People: DLA Piper, BDO, The SEO Works; and more

Global law firm DLA Piper has strengthened its corporate practice in Leeds with the appointment of senior associate Ben Collins.

Collins joins the firm from Addleshaw Goddard, where he spent the past six years. He has experience in private M&A and, in particular, private equity transactions, having advised a wide variety of private equity houses including LDC, Livingbridge, Equistone and Inflexion.

Andrew Davies, who heads the Leeds corporate team said: “It is fantastic to welcome Ben to the team, his capabilities and experience will ensure we continue to meet the needs of our growing client base. Following promotions earlier this year for Victoria Rhodes (partner), Mark Cliffe (senior associate) and Simon Winterburn (senior associate), Ben’s appointment further strengthens our commitment to bringing through an outstanding next generation of lawyers in our Corporate team.”

Collins added: “I’m thrilled to be joining DLA Piper and am looking forward to building on the already impressive private equity practice within the Leeds Corporate team, both locally and on a wider scale.”


Michael Stallard

Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP has appointed senior advisory specialist, Michael Stallard, as UK SOx and controls advisory national lead.

Stallard, who will be based across the North, joins from Deloitte where he helped businesses to modernise their controls in line with broader digital strategies. At BDO, he will be responsible for building the firm’s UK SOx proposition – Sarbanes-Oxley (SOx) and its impact on corporate reporting – and working with clients to enable them to respond to the financial reporting changes arising from the government’s BEIS consultation.

Ruth Ireland, partner and national head of risk advisory services, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Michael to the BDO team. He brings considerable experience in the Controls Advisory and SOx field, having led large and complex engagements in this space.”

Hamid Ghafoor, partner and lead for the risk and advisory services team across the North of England, added: “Michael is perfectly placed to help us respond to the expected UK regulation and enable clients to prepare for that change.”

In March, the Government launched a white paper on corporate governance and audit reform. Subject to consultation, the anticipated reforms are intended to ensure accurate financial reporting to increase trust in corporate governance, provide confidence to investors and enhance the quality of management information within a business.

Stallard commented: “Whatever the outcome of the Government consultation, there has been a real step-change in the corporate view and approach to controls, the benefits they can bring, and the advantages of being a well-controlled business.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for corporates and public interest entities to revolutionise and digitise their approach to controls and generate real value like never before.

“At a time of considerable change in the market, the opportunities will be significant. This was a genuinely appealing and exciting chance to join an entrepreneurial firm – one with a strong brand and compelling culture.”


Sheffield-based digital marketing agency, The SEO Works, has welcomed Nadine Warburton to its team as HR manager.

Warburton, who previously ran HR at Split the Bills, will be responsible for driving The SEO Works’ people plan, talent attraction and overall HR procedures.

She said: “I’m really excited to have joined the team at such a key stage in The SEO Work’s journey.

“The agency has built a positive workplace culture and offers an attractive employee value proposition, but there is still a great deal of opportunity to own and develop this further, with the support of a people focused leadership team.

“We have lots of people related projects on the horizon, including the acceleration of our apprenticeship programme, the review of our onboarding journey and the implementation of a HR Management System, to name a few.

“Our people plan is going to keep us incredibly busy over the coming months and I can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Managing director Ben Foster added: “Our people are our greatest asset and we want to ensure we’re attracting the best candidates, as well as ensuring our team continues to feel valued and has opportunities to enhance their career whilst with us.

“Nadine’s past experience in a growing tech company really resonated with us and we’re delighted someone of her calibre has joined us during this crucial time of growth.”

The agency has welcomed 18 new starters across several departments in the past six months, with more recruits set to arrive.


Commercial property consultancy Commercial Property Partners (CPP) has appointed a new associate director to its national team of property experts.

Callum Jeandin joins the private firm of advisors which specialises in the disposal, acquisition, and management of all types of commercial property as an associate director in the property and asset Mmanagement team from Savills, in a move which sees him return to his home-city of Sheffield from where he will work across the CPP Sheffield, Nottingham, Leeds and London offices.

With over five years’ experience within the industry, including specific understanding of complex service charge implementation, in recent years Jeandin has been involved in the regeneration of Leeds South Bank and the former Tetley’s Brewery Estate.

A Masters graduate in Real Estate from Nottingham Trent, Jeandin’s appointment follows a period of expansion and success for the Group.

Jeandin said: “CPP is the prominent commercial property firm within the region.

“Having watched the business build a formidable reputation over the past decade I am delighted to be now joining this forward-looking organisation, building on my experience to date, and working to help deliver the high-quality CPP service across the UK.”