People: Leeds Trinity University; Keebles; KPMG; and more

Professor Charles Egbu has taken up the post of Vice-Chancellor at Leeds Trinity University.

He said: “I’m delighted to join Leeds Trinity University and am honoured to begin my role as Vice-Chancellor.

“Leeds Trinity is a special university, led by its commitment to widening participation and championing an inclusive learning community.

“Over recent months, it has been inspiring to see how colleagues and students have responded to the COVID-19 crisis.

“This is testament to the university’s strong foundations in learning, teaching and employability, and I have every confidence we will continue to take strides forward in these areas.

“I am looking forward to listening to and working with the exceptionally talented community of Leeds Trinity students, colleagues, alumni and partners to shape the future strategy of the institution.

“I’m proud to join the team and would like to thank colleagues and friends of the university for their warm welcome.”

With more than 25 years’ experience in higher education, Professor Egbu was previously Pro Vice-Chancellor for education and experience at the University of East London. He was responsible for student experience, student success, student retention, quality assurance and enhancement, the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, and the Students’ Union.

He is also a member of various external bodies, including the Advance HE Pro Vice-Chancellor Network and QAA Panel of Experts.

Jamie Hanley, chairman of the Board of Governors at Leeds Trinity, said: “This is a pivotal moment for Leeds Trinity University.

“Professor Egbu recognises Leeds Trinity’s strengths and values and brings with him a detailed understanding of the opportunities and challenges faced across the higher education sector. I’m delighted to welcome him to the university.”

Chelsey Grooby, Leeds Trinity Students’ Union president, added: “Union members and I welcome Professor Charles Egbu as he joins Leeds Trinity University.

“Having already had the pleasure of meeting him it is clear we share a passion for student welfare.

“A strong relationship between the university and union is crucial for the student experience and we endeavour to develop this further.”

Professor Egbu takes over from Professor Margaret A House, who steps down after seven years as Vice-Chancellor.


Yorkshire law firm Keebles has made two new appointments to its residential property team.

Nazia Afzal and Lisa Molinari have joined as the company expands its residential department after an increased in demand for their services.

Qualified as a chartered legal executive in 2017, Afzal has six years’ experience working in residential property at law firms in Sheffield and Derbyshire.

She has returned to the legal industry after a two-year sabbatical working as a professional events photographer and cinematographer.

She said: “One thing that attracted me to work at Keebles was how much they really care about their clients and how they always come first.

“The team is friendly and very efficient so I can already see why the firm has a reputation for being a good place to work.

“I’ve been very fortunate because I’ve always worked and trained with the senior partners of all the firms I’ve worked at and complex matters are my forte.

“I’m looking forward to delivering a good service to my clients and making what is known to be a very stressful experience as smooth as possible for them.”

Molinari joins Keebles as an Associate with almost nine years’ experience in the residential, commercial property and company law sectors.

She said: “I’m really looking forward to working as part of a team to deliver the best possible service for our clients.

“I got a very good feeling for Keebles straight away – the firm supports a good work-life balance and agile working practices, which is so important to me as I have a young family.”

Bonita Wolfenden, partner and head of residential at Keebles, said: “With continuing demand for our services, Nazia and Lisa have allowed us to increase capacity within the department and have fitted into the team perfectly.

“They are both experienced in their field and always put the client first, which is very important for us as a company. I’m sure they will play a big part in helping the department achieve year on year growth.”


KPMG has invested in its leadership team in Yorkshire with 18 senior promotions; two partners, four associate partners and 12 directors.

The promotions cover a variety of service lines and include:

James Clark, partner, strengthens the top table in KPMG’s 40-strong Restructuring practice in Yorkshire and the North East. His focus is on large, complex, regional turnarounds and restructuring briefs and is busy advising the region’s businesses as they navigate the impact of COVID-19.

Gavin Quantock, partner, is co-head of KPMG’s national energy sector mergers and acquisitions practice, focusing on infrastructure, power and utilities.

Justine Andrew, associate partner, will continue her role as the firm’s National Markets lead for education, skills and productivity, working with education providers; regulators and government bodies across the breadth of the skills agenda. She will also continue to support KPMG’s focus on ‘place’ and levelling up.

Jules Watson, associate partner in KPMG’s Deal Advisory practice, leads its integration advisory service across the UK regions. A wide range of businesses in sectors including retail, manufacturing and technology, have improved the outcomes of their M&A strategy with Watson’s input.

Dion Windelinckx, associate partner, leads the firm’s Private Enterprise tax offering in Yorkshire. He and his team advise privately owned businesses across the spectrum, from family owned, private equity backed, and owner-managed businesses, through to fast growth start-ups.

Simon Wormald, associate partner, leads KPMG’s Centre of Excellence for healthcare and life sciences in the North, providing transaction support and advice to private sector clients.

The newly promoted directors at KPMG in Leeds are:

Stewart Cape, corporate finance

James Cuthbert, operational excellence

Claire Elcock, transaction services

Andy Fulton, risk consulting

Joanna Hall, audit

Helena Lyons, securitisation

Michelle Plevey, financial services consulting

Simon Rider, consulting managed services

Lance Thackray, transfer pricing

James Thomas, KPMG Law

James Thompson, consulting

Toby Ware, indirect tax

KPMG’s Leeds office senior partner, Euan West, said: “The challenges COVID-19 has created for many of our clients and the wider economy mean our support and expertise is needed more than ever as the region’s resilient business community works to get back on track.

“Of course, we are also advising a number of local businesses as they look to build on the growth opportunities they’ve nurtured during the pandemic, which is excellent.

“These promotions to the leadership team of our firm in Yorkshire are the latest demonstration of our investment in the talent who serve this market – though it’s also pleasing to note the extent to which our homegrown experts are leading teams and advising clients across the UK.

“I’d like to extend my congratulations to the further 44 colleagues who have been promoted throughout our business in Yorkshire this autumn.”


Leeds law firm Clarion is continuing to grow its Debt Recovery team as demand for its services continues and has appointed Rebecca Williamson and Shelian Craig as debt recovery executives.

With over seven years’ experience, Williamson has worked in the debt recovery practice of a leading Northern law firm, and handled work for large corporations, banks and institutions.

Her track record covers acting for both individuals and commercial clients in over 50 countries, including in the US, Canada and Hong Kong.

Having spent nine years working for a Leeds law firm as a debt recovery assistant, Craig qualified as a specialist paralegal in debt recovery from the Institute of Paralegals in 2009 before taking on the role of debt recovery executive in 2006.

She has experience in commercial debt recovery, assisting clients in a number of sectors ranging from manufacturers, to electrical suppliers, commercial rent arrears and working on behalf of debt collection agencies.

Daniel Carlton, who leads the Debt Recovery team at Clarion, said: “The practice has been growing steadily over the last few years and we have seen the quality and scale of work coming to us increasing.

“As well as extensive experience in B2B and B2C debt collection, Rebecca’s work with international clients with debts in the UK, adds another dimension to our offering.

“In addition, Shelian knows her trade and can be trusted as a safe pair of hands, further strengthening the team.”

Williamson said: “Clarion is well-known as a practice that specialises in recovering business to business debt and I am excited to be joining a fast-growing and reputable team, using my skills to expand its services and extend its international reach.

“While I handle many complex and high value cases, I am committed to finding a client-focused resolution that ensures both quality and value, and this fits well with the Clarion approach.”

Craig added: “I take a commercial approach, while appreciating the importance of trust in any client relationship and this chimes with Clarion’s ethos.

“The team has established a strong reputation in the field, working effectively to help clients recover funds which, in the current difficult economic environment, could be vital to businesses maintaining a healthy cashflow.”