People: Devonshires; ABL; Rollits; and more

Law firm Devonshires has hired an experienced in-house lawyer to strengthen its growing Leeds office.

Sara Mondon joins from Kirklees Council where she was a senior legal officer.

Prior to this she held a number of compliance and legal roles at the Office for National Statistics, Leeds City Council and the Department for Work and Pensions.

She is joining the firm’s national Housing Management & Property Litigation team, headed by Donna McCarthy.

During her 11 years with Kirklees Council, Mondon managed a varied litigation caseload mainly relating to landlord and tenant work.

This included advice and possession claims on management grounds and injunction claims due to anti-social behaviour and nuisance, defending adverse possession claims, claims for trespass, disrepair breach of covenant and dilapidations and other general property litigation.

Mondon said: “I am thrilled to be joining a firm with such a strong national reputation. The firm’s Leeds office has grown considerably since opening five years ago and I am looking forward to helping drive further growth both from Leeds and nationally.”

Since opening in Leeds in 2017, following the arrival of partners Chris Drabble and Gary Grigor from Addleshaw Goddard, the team has grown to 25, including six partners.

Other recent notable recruits include: Amy Lees from Knights, Zoe McLean-Wells from Walker Morris and Geri Batchelor from DWF.

The office is jointly led by Gary Grigor and Chris Drabble. Grigor said: “Sara’s experience will be invaluable, and further strengthens our offering for our clients based in the north.”

Drabble added: “Since opening in Leeds, the response from clients and interest from local solicitors has been significant. We’re looking forward to making more appointments like Sara’s and growing our client base further in the city.”


Alice Cox

Yorkshire-based commercial finance consultancy, ABL, has made two key hires as the company continues its UK-wide expansion.

Alice Cox has joined as regional director covering London, with Abigail Cook taking up the role of senior finance consultant covering the North East.

The hires come following the firm’s announcement in April of a major recruitment drive, as joint managing directors Alex Beardsley and Andy Redman chase ambitious growth plans to open a further 12 locations in the next three years and hit £6m turnover by 2025.

Abigail Cook

Beardsley said: “Alice and Abigail’s expertise and knowledge of commercial finance – and laser-sharp focus on delivering exceptional and personal customer service – will be hugely beneficial for our clients.”

Redman said: “For business looking to grow post-pandemic, the funding is out there and available. However, business owners and their advisors no longer know where to go to get independent, unaffiliated support to ensure they access the best solution for their business.

“That’s where people like Alice and Abigail come in – bringing their expert knowledge of the market and business to work face-to-face with their clients and get them the commercial finance they need to grow.”

In February, ABL confirmed the appointment of former Handelsbanken UK chief operating officer, Andy Copsey, to its board as non-executive director.


Law firm Rollits has promoted five members of its team at its office in Hull, including four who graduated from the University of Hull.

Donna Ashbridge and Emma Fawke step up from senior solicitor to associate. Their colleagues John Ashworth, Leanne Hatch and Harriet Wheeldon have all been promoted from solicitor to senior solicitor.

Ashbridge graduated from the University of Hull in 2011 and joined Rollits as a trainee solicitor in 2015. After qualifying in 2017 she moved into the corporate team where her work includes company formations, mergers and acquisitions and banking matters.

Fawke has worked in general practice since qualifying in 2011 and joined Rollits in 2018.

As a member of the private capital team she now specialises in wills, estate planning, lasting powers of attorney and Court of Protection matters, in addition to probate and administration of estates.

She is also a member of Solicitors for the Elderly and a full member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

Ashworth also graduated from the University of Hull in 2011 and following completion of his Period of Recognised Training, moved to work in the firm’s dispute resolution department after qualifying in 2018.

As part of his training, in 2017 he was seconded to work with Hull’s UK City of Culture team for seven months and undertook numerous aspects of legal work within the culture and creative arts sector.

He deals with various commercial dispute resolution work including disputed debt claims, property disputes, breach of contract claims and probate disputes.

Hatch graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2015, qualifying as a solicitor in 2019.  She joined Rollits in January 2020 from Sandersons Solicitors in Hull and deals with all aspects of commercial property work, including leasehold and freehold, landlord and tenant matters, secured lending, acquisitions, disposals and corporate support work.

She also assists with complex residential property matters, auction properties and investment portfolios.

Another graduate from Hull University and former trainee, Wheeldon joined in 2017, and upon qualification in 2019 she moved to work in the firm’s charities team.

She advises on charity governance matters, Charities Act compliance and company regulatory issues and, as a member of the Charity Law Association, also works on issues including new charity registrations, incorporation and mergers of charities, and restructuring and reorganising charities.


East Yorkshire-based One Stop Business Finance (OSBF) is continuing its expansion plans after the launch of a new invoice financing company and a doubling in the size of its team.

Since the SME funding specialist was founded seven years ago, it has enjoyed profitable growth UK-wide which has provided the platform for OSBF to fund the next stage of its expansion.

Now the new company in the group, One Stop Invoice Finance Limited, will be headed by Lynn-Marie Jameson as managing director.

She has worked in the invoice finance sector for almost two decades and brings with her an in-depth knowledge of the invoice finance market, including a wealth of experience in leadership.

She said: “The opportunity to help shape the future of the business by creating another solution to support SME businesses is one that I relish.”

Along with working in the independent invoice finance market providing funding solutions for SME businesses, Jameson also brings extensive experience of working in High Street banks, supporting mid to large corporate businesses.

Andrew Mackenzie, group managing director, said: “The business has continued to grow rapidly, despite the impact of the pandemic on our working capital lending and, as with all our expansion to date, our future recruitment will be funded fully from the cash that we have generated.

“Our invoice finance plans have been accelerated by a couple of years because we have found an exceptional candidate in Lynn-Marie at an opportune moment.”

One Stop Business Finance is based in Laytham, near York, and provides secured loans and invoice finance to clients around the UK from its own funding and through its network of finance providers for SME clients who can offer security for their debts.