Appointments: Gordons, Wates Construction, Newtons, Ecus

TWO lawyers have been recruited to Gordons’ commercial property and property litigation team.

Richard Gibbon has joined the firm’s commercial property department, led by partner Barbara Rollin, from independent practice Ford & Warren.

Richard Cressall has been appointed into Gordons’ property litigation team, headed by partner Andrew Todd, after previously working with international firm Eversheds. Both newcomers’ previous roles were based in Leeds.

Mr Gibbon was with Ford & Warren for just over five years, after training with niche Manchester corporate and commercial firm Smithsons, which was acquired by Reading-based practice Pitmans last year.

Mr Cressall, joined Eversheds in 2010. He was an associate in the firm’s litigation and dispute management group, handling a broad range of property-related instructions.

Barbara Rollin said: “We’re very happy that these two excellent young lawyers are now part of the firm. They’ve already strengthened the teams they’ve joined and our overall offering significantly.”

The firm’s property litigation team last year won cases in the High Court and Court of Appeal, as well as successfully blocking a challenge to the UK Supreme Court.


Paul Dodsworth of WatesWates Construction has boosted its northern operations with the appointment of Paul Dodsworth as business unit director in Yorkshire and North East.

The Surrey-based contractor is currently building the £100m Central Square office development in Leeds.

Mr Dodsworth, who has over 30 years’ experience in the construction industry, joins from Bowmer & Kirkland Ltd where he spent eight years as construction director overseeing projects in the North East and Scotland.

The new position will see Mr Dodsworth lead the delivery of Wates’ current projects within the private and public sectors, which includes Haribo’s new £35m Wakefield production facility and the £5.6m XP School in Doncaster.

Phil Harrison, managing director, Wates Construction North, said: “Paul’s appointment marks a step forward in our strategic growth plan for the region, which will see us drive the business further afield whilst building on our long-standing position as a trusted and innovative contractor.”

Newtons SolicitorsNewtons Solicitors has strengthened its North Yorkshire team with three new solicitors; Dave Birks, Mark Reeves, and David Lucas.

The three new solicitors have joined from a North East law firm. Mr Birks is appointed an LLP member of Newtons litigation team, his assistant, Mr Reeves is a newly-qualified solicitor and Mr Lucas joins the firm as an LLP member in the commercial team.

Newtons Solicitors managing director, Chris Newton, says: “Having fought against Dave Birks in court I’m delighted that he has joined Newtons together with Mark Reeves. Together with David Lucas, they strengthen our presence considerably for both commercial and private work.”

Newtons Solicitors’ group fee income increased from £1.8m in 2013 to £2.6m in 2014 and is expected to leap to £3.7m this year.

Newtons Solicitors, founded by Chris Newton and his wife, Sarah, who is also a director, has offices in Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon, York, Ilkley, Leyburn, Darlington Richmond and Stokesley.The group has 13 directors and LLP partners and 38 lawyers.

 Sara Blannin of EcusEnvironmental consultancy Ecus has boosted its management team with the appointment of a new finance director.

Sara Blannin has joined Ecus Ltd, which assists clients through the planning process including ecology, landscape, geosciences and environmental management services. She will divide her time between the firm’s Cheltenham office and its Sheffield headquarters.

The business has more than doubled both its workforce and turnover in the last three years, as well as opening five further offices nationwide.

Ms Blannin previously worked as an associate director at environmental, health and safety support services firm RSK where she had divisional finance role and jointly headed up the ecology business.

She has also worked with water sector consultancy Ewan Group, before it was acquired by professional support services company Mouchel Parkman.

Ecus managing director Nick Birkinshaw said: “Sara has a proven track record in delivering results and we are really pleased to welcome her to the team.

“Thanks to a combination of her wealth of experience in accounting and her background in and knowledge of environmental planning and ecology, I am sure her appointment will enhance the team here at Ecus even further.”