Press Release – January 2023

Leading Yorkshire law firm Ison Harrison has made a series of promotions across its network of Yorkshire offices.

Among the promotions from solicitor to partner are Claire Loftus, Abbie Churchill and Helen Donaghy. Daniel Kenworthy has been promoted to assistant head of residential conveyancing across the whole firm, Natalie White takes on the role of finance director and Claire Guthrie is promoted to head of accounts and cashiers.

This latest round of promotions follows Ison Harrison’s successful transition to becoming entirely employee owned at the beginning of 2022 after the three shareholder directors agreed to sell the business to an Employee Ownership Trust.

Claire Loftus, an expert in property law with over 20 years’ experience in all aspects of conveyancing, joined Ison Harrison at the beginning of 2021. Claire was recruited specifically to manage the firm’s 15th branch based in Bingley and, in the first 12 months, helped establish the new office as one of the firm’s highest earning branches. Under Claire’s leadership the team continues to go from strength to strength.

Abbie Churchill joined the firm at the end of 2019 and took over the management of the Barnsley office in July 2021. An experienced and well-respected family solicitor, Abbie has successfully grown the firm’s presence in Barnsley and across South Yorkshire to the point where an additional family solicitor has been appointed.

With 25 years’ experience, Helen Donaghy is a specialist clinical negligence lawyer with a national reputation. Helen joined the firm in October 2020 and has made a significant contribution to growing the firm’s clinical negligence team.

Newly promoted to assistant head of residential conveyancing, Daniel Kenworthy joined the firm in April 2019, became manager of the Pontefract office a month later and a partner in July 2021. This year has seen his role extend beyond his own branch office to support division head Jenny Bland to deliver the residential property offering across the entire firm.

Natalie White has been promoted to finance director following 15 years’ service with the firm. Natalie previously led the 13-strong accounts team as head of accounts and cashiers and in her new role will assume overall financial responsibility for the firm’s 19 regional offices.

Claire Guthrie has been promoted to the position of head of accounts and cashiers. Claire has been with the firm for seven years and has become an integral part of the accounts team alongside Natalie White, the firm’s new finance director. Claire’s new role includes the analysis and reporting on financial performance, the preparation and review of budgets, ensuring compliance with the SRA accounts rules, tax and audit compliance and supervision of the accounts team.

Ison Harrison, which has a network of seventeen offices throughout the region, was founded in 1978. Forty-four years later it now employs more than 240 staff across Yorkshire and offers the broadest suite of legal services in the region.

Commenting on the promotions, Jonathan Wearing, managing director said:

“We’ve made the best possible start to 2023 with a number of strategic promotions that will benefit the progression of the business, just over 12 months after the firm became entirely employee owned. The past 12 months have seen a real focus on diversification through the expansion of our commercial offering substantially, to include corporate, litigation, employment and commercial property for an ever-growing commercial client base. I’m excited to see what the next 12 months will bring.

“I’m delighted to see these promotions off the back of one of our most successful years in our history. The contributions to the firm from the promoted individuals are all richly deserved.”

The firm has an annual turnover of £19 million and represents around 20,000 clients each year, the majority of whom live in the region. Over the years, it has represented clients in many high-profile cases including several families at the inquest of those who died in the Hillsborough disaster.

Added Jonathan Wearing:

“Under our new employee-owned structure, Ison Harrison remains totally committed to recruiting and retaining the very best people in the legal profession as evidenced by this latest round of promotions. Making sure clients have the greatest access to unrivalled legal expertise is a key objective for us and to begin the new year by gaining three new partners and strengthening our financial backbone demonstrates how employee ownership is benefiting the workforce as well as our clients.”

Ison Harrison won Law Firm of the Year (Medium) at the Yorkshire Legal Awards in 2022 and they currently hold 13 Law Society accreditations including Conveyancing Quality, Clinical Negligence, Children Law, Family Law, Immigration & Asylum, and SRA Higher Courts Rights – civil and criminal.

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