International law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has announced a number of senior promotions across its UK offices, including five new partners and two legal directors.

The promotions bring the total number of UK partners at WBD to 141 and follows the promotions of eight new associates and five associate paralegals in May.

Alexander Dickinson, UK Chair at WBD, said: 

"I'm delighted to congratulate all of our new partners and legal directors, who have shown their dedication, hard work and contribution to the expansion of our business.

We appreciate the incredible talent we have at the firm. People are essential to what we do and we want them to have fulfilling and prosperous careers with us. This is why we put our focus on ensuring everyone has the chance to learn, grow and be recognised for their success."

Reinforcing WBD's ongoing commitment to delivering an exceptional service to its clients, the firm’s 2024 partner promotions include:

Francesca Hodgson – Commercial Disputes and Regulatory (Newcastle)

Francesca is a regulatory specialist who advises clients on various aspects of compliance and disputes in sectors such as environment, health and safety, care and education. She has experience in dealing with enforcement actions, critical incidents, complaints, Equality Act claims and Coroners’ inquests. She is also a member of relevant professional associations and is the deputy lead for the Projects pillar of WBD Thrive, the firm's women's network.

Ashley Borthwick - Commercial Disputes and Regulatory (Bristol)

Ashley is a specialist regulatory defence and compliance lawyer. He supports leading brands with regulatory investigations and enforcement action, but is also sought after to provide training and compliance advice as well as develop risk management policies and procedures. Ashley has considerable experience of advising in relation to high profile matters concerning health and safety, fire safety, food safety and hygiene, product safety, trade controls, trading standards and consumer protection. He works with leading brands across various sectors, including retail and manufacturing.

Dan Fawcett – Employment (Southampton)

Dan is an employment lawyer who specialises in complex and sensitive Employment Tribunal cases and advisory work, in particular in relation to disability discrimination, worker/employment status, holiday pay and outsourcing. As well as his core employment work Dan has particular expertise in wider discrimination law and employee data protection matters. He is interested in how AI and new technologies will affect the world of work and in contributing to the growth of our digital sector having recently spoken at some well-received external events.

Sarah White – Planning (London)

Sarah specialises in town and country planning, with experience in both contentious and non-contentious matters, and has acted for local authorities and developers. She has worked on large projects across various departments and areas of expertise, and can advise clients on the complex and sensitive issues that often arise in planning and highway matters, drawing on her extensive local government knowledge.

Sian Ballingall – Commercial (Southampton)

Sian is a real estate and regeneration expert with extensive experience of working at a senior level in local government. Sian regularly provides advice on real estate and development projects, local authority arrangements, powers and duties, consultation, governance and public law matters.

WBD has also promoted two new Legal Directors. They are:

Emma Doble – Employment (Plymouth)

Emma is a leading employment lawyer with an expertise in handling complex volume Employment Tribunal litigation. She specialises in discrimination and whistleblowing cases for large national and regional clients in public and private sectors, such as finance, energy and manufacturing, and manages the firm's Employment law relationship with many key clients such as AIG. Recognised in Chambers and Partners legal directory for many years, Emma advises on a range of employment law issues, provides training to clients, and champions diversity and inclusion as a member of the firm's women's network, WBD Thrive.

Rosanne Tweddle – Agriculture, Farms and Estates (Newcastle)

Rosanne is a property law expert who works with rural and commercial clients on various matters, such as agricultural tenancies, contract and share farming agreements, mortgages, sporting and mineral rights, development sites, and strategic business and property management. She has a niche in rural property issues and has led on many transactions involving partnerships, overage and exclusivity agreements. She also has practical knowledge of commercial and rural affairs.