People: Middleton Law; Sky-House Co; and more

Leeds-headquartered law firm and specialist clinical negligence practice, Middleton Law, marks its latest growth with the opening of an office in Roundhay and the appointment of Peter Watson as a non-executive director.

Watson and Middleton Law managing director, Neil Fearn, previously worked together as equity partners at Consumer Legal Services firm Simpson Millar where Watson was managing partner for over 20 years prior to selling the practice to an AIM listed plc.

Watson has considerable experience of growing, managing and acquiring both legal and accountancy practices having led UK top 100 law firms and accountancy firms throughout his career.

He is set to help Fearn build on the impact he has already made in establishing Middleton Law.

Watson said: “I am genuinely excited about working with Neil and his team and helping them accelerate the impressive growth that has already been achieved over the last couple of years.”

Fearn added: “I have no doubt Peter’s immense experience will only help enhance the performance of the team further and enable the firm attract further talent as it grows. I really look forward to working with Peter on a range of projects.

“Peter’s appointment is well timed as it coincides with the firm moving into a permanent head office base in Yorkshire to add to the offices that we already have in Portsmouth.

“The new office in the historic Beechwood Country House Estate in North Leeds which dates back to the 1820s and provides an attractive base for the growing team to work from.”


South Yorkshire property developer, Sky-House Co, is continuing its expansion with three new appointments.

Lance White joins the company as assistant site manager and will be working alongside senior site manager Paul Battye on the development of the business’s new Waverley Central site.

Archie Maury has been appointed assistant quantity surveyor and Caroline Coulthard joins the team as office administrator.

Director David Cross said: “We are pleased to welcome Lance, Archie and Caroline to the Sky-House family.

“2024 is proving to be our busiest year ever, with a raft of projects across Sheffield that need the expert skills of a great team to bring them to fruition.

“The Sky-House concept is proving enormously popular wherever we build but to take it even further needs people with vision and dedication, which is exactly what these three bring with them.”


AW Hainsworth, a fabric manufacturer and woollen mill based in Pudsey, has appointed Paul Dudley as its new head of engineering and sustainability.

This newly created role will focus on shaping AW Hainsworth’s Engineering and Sustainability strategy and fostering a culture of continuous improvement across the organisation.

Dudley has an extensive engineering, environmental, and health and safety management background, having spent the last 28 years predominantly working in the furniture industry.

He previously worked for a German textile machine manufacturer in Leeds.

He said: “Joining AW Hainsworth feels like returning to my roots in textiles. The company’s rich history, manufacturing excellence, dedication to its workforce and environmental impact align perfectly with my passion for sustainability.

“I’m excited to help embed a sustainable culture in all areas of the business and to be part of a company that heavily invests in the interest of the workforce while putting environmental impact at the heart of everything it does.”

In his new role, Dudley will focus on several key sustainability initiatives to reduce the company’s carbon footprint, increase employee well-being, and enhance overall efficiency.

His initial efforts will include benchmarking data to guide the company’s sustainability strategy and exploring energy-saving operations for various systems and processes.

Amanda McLaren, managing director, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Paul to our team.

“His expertise and dedication to sustainability will be invaluable as we continue integrating environmentally responsible practices into our operations and making significant investments towards evolving into a more sustainable business while maintaining our heritage of quality textiles.”