People: Conquer Technology, BHP, Ward Hadaway

Conquer Technology Ltd has announced the appointment of Sarah Tulip as their new chief growth officer.

Tulip has joined the organisation to lead the growth of Conquer into new clients and markets, building on its first 15 months of trading. Following her appointment, Manchester-based Conquer will be opening a second office at the Bruntwood Scitech Offices, Platform, Leeds to expand their national footprint to support existing and new clients.

Chief executive Jonny Ward said,- “We are delighted Sarah has joined the leadership team here at Conquer Technology. Her reputation and experience within the industry is outstanding and she brings a different perspective to the organisation with her passion for diversity and inclusion which will help us build a fairer organisation as we grow.”

Tulip said, “A month ago I was introduced to a team of leaders from a software development consultancy, who I came to find were living those values but also saw the value in offering me part of their business so we can together build on their already unbelievable foundations through their tech excellence, something game changing for this industry.”

Conquer has ambitious growth plans. It as already doubled last year’s turnover, and expects a strong end to 2024.

Tulip added, “In our second year of trading we have already an unbelievable track record with a number of FTSE 350 clients, where we have just solved their business problems with agility and by applying a true engineering-first approach, with no bureaucracy, delivered by a team who have done it before in industry themselves over again and have walked in the clients shoes, the results have been remarkable.”

Sarah is a multi award winning leader and has previously held a number of COO roles within fast growth technology businesses and operated in senior roles for some of the most highly regarded consultancies in the world including EY and Cognizant.

She is passionate about equality and is also the founder of WILD Digital, a 2500 member+ Northern community-led initiative, focussed on both creating and highlighting activity that encourages minority groups to consider choosing a career in digital and empowering people from diverse backgrounds to have the confidence and skills to strive for senior roles.

She is a digital ambassador for Leeds, where she chairs the Leeds Digital Board and Leeds Digital Forum.


Independent accountancy firm BHP has appointed Dan Summerfield to head up its new commercial finance service.

The firm’s new offering will help clients identify and secure the right finance product for their needs, while ensuring they have access to competitive terms.

Dan Summerfield, a Yorkshire financier, joins BHP from Panacea Investment Group in Leeds. He has held senior roles in the banking and finance sector over his 30-year career. Dan will oversee all aspects of commercial finance and the firm’s professional banking and finance team, ensuring his wealth of experience can support clients across BHP’s five offices.

Hamish Morrison, joint chief executive at BHP, said: “As trusted advisors, we’re committed to not only delivering a high-quality service to our clients but also expanding our offer to meet the challenges our clients may be experiencing. This new service is evidence of that approach, and we believe it will ensure our clients and their businesses can thrive, despite potential headwinds.”

Summerfield added: “I’m pleased to be joining BHP as it continues to grow. Together with the other partners, I’m looking forward to expanding this service to ensure we can support our clients.

“The finance market has been a volatile space over the last few years, adding to the challenges many businesses have had to face. With the marketplace expected to continue to change as a result of economic uncertainty, it’s crucial that businesses have access to expert advice. Bringing together my experience with the other expertise within BHP, we can offer integrated advisory services that empower our clients.”

BHP recently announced the appointment of Mark Stanton to partner in its digital finance team, asnd made several new promotions and created new heads of service positions.

Joint chief executive Lisa Leighton said: “The last year has been a transformational period for our business as we’ve continued to grow organically, by supporting our clients to do the same. Having been recognised repeatedly over the last 12 months by independent assessor Great Place to Work UK in a number of categories, we’re pleased to not only be able to attract the best talent in the region, but also to find new talent through our graduate and non-graduate training schemes.”


Ward Hadaway has announced a series of key promotions, including a partner and a director.

Promotions in Ward Hadaway’s Leeds office account for 50% of the firm’s promotions this year, mirroring its overall headcount growth in Yorkshire. This aligns with ambitious expansion plans announced by Steven Petrie, the firm’s new managing partner, to achieve turnover of £75 million by 2029.

Alongside the partner and director level promotions, three were made at associate level with four employees becoming managing associates.

Newly promoted partner Phil Edmondson works in the commercial litigation team. Phil has sector leading expertise in advising professional sports participants and stakeholders on regulatory, commercial and dispute resolution matters. He is also a trusted adviser in the fields of professional negligence and reputation management. Phil joined the firm at the end of 2022 as a managing associate and his quick progression to partner highlights the importance of nurturing talent and fostering professional growth at Ward Hadaway.

Emma Digby, executive partner in Ward Hadaway’s Leeds office, said “These promotions mark a fundamental step in our firm’s growth strategy and are demonstrative of our commitment to and our investment in our people. Our team is pivotal in all that we do and want to achieve and make this firm a truly fantastic place to be. These promotions directly support our dedication to delivering superior legal services by developing our team’s expertise, ensuring they are equipped to meet the evolving and complex needs of our clients.

“The firm’s values are to be straightforward, respectful and ambitious, ensuring a consistent commitment to quality and integrity in all our interactions. I am delighted for my promoted colleagues, who have shown that they live and breathe these values every day.”

Rachel Blythe, who has over 13 years’ experience of practising exclusively in employment law, has been promoted to director within the employment department.

Sarah Stockdale, Sally Popplewell, Olivia Field and Josh Fielding are now managing associates in their respective fields within Ward Hadaway’s real estate, social housing, corporate and insolvency teams. Sophie Smith, Ella Dodgson and Richard Noble who work within the employment, family and real estate divisions, have been promoted to associates.

Ward Hadaway also has offices in Newcastle and Manchester. Eighteen promotions have been announced across the firm, which have been driven by the firm’s strong focus on proactive professional development initiatives.

Phil Edmondson said: “I’m thrilled to contribute further to our firm’s growth, especially in the rapidly evolving sports sector which needs ever more industry specific knowledge from its advisers. The promotions of so many excellent colleagues highlight our dedication to recognising and rewarding internal talent. This is an essential part of our strategy to attract and retain top legal professionals from across the UK and ensure our clients receive high quality advice from specialists in their field.”