead partner and tax lead partner on a range of financial services clients, including listed and private companies, building societies and other member-owned organisations.

In his new role, Little will lead on tax and advisory services for financial services businesses in the UK regions.

Ryder specialises in financial services external audit and was promoted to partner in 2001. Having started out at KPMG in Leeds, Ryder has completed secondments in New York, Frankfurt and Zurich, most recently being based in London before returning to Leeds to take up his latest role.

Ryder will lead on external audit services in the sector.

Chris Hearld, KPMG’s North Region Chair and Office Senior Partner in Leeds, said: “Financial services and the related professional services are critical to Yorkshire’s economy, evident in Leeds City Region being named by the Government as one of nine financial centres of excellence across the UK.

“This has helped us develop a hub of financial services talent at KPMG in Leeds, and I am proud that, under Richard and Simon’s leadership, we will continue to support the banking and insurance sectors in driving prosperity across the city, region and country.”


Lupton Fawcett has promoted Kirsty Barsby, Zoe Lang and Sarah Temple to partners.

The three property lawyers have each worked with the Yorkshire law firm, which has offices in Leeds, York and Sheffield, for more than 11 years.

Kirsty Barsby, who is based at the firm’s York office, has experience in all kinds of property work, including retail, offices, leisure and industrial, as well as a particular focus on development transactions including land promotion, options, site assembly and estate set up.

Zoe Lang is part of the commercial property team within the Leeds office and has worked for a wide range of clients, advising in the office, retail and industrial sectors.

She also acts for clients with large portfolios of leasehold properties and deals regularly with the property elements of corporate transactions.

Sarah Temple, who is also part of the Leeds commercial property team, has developed expertise in a range of areas, including buying, selling and property management work for investment properties,  schools, and care homes.

David Whitaker, Lupton Fawcett’s head of commercial property, said: “Over the last decade, Kirsty, Zoe and Sarah have built up an excellent reputation within the sector for providing first class advice and service to our clients across all aspects of commercial property issues.

“As such, they have become a huge asset to the department and their promotion is very well deserved.”

Jonathan Oxley, managing partner, added: “The promotions are a great example of the career opportunities within Lupton Fawcett. All three of them have been with Lupton Fawcett for more than a decade, during which time they have made an excellent contribution to help elevate the commercial property department to one of the most respected and largest in the region.”


The Secretary of State has appointed Hemant Patel as interim Chair of the Royal Armouries for a term of six months commencing on 2 November.

Patel was educated in London before graduating from the University of Manchester having studied Physics with Astrophysics. He then moved into industry to train as a chartered management accountant.

He has worked at various multi-national companies including Mars Inc and SC Johnson in financial, commercial and marketing roles before moving with to Yorkshire to join Asda in 2003.

At Asda, Patel carried out various roles in finance including Commercial Finance Director and Retail Finance Director as well as running Asda’s own label business and leading business reinvention as Director of Strategy.

Patel then moved on to be Director of Online at the financial service provider, Provident Financial plc, with responsibility for their online loans businesses.

Latterly he was Finance Director of the Pub Co at Greene King plc, leading the finance function for the business’s 1,700 managed pubs. He has just become Finance Director of Premier Inn and Restaurants at Whitbread plc.

Until 2017, Patel was chairman of Interplay Theatre, a Leeds-based company using the arts to work with children in special schools nationally and socially excluded children locally.

Patel was lead non-executive director and is Chairman of the Royal Armouries Trading and Enterprises Ltd Board as well as the Royal Armouries Audit and Finance and Capital Development Committees. He became a trustee of the Royal Armouries in July 2010.


Law firm Andrew Jackson has announced the appointments of Claire Ryder and Emily Vint, who join the firm’s property team.

The firm has offices in Hull, York, Scarborough and Grimsby.

Paul Barker, partner and head of the property team, said: “I am delighted to welcome Claire and Emily to the team. Claire brings several years’ extensive experience across all domestic property-related transactions, with a clear focus on providing the best possible levels of service to her clients.

“Emily is also a great fit for the team and will be providing assistance across a broad range of commercial property transactions.”

Mark Pearson-Kendall, managing partner of Andrew Jackson, added: “Andrew Jackson’s commitment to offering legal advice and services covering all aspects of property law is consistently recognised in our client feedback.

“It’s important to us that we further strengthen the team with individuals like Claire and Emily, so that we can continue to provide the highest standards in service and value for our clients.”


Lake Legal, the Leeds-based law firm Lake Legal, has announced the appointment of family law practitioner Sara James.

With over 25 years’ experience, James joins the firm as a specialist in all aspects of private family law, both financial and child-related.

The appointment reunites James with former colleague Lyn Ayrton, head of the family law team at Lake Legal.

James and Ayrton first worked together at Gordons in 2000. Their paths went separate ways when Ayrton left the firm in 2005.

James subsequently moved with Peter Foskett when the remainder of the Gordons family law team joined Lupton Fawcett in 2014.

James has a experience dealing with complex and often high-value financial settlements arising from divorce and separation, negotiation of pre and post-marital agreements and cohabitation disputes.

Ayrton said: “Sara is one of the most experienced all-round family lawyers in the region. Her clients appreciate her commitment and support from start to finish.

“She is highly regarded in the business community as someone who strives to find a solution even when none appears obvious.”


Legal firm Forbes Solicitors is expanding its specialist clinical negligence services into Yorkshire with the arrival of Partner Leonie Millard at the practice’s Leeds office.

Millard moves from Lancashire, where she has been part of the North West team, dealing with cases such as misdiagnosis, delay in diagnosis and substandard treatment.

John Bennett, Partner at Forbes Solicitors, said: “The growing reputation of our clinical negligence team means we are getting more and more enquiries from the Yorkshire area.

“Leonie’s move into our Leeds office makes it easier for people to access the high standard of service which our team provides.”

Millard, who is now based in the offices in South Parade, Leeds, secured a £9.3m payment in one of her recent cases for an infant claimant in a landmark High Court Case where the infant suffered a significant birth injury.

Forbes’ clinical negligence team has once again been in the Legal Aid tender process, offering funding in appropriate birth injury cases resulting in significant neurological injury.