People: Wake Smith Solicitors; YPO; and more

Wake Smith Solicitors in Sheffield has appointed a trio of fee earners as it continues to build its individual and business legal teams.

Solicitor Lisa Molinari joins as a director in the Residential Conveyancing team which has recently fully embraced a digital transformation to streamline operations, enhance efficiency and deliver exceptional client service.

She has more than a decade of experience in the field having qualified in September 2011 and worked at various Sheffield law firms before her move to Wake Smith.

Molinari said: “I am thrilled to begin this journey with Wake Smith. It is a privilege to join such a dynamic, hard working and caring firm that go the extra mile for their clients.”

Three years qualified solicitor Rozeena Aslam has worked in Chesterfield and Sheffield and joins the Commercial Property team, the firm’s largest department, advising on all aspects of property work for a diverse pool of clients, from start ups to established firms.

Paralegal Charlie Jones-Connor, who has a law degree from Sheffield Hallam University, and is currently undertaking the CILEx Graduate Fast Track Diploma, joins the Private Client department.

Prior to Wake Smith, he has worked at several Sheffield law firms and brings six years’ experience of working in Wills, Trust and Probate.


Wakefield-based YPO, one of the UK’s largest public buying sector organisations, has appointed Michelle Walker as its new head of procurement services.

She will lead on forming strategic stakeholder partnerships, nurturing strong internal relationships and collaborating with customers within the YPO supply chain.

Walker is a procurement professional with extensive experience in the public sector, specifically within the NHS and higher education at Sheffield Hallam University.

For the past 15 years she has held a position within the NHS North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative (NOE CPC) in Sheffield, with her most recent role seeing her lead a team within the Healthcare Services and Pharmacy category.

As well as her category work, she conceptualised and delivered a suite of training for procurement and non-procurement staff on a national scale, contributing as a keynote speaker at numerous national events.

She also teaches the next generation of procurement professionals, delivering CIPS level 4 and 5 training at the College of York and the University of Hull.

Walker is CIPS qualified and holds a post graduate qualification in Public Procurement Law and Policy from the University of Nottingham.

She said: “YPO is one of the UK’s leaders in procurement innovation, maximising value and support to the public and education sectors.

“It’s exciting to begin this role at such a pivotal time in the industry, and I am looking forward to strategically working with leaders across YPO and its partners to build opportunities that can develop and grow the organisation whilst delivering an outstanding service.”

Simon Hill, managing director at YPO, added: “Michelle joins us with a wealth of experience in public sector procurement, working at the NHS for over 20 years in total.

“She has led teams through some of the most challenging times, such as the pandemic, and truly has a passion for making a difference.

“The board and I look forward to working with Michelle closely to shape YPO’s procurement strategy for the future.”


Security and surveillance technology company, Synectics, has confirmed that Jonathan “Jon” Kempster will be appointed as an independent non-executive director and chair of its Audit Committee with effect from 1 July 2024.

He has more than 20 years’ experience as a public company director. He is currently a non-executive director of AIM quoted Norman Broadbent plc, an Executive Search and Interim Management firm, Serinus Energy plc, an international oil and gas company, and a director of Delta Pension Nominees Ltd.

Kempster was previously a non-executive director of DX (Group) plc, a provider of delivery solutions, FireAngel Safety Technology plc, a home safety products group and Bonhill Group plc.

He qualified as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse in 1990 and has held several board positions in both an executive and non-executive capacity, including at Redcentric plc, Frasers Group plc and more recently Ted Baker plc.

Also, Sheffield-based Synectics notes that Dr Alison Vincent, non-executive director, was awarded a CBE in the King’s Birthday Honour’s List in recognition of her dedication and services to Engineering and Technology.

Bob Holt, chairman, said: “We’re pleased to welcome Jon to the Board and look forward to working with him and benefiting from his many years’ experience.

“We would also like to congratulate Alison on being awarded a CBE, recognising the contribution she has made to UK engineering and technology businesses. We are happy that Synectics continues to benefit from her expertise.”