People: Appleyard Lees; Savills; Gordons; and more

Leeds and Manchester-based Appleyard Lees has confirmed that patent attorney, Paul Beynon, joined the partnership on 1 April. 

He acts for many of Appleyard Lees’s biggest clients in the engineering and electronics sector. 

On his promotion to partner, he said: “From the moment I started at Appleyard Lees back in 2018, I knew  it was the place for me.

“Working with and achieving success with some fantastic clients has been  a privilege. In addition, supporting our next generation of attorneys through our trainee  programme, has been a real pleasure. 

“I’m very grateful for all of the support I have received over my career. I am excited to continue working with innovative clients, both new and existing, as partner alongside such dedicated and experienced attorneys and solicitors.”

Bobby Smithson, managing partner, added: “Paul’s outstanding attitude and level of commitment along with his natural ‘client first’ approach makes  him a perfect fit at Appleyard Lees.

“On top of his excellent work with clients, Paul’s effort and  energy in supporting the professional development of junior colleagues speaks volumes about  him as a professional and a leader. I am thrilled that Paul is joining the partnership.”


Emily Bell

Savills has made six promotions across its York and Leeds offices, effective from March 2024.

In York, Emily Bell has been promoted to associate in the residential sales team, while surveyor, Jessica Heywood has become an associate in the rural management team and Lydia Straughan has been promoted to senior staff in the rural agency team.

Meanwhile in Leeds, Matthew Rice has stepped up to associate level in the property management team and in the valuation team, Joe Henderson is promoted to associate director and Dan Ibbotson to associate.

Joe Henderson

Matthew Watson, head of office at Savills York, said: “I would like to offer my congratulations to Emily, Jessica and Lydia on these very well-deserved promotions.

“They have worked very hard to consistently deliver excellent service to our clients and have a played an important part in the continued growth and success of the York office.”

Simon Lister, head of office at Savills Leeds, added: “Our people are the cornerstone of our success at Savills, and recognising their hard work and dedication is paramount to us.

“I extend my sincere congratulations to these deserving individuals who have moved up the ranks in the Leeds office.”


Leeds and Bradford-based law firm, Gordons, has further enhanced its leadership team with the promotion of two lawyers to partner.

Commercial litigation lawyer and the firm’s head of wellness and inclusion, Catherine Woodward, and head of regulatory, Simon Tingle, will play central roles in Gordons’ ongoing growth and development.

Woodward joined the firm in 2011 and qualified as a solicitor in 2015. She is a past president of Leeds Law Society and has a broad range of experience in litigation including contractual disputes, shareholder disputes, banking litigation and intellectual property.

Recent joiner Tingle is a regulatory, investigations and corporate defence lawyer with a particular focus in the retail, consumer, transport and logistics sectors.

Managing partner, Victoria Davey, said: “Catherine and Simon are excellent additions to our partnership. They are both progressive in their outlook and are outstanding lawyers who are able to build lasting client relationships.

“It has been a pleasure to see Catherine grow both personally and professionally since she joined the firm and she now has the opportunity to help further shape Gordons’ future.

“Simon joined us last November and has made a big impact since arriving at the firm. He is providing our existing clients with an enhanced regulatory service and has secured a number of new business wins, including sports goods retailer Decathlon UK.

“Catherine and Simon have demonstrated their ability to provide practical legal advice and build relationships of trust.

“These are key values to our firm and we look forward to both of them further realising their potential as partners.”


East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire-based law firm, Wilkin Chapman, has appointed Gaius Powell as its first marketing and business development (BD) director.

Powell, who has more than 30 years’ experience in senior marketing roles in the professional services sector, joins the team of seven marketing and BD specialists based at the firm’s Grimsby office.

As a director, he reports to the chief executive officer (CEO), Robin Simmonds.

Powell said: “Wilkin Chapman is very much on a growth trajectory, expanding its range of services through increased depth and the growing strength of its teams across Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire.

“I am very much looking forward to working with the marketing team as well as fellow directors and the partners generally on contributing to this growth through a marketing and BD programme that demonstrates the firm’s ability to help a range of clients.”

Robin Simmonds, CEO, said: “Gaius’ appointment brings our director level team to full strength.

“With his range of marketing and BD knowledge across the full mix, from communications to client listening, branding, product development and so on, I am sure the firm and our clients will see the benefit from his experience and expertise.”

Powell has lived in the region since studying at Hull University in the mid-1980s.

He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing and is a Master in Business Administration. He has recently completed a six-year term as a trustee/non-executive director at Hull University Students’ Union and has served as a parish councillor.