People: Womble Bond Dickinson; Clarion; Weightmans

Fiona Graham and Andrew Hirst
X The Business Desk

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Law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has confirmed a number of senior promotions across its UK offices, including new partners Fiona Graham and Andrew Hirst in the firm’s Leeds office.

Graham joined the firm’s property disputes team in 2005 and specialises in commercial property litigation advising both landlords and tenants across a wide range of sectors on complex contentious property matters. She works across both WBD’s Leeds and Newcastle offices.

Hirst is a projects and procurement lawyer with over 13 years’ experience advising on public sector contracts and public procurement. His key specialisms include heat networks, leisure, waste and PFI handback

Jonathan Blair, UK managing partner at WBD, comments: “Congratulations to all of our new partners and legal directors, whose hard work, commitment and contribution to the growth of our business deserves to be recognised and celebrated.

“We’re proud of the incredible talent we’ve developed at the firm. People are at the heart of what we do and we want them to enjoy long and successful careers with us. This is why we make it our priority to ensure everyone has the opportunity to develop, grow and be rewarded for their success.”


Clarion’s growing costs and litigation funding team is continuing to develop with three promotions.

Stephanie Kaye, who leads Clarion’s court of protection costs service, has been promoted from senior associate to legal director. Over the last eight years with Clarion, she has been instrumental in the practice’s growth and continued success.

Alongside Kaye, Ella Wilkinson, who joined the team in 2018 as a non-qualified paralegal, has finished her paralegal apprenticeship with Damar and is now a qualified paralegal, while two paralegals in the costs and litigation funding team, Tanya Foran and Bridie Sanderson, have also both been promoted to associates (non-qualified lawyers).

Andrew McAulay, partner and head of the costs and litigation funding team, said: “With our legal costs services continuing to go from strength to strength, I am pleased to see key members of the team progressing in this way.

“There’s no doubt that Stephanie has been an important driver in our success, she’s a great all-rounder as well as being recognised as a national expert in the field of Court of Protection Costs. Her career route makes Stephanie an inspiring role model and she has taken on a valuable mentoring and management role with more junior colleagues, helping them to enhance their skills.

“It’s also satisfying to see two of our talented legal services team, Tanya and Bridie, being rewarded for their important contribution to the team – we look forward to them continuing to develop their careers with Clarion.”


National law firm Weightmans has welcomed two new private client experts to its growing team in Leeds. Paul Colman and Dan Snedden have joined the firm as principal associate and associate respectively, as the firm responds to increased demand for their services to individuals and business owners.

Paul Colman

Colman joins from Wrigley’s Solicitors with a wide range of private client expertise, providing specialist tax and trusts advice for individuals and their families, in particular for land, property and business owners.

Dan Snedden

Snedden arrives at the firm from Berwins, specialising in Court of Protection work – assisting individuals, their families and significant others with capacity issues, providing support where it is needed and empowering independence wherever possible.

Together, they bring a wealth of new experience to the Weightmans’ Leeds offering, where they will be offering advice and support to businesses and individuals across the Yorkshire region and beyond.

Partner and head of wills, trusts and estates at Weightmans Richard Bate said: “We have now been in Leeds for six years, and in that time have watched the team grow substantially to one that now offers a full range of technical expertise across various areas of estate planning and wealth management.

“Dan and Paul are fantastic lawyers and well known for their skills in their respective areas, ensuring clients’ wishes are met and respected, as well as dealing with challenging and sensitive issues for some of the most vulnerable.

“It is a pleasure to welcome them to the national team and in particular the Leeds office, where their knowledge and experience will offer an entirely new set of services to the region, offering a one stop shop for wills, trusts and tax advice.”


Sir Roger Marsh OBE DL

Sir Roger Marsh OBE DL, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership and NP11, and Ian Holmes, director at West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership, have joined the Leeds Academic Health Partnerships, bringing strategic advice to support to the organisation.

The Leeds Academic Health Partnership was founded by city leaders to focus on innovative ways to help solve some of the city’s hardest health and care challenges.

In five years, the Partnership has launched the Leeds Health and Care Academy, established the Leeds Centre for Personalised Medicine and Health, and set up a Healthtech Catalyst, providing wide-ranging support for businesses, entrepreneurs, researchers and health and care innovators to accelerate economic growth and healthtech innovation.

Tom Riordan, chair of Leeds Academic Health Partnership and chief executive, Leeds City Council, said: “Since forming five years ago, the Leeds Academic Health Partnership has achieved significant progress in addressing the health and care challenges we face in Leeds, and in strengthening our local economy.

“We’ve come a long way, but we know that there is more we can do and, with the uncertainty we face at the moment in health and care, and in our economy, we need to strive to do more.

“With Roger and Ian joining as members, we are better placed to meet those challenges, not just here in Leeds, but also in the wider region.

“I look forward to the opportunities these changes in our partnership bring and to engaging with a wider range of businesses, entrepreneurs, academics and innovators.”