Four senior solicitor promotions at Wilkin Chapman
The largest law firm in Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire has promoted four new senior solicitors across its Lincoln, Grimsby and Beverley offices.
The new senior solicitors will strengthen the firm’s commercial property and debt recovery teams.
Commercial property lawyer, Gillian Smith, has been promoted in Wilkin Chapman’s Lincoln office. Meanwhile, in the Grimsby office, debt recovery expert Amber Aisthorpe has been made senior solicitor, alongside commercial property expert Tom Furneaux, and commercial property litigator Hannah Loft, who will split time between the Grimsby and Beverley offices.
Gillian Smith joined Wilkin Chapman’s Commercial Property team in Lincoln in 2020 having moved from a local regional firm. She deals with freehold and leasehold sales and purchases, commercial landlord and tenant matters, and secured lending and refinancing. She has now been promoted to the role of senior solicitor.
Senior Solicitor, Gillian Smith said: “I originally started working in residential property before I started my training contract. Moving to commercial property was therefore a natural progression. I love working on more complex matters, such as complicated leases and developments. There’s a lot of variety and plenty to challenge me.
“At the moment the cost of living and higher mortgage rates are having an impact, but we remain consistently busy.”
With more than a decade of experience at Wilkin Chapman, Amber Aisthorpe is a debt recovery specialist who works with local authorities to recover unpaid taxes, and settle insolvency and adult social care disputes.
Senior Solicitor, Amber Aisthorpe said: “With the cost of living crisis, everybody's owing more and more money. I deal with local authority debts, specifically recovering unpaid taxes and adult social care charges.
“With council budgets stretched, it’s important that they can reclaim any money that’s owed to them so they can spend it on public services. There can be tricky situations where people intentionally dispose of their assets, meaning the local authority has to then pay for the care provided to that individual.”
“It’s been a long journey from joining after my A Levels in 2009 to qualifying and now gaining a promotion but I’ve been supported by the firm every step of the way.”
Hannah Loft grew up in Broughton, near Brigg, and gained her 2:1 LLB Honours in 2015 from the University of Birmingham. In the same year she joined Wilkin Chapman as a paralegal in the commercial property department, before qualifying as a dispute resolution solicitor in October 2020. Now a specialist in commercial disputes and property litigation, Hannah has been promoted to the role of senior solicitor.
Senior Solicitor, Hannah Loft said: “I’ve been based in Grimsby for the most part of my time at Wilkin Chapman, and recently I’ve started splitting my time between the Grimsby and Beverley offices, as we try to build up the disputes team in East Yorkshire.”
“The Beverley Disputes team is relatively new - consisting of a senior solicitor and a newly qualified solicitor who have both joined the firm in the last six months. We’re trying to grow and develop the team to expand our offering both on the north and south banks of the Humber.
“My expertise is in commercial litigation, but predominantly, I’m a property litigator. My particular specialism is dealing with large property portfolio clients and estates, as well as nationwide developers and housebuilders, so anything property related, which hasn’t really been available at the Beverley office before.”
Tom Furneaux joined Wilkin Chapman’s Grimsby office in 2012 as a trainee legal executive and has been promoted to senior solicitor after over 10 years with the firm. Tom is part of the Commercial Property team in Wilkin Chapman’s Grimsby office and specialises in new build housing site set ups, infrastructure and utility agreements. The property market has been in the news a lot recently, with house prices suffering their sharpest drop since 2009 last month, but Tom isn’t noticing as big a slowdown in the market as many first expected.
Senior Solicitor, Tom Furneaux said “There is no doubt about it, there has been a downward shift in the number of properties being sold due to the increase in interest rates, but it hasn’t dropped off as much as people initially expected. Despite the fact that interest rates are going up, they appear to be starting to level off now and people still need to buy and sell properties, with new builds still providing a really attractive route onto the property ladder.
“Having started out as a trainee, progressing all the way up the firm to senior solicitor is a really nice feeling. For those that are just starting out I hope it shows that if you carry on and persevere then you can succeed.”
With over 400 partners and staff located across a network of legal offices in Grimsby, Lincoln, Beverley and Louth, Wilkin Chapman is the largest law firm in the Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire area and it ranks as the 111th largest firm in the UK, with offices in Grimsby, Lincoln, Beverley and Louth. Wilkin Chapman provides trusted legal and insolvency advice to both private and commercial clients who are based locally, nationally and internationally.