Law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has confirmed 13 senior promotions across its UK offices (10 new partners and three legal directors). The promotions bring the total number of UK partners at WBD to 130.

The new partners are:

Leeds-based James Cook. James was previously a legal director in the firm’s Corporate team. James is experienced in advising a variety of clients, from small owner-managed businesses to large corporates, on the full range of corporate matters – with a particular focus on private equity, mergers, acquisitions and shareholder arrangements.

Stacey Hall, Sarah Daun and Gavin Ellison from the Newcastle office. Stacey predominantly focuses on corporate transactional work and has experience working for serial acquirers, owner-managers and investors. Sarah specialises in privacy law and has significant experience of drafting and negotiating complex commercial agreements across the public, private and third sectors on a national and international basis, with a focus on the manufacturing sector. Gavin has over 15 years' experience acting for trustees and employers on pensions law, working with clients on formulating and progressing benefit restructuring and transition management exercises for a combination of defined benefit, hybrid and defined contribution schemes.

Chris McLauchlan, Lisa Dromgoole and Emily Pike from the Edinburgh office. Chris leads the Scottish Banking team which covers real estate finance, corporate lending, acquisition finance, asset-based lending, securitisation, bond issues and restructuring, and also has extensive experience working on cross-border financings. Lisa heads up the construction & engineering practice in Scotland, and has extensive experience in all forms of dispute resolution from adjudication and arbitration to litigation, mediation and other forms of ADR.

Emily is a private client lawyer, dual qualified in England & Wales and Scotland, specialising in providing personal legal advice on wills, trusts and estate planning, as well as advising banks, insurance companies and professional trustees on trust law.

Joanna Beattie-Edwards, Carly Holt and Charlotte Bloomfield from the Southampton office. Joanna is part of real estate specialising in energy projects and advises clients on large projects involving complex funding arrangements and development agreements, with extensive experience in maritime estate management, carrying out onshore, foreshore and offshore property work. Carly specialises in corporate finance, advising clients on mergers and acquisitions, group reorganisations for UK and international groups, shareholder agreements, joint venture agreements and general company law. Charlotte advises on employment law including strategic non-contentious issues, employment status and off-payroll working, agile workforces, industrial relations and all aspects of the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006.

The new legal directors are:

Plymouth-based Practice Development Lawyers Michelle Essen and Suzanne Gado. Michelle and Suzanne are senior knowledge specialists playing a key strategic role in driving efficiencies, insights, opportunities, service excellence, and growth for WBD clients and the business. As well as being thought leaders in their areas of practice, both Michelle and Suzanne play a critical role in leading and delivering firmwide projects. Michelle is co-founder of the WBD Disability Network, promoting a working environment based on mutual respect, inclusivity and equal opportunities. She also plays a key role in the delivery of WBD’s current re:build Britain campaign. Suzanne straddles the role between lawyer and legal technologist, and is a project lead for our cross-firm Legal Due Diligence Project. She is also an active supporter of responsible business, diversity and inclusion initiatives, currently acting as a mentor as part of the ground-breaking WBD REACH reverse mentor programme.

Newcastle-based Liz Evans. Liz’s principal focus is commercial landlord and tenant work and investment property sales and acquisitions. She has experience of acting for both investors and owner/occupiers in the acquisition and disposal of commercial properties and also acting for both landlords and tenants on commercial lease arrangements.

Paul Stewart, UK managing partner at WBD, commented:

"I am delighted to offer my congratulations to all of our new partners and legal directors, whose hard work, commitment and contribution to the growth of our business deserves to be recognised and celebrated. Being able to reward those who have demonstrated such passion and expertise is an absolute pleasure, and I look forward to seeing our new partners and legal directors thrive in their new roles.”