People: R3; Yorkshire Building Society; Knights; and more

Eleanor Temple, chair of the UK’s insolvency and restructuring trade body R3 in Yorkshire, and a barrister at Kings Chambers in Leeds, is set to be appointed as King’s Counsel, based on the recommendation of The Lord Chancellor.

She will officially take her oath at a ceremony on 18 March at the Palace of Westminster.

Temple has been regional chair of R3 in Yorkshire since 2017 and is one of the UK’s leading insolvency barristers.

Her practice primarily centres on commercial litigation for both domestic and international clients, covering areas such as insolvency, company law, partnership actions, banking and finance, guarantees, civil fraud, contract disputes, breach of trust and fiduciary duties, asset tracing claims and directors’ disqualification.

She also serves as the North Eastern representative of the newly formed NBPBA (Northern Business and Property Bar Association), the co-chair of the Yorkshire Pro Bono Committee, and regularly sits as a Recorder and BPC deputy district judge on the North Eastern Circuit.

Andrew Singer KC, head of King’s Chambers, said: “Eleanor thoroughly deserves her appointment as KC which rightly marks her expertise and excellence.”

Temple is an Insolvency Service equality and diversity champion and has long been an advocate of diversity and inclusion in the professions and the judiciary.

As a former student of Guiseley School in Leeds, she hopes to use her appointment as a KC to encourage others to believe the higher echelons of the professions are open to all.


Yorkshire Building Society has appointed Richard Bowles as chief risk officer. 

He will lead the mutual’s compliance, risk and legal teams, ensuring the society continues to be a well-governed home for members’ savings and mortgages.

He joins from Coventry Building Society, where he was chief risk officer. His career in financial services spans 20 years, having worked in various risk roles at many of the major banks, including Lloyds, TSB and Barclays.  

The appointment comes as Richard Wells, who has been with the society since 2010, prepares to retire in the spring. Bowles’ appointment is subject to regulatory approval.

Susan Allen, chief executive, said: “Richard is a forward-thinking and commercially-focused chief risk officer, with broad experience and a proven track record for delivering major transformation. 

“At a time when our risk function is looking to develop and deliver major change, his knowledge and experience will be invaluable to ensuring the next chapter of our success.

“We’d like to thank Richard Wells for his professionalism and determination in advising and guiding us through regulatory challenges and changes during his lengthy and much-valued service, and we wish him well in his retirement.”

Bowles said: “Living in Yorkshire and having worked in financial services all my professional life, I’ve always taken a keen interest in the successes of Yorkshire Building Society, an organisation with a strong brand and heritage.

“So I’m pleased to be joining YBS as their new chief risk officer, especially at a time when the Risk Division is evolving in line with the growth of the society. 

“I’m looking forward to driving the organisation’s risk strategy and playing a key role in continuing to provide a top-class function for our colleagues and customers.

“Being part of leading the society forward in its 160th year, to help ensure decades more success, is both exciting and humbling.”


Four lawyers have joined Knights as the business continues its growth in Leeds.

Corporate partner Amy Woodfine and commercial partner Tori Lethaby bring a wealth of experience to the team, based at Majestic in the city centre, and join a growing team alongside employment lawyer Ian Abel and competition law specialist Ellen Huison.

Woodfine and Lethaby have moved from DWF and DLA respectively and are the latest in a flurry of new arrivals as Knights grows across its 23 offices nationwide.

Woodfine has more than 15 years of experience working with companies in all sectors on all types of corporate transactions, specialising in investments and mergers and acquisitions.

She has a particular focus on technology and digital, plus recent experience advising clients in the wealth management and insurance broking markets.

Lethaby has experience in private practice and in-house, specialising in all aspects of data protection and privacy law, having acted as commercial counsel for a Government-owned organisation and head of legal and privacy for a group of companies in the automotive remarketing sector.

Their arrival coincides with the appointment of senior associate, Abel, whose employment law experience includes a stint in-house for NEC Japan.

Competition law specialist, Huison, has also bolstered the team in Leeds, bringing all areas of competition law, joining alongside leading EU and competition law partner Neil Warwick who joined Knights in Newcastle-upon-Tyne last month.

Lethaby said: “My first few weeks at Knights have been great and a breath of fresh air, and I am looking forward to being part of the next stage of our growth.”

Woodfine added: “I’m pleased to have joined Knights at what is clearly an exciting time of growth. It’s an ambitious legal business with big plans and it’s great to a part of it.”

Victoria Mortimer, client services director, said: “Amy, Tori, Ian and Ellen are brilliant additions to our team, with great reputations across Yorkshire and the entire country. We’re set for further growth in Leeds this year and these great new arrivals will help us deliver on our plans.”


Specialist Malton-based insurance broker, McClarrons, has welcomed a new head of commercial, Julian Hale, to oversee and develop its proposition for commercial clients.  

He joins with over 36 years’ experience in the insurance industry.

Hale has previous experience driving growth and success in the commercial insurance arena, having founded his own  insurance brokerage in 2010, which he grew from a team of three to over 20, looking after a multitude of  different businesses’ insurance portfolios, and where he remained until the acquisition of the business was completed in 2019.  

He said: “It’s an exciting time for me to be joining McClarrons and I am looking forward to utilising my experience in this sector once again.

“Hopefully, I can play an essential role in ensuring that the team members experience the same sense of accomplishment from the insurance industry as I have.”

Garry Davies, managing director, said: “I am confident Julian will bring a positive and enthusiastic attitude and some fresh perspective.

“We are sure he will be a great addition to McClarrons and will be key in helping our Commercial Team reach the next level, aiding business growth and continuing to provide impeccable service to our clients.”