People: R3; Walton & Co; Gordons; and more

An experienced partner at accountancy firm Azets has joined the Yorkshire committee of R3, the UK’s insolvency and restructuring trade body.

Jonathan Amor, who is a licensed insolvency practitioner based in Leeds, has become the eighth member of the trade body’s regional panel.

He is a partner and head of restructuring for Azets Yorkshire, with 20 years of experience.

Amor, who became a full member of R3 in 2016, said: “Yorkshire has a diverse and dynamic business community which drives an economy worth more than £110bn.

“Its companies are typically characterised by resilience and innovation in many sectors although there are times when some require restructuring and insolvency support.

“It is a privilege to join the Yorkshire committee of R3, which plays such an important and active role in supporting members and championing the profession as well as assisting businesses across the region.

“Our work has never been more important with a potentially challenging year ahead following the 25,158 insolvencies nationwide in 2023, the highest annual number since 1993.”

Amor has worked across the North, including roles with a big four accountancy firm and a smaller practice as well as his own insolvency firm.

He joined Azets in 2021. He is Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Joint Insolvency Examination Board (JEIB) qualified.

R3 has a network of 10 committees across the UK’s nations and regions who meet regularly, support members, organise events and represent the profession. Its members provide advice and support on business and personal finance matters.

Eleanor Temple, chair of R3 in Yorkshire and a barrister at Kings Chambers in Leeds, said: “Jonathan’s extensive experience will be a real asset to our committee and our region as we continue to support members, insolvency and restructuring professionals, and businesses in Yorkshire and beyond.

“It’s going to be a critical year for the profession, the region and the country given the ongoing reviews of insolvency regulation and the personal insolvency framework, the challenging business climate, and a General Election on the horizon, and we welcome the extra insight and expertise Jonathan brings to the committee at such a crucial time.”

Azets’ head of restructuring and insolvency Colin Haig was president of R3 from 2020 to 2022.


Leeds-based planning law firm Walton & Co has welcomed new equity partners to join the original founder and build on the firm’s existing growth platform by investing in its long-term future.

David Walton, founder of the firm which was established in 2004 and celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, has been joined by Alec Cropper and James Cook as new equity partners.

Cropper has over 15 years’ of legal experience, having previously worked at firms including Walker Morris and DWF.

He joined Walton & Co in 2019, and specialises in planning appeals, application advice, High Court proceedings, and negotiation of planning agreements.

Cook, who previously worked at Walton & Co from 2007 to 2019, returns from Blacks Solicitors where he held the position of head of planning after establishing a new Planning Law Team there in 2019.

He brings with him over 20 years’ of experience in both the public and private sectors in all areas of planning and highways law

With a seven-strong team, Walton & Co advises clients nationwide across a range of projects and sectors, including residential (from large scale new settlements to individual single dwelling schemes), employment and industrial, retail and leisure, energy and minerals.

Clients include CEG, and Wren Kitchens which Walton & Co advised on obtaining permission for a new factory in Barton-upon-Humber.

Cook said: “I originally joined Walton & Co back in 2007 which gave me a strong base from which to grow my practice and expertise.

“Although I’ve had a fantastic four years at Blacks Solicitors as Head of Planning Law, I felt that the time was right to return to a specialist planning law firm and Walton & Co is a firm I know extremely well.

“Partnering with Alec and David will give us the opportunity to expand our client base into new industry sectors and grow our expert team to ensure we can continue effectively responding to market and political changes across the planning system.”

David Walton added: “After almost 20 years of driving Walton & Co forward, the time was right to bring a fresh perspective to the next stage in the firm’s growth.

“Having worked with Alec and James previously, I knew I could trust their judgement and ambition when it comes to the future of the business.

“Continuing to provide our current clients with an exceptional level of service will always be a key priority for us, but I’m looking forward to seeing how the partnership with James and Alec shapes Walton & Co over the next few years.”

Legal advice on the corporate transaction was provided by Jon Healey, head of corporate & commercial law at Raworths Solicitors.


Leeds and Bradford-based law firm, Gordons, has appointed a senior lawyer within its employment and HR practice.

Mike Patterson joins from Berwins where he worked for almost 12 years as head of employment.

He has particular expertise in advising clients within the food manufacturing, digital and technology and professional services sectors.

With almost 20 years’ experience in employment law, he has also worked in-house for the Department of Health and food manufacturer Northern Foods plc which is now 2 Sisters Food Group.

Patterson advises on all aspects of employment and HR issues, regularly represents clients at employment tribunals and provides bespoke training sessions.

He said: “Gordons’ employment and HR team is highly regarded and has a well-established client base in sectors that I have a great deal of experience in.

“It’s also a firm known for having personable lawyers who are straightforward to deal with and that give practical commercial advice.

“I share those same values, so I am looking forward to further growing the employment and HR practice with likeminded colleagues.”

Managing partner, Victoria Davey, said: “Mike is a great hire for Gordons due to his sector experience, professional capability and approachable personality.

“We have a strong employment and HR service offer and have every confidence that Mike will play a pivotal role in its continued expansion.”


Hospitality Association York (HAY) has appointed Stewart Lorimer as its new deputy chair, Lionel Chatard as treasurer and Rebecca Layton as secretary.

Lorimer is area general manager at Hilton Worldwide. Based at Hilton York, he oversees a portfolio of six hotels across the UK.

Chatard is director & general manager at Middlethorpe Hotel and Spa on the outskirts of the city and will celebrate 20 years in post this year.

Layton is co-owner of Galtres Lodge Hotel and Forest restaurant in York, as well as The Old Deanery in Ripon. She is also a York BID board director, and chair of Indie York

Existing chair and general manager at Middletons Hotel, Adam Wardale, was unanimously voted to remain in post and along with the new executive committee, will lead the organisation for the next two years.

He said: “On behalf of all our members, I’d like to acknowledge and extend thanks to the outgoing executive members for their hard work and commitment over the last two years.

“I’m incredibly proud to be re-elected as chair of HAY. Stewart, Lionel and Rebecca are a fantastic addition to the executive team and I’m confident that with their expertise and support, we will continue to accelerate the work of the association.

“Hospitality has been through a lot in recent years, working together through challenging times and creating positive opportunities for the future is what HAY is all about, and there is much more to be done.”