Sector Focus Longstanding law firm PA retires

A personal assistant at law firm Clarke Willmott LLP has retired after 47 years of service. Christine Cox, the longest serving employee at the

firm, began her career in April 1973 as an office junior in the Chard office, before becoming a secretary for a number of solicitors. In 1977, she started working for managing director

John Cooper and in 1994 moved with him to the Taunton office, which was then situated in Hammet Street. In 2001 she moved to the current offices in Blackbrook Gate. Christine worked for various fee earners in the divorce

and family law team and the private property and agriculture team until her retirement. Clarke Willmott CEO Stephen Rosser, said: “This is an

amazing milestone and deserves marking in a special way. Christine has seen many changes during her career and our thanks to her for her loyalty, devotion and hard work throughout this period. “On a personal note, I am very grateful to her for the

support she gave to me as Clarke Willmott transitioned from its Somerset roots to the national firm it is now. "Current circumstances prevent us from having the full

celebration Christine’s career deserves, but I have assured her we will mark the occasion as soon as we can safely do so.

“In the meantime, a heartfelt thank you to Christine

and we all hope that you enjoy a long and happy, well-deserved retirement.” Mark Buckerfield, a partner in the private

property and agriculture team, added: “The firm and legal sector has changed beyond recognition since 16 April 1973. One constant during that time has been Christine’s dedication to Clarke Willmott. “Christine has spent the last 10 years

working for both the private property and agriculture and family teams. “Her ability to juggle work for multiple fee

earners in two different practice areas has been remarkable and a great support for both departments. It has involved a great deal of client contact and she has been a wonderful ambassador for the firm taking a great deal of pride in her work. “She will be greatly missed by us all but leaves with our thanks and best wishes

for a well-earned retirement.” Clarke Willmott has offices

in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton and Taunton.

Long serving: Christine Cox Leadership team in shake-up

Lawyer switches to Thursfields

Thursfields Solicitors has successfully recruited a lawyer from a global rival, to become its new head of employment. Helena Morrissey had spent

the last 14 years with Squire Patton Boggs, where she started as an assistant solicitor and left as a director in its labour and employment team. Her experience has seen her

act for a wide range of commercial clients, from small family businesses to household name corporates, covering the full range of employment law services. Helena said: “Having spent

New team: Jade Linton, Michelle O’Hara, Nick O’Hara, Ian Bond and Helena Morrissey

Midlands law firm Thursfields Solicitors has carried out a shake-up of its leadership team, which includes installing a new managing director. Current managing director Nick O’Hara steps up to

the new role of chairman after heading the firm for 13 years. He will have a strategic focus on clients and business development. Michelle O’Hara has been appointed as managing

director after 14 years with Thursfields, during which time, as well as being a practising lawyer, she has been involved in the strategic and operational running of the business. Her role as head of employment will be taken by

new recruit Helena Morrissey, who has joined the firm from Squire Patton Boggs (see story right). Associate director Jade Linton becomes Thursfields’

HR business partner and will combine the dual roles of client work and providing strategic and operational HR advice to the firm.

Ian Bond joins as a director to head up the wills and

estates Department at Thursfields. Mr Bond experience of regional and national firms in his area of expertise, as well as significant commercial exposure within the legal sector. Mr O’Hara said: “It has been a privilege to lead such

a successful, growing law firm for 13 years and I look forward to being able to focus on client relationships and steering our business development as we continue to grow our presence in the Midlands marketplace.” New managing director Michelle O’Hara said: “Nick’s

leadership has been a key factor in the growth of Thursfields and I look forward to building on his legacy with the talented team we have here.” Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest

established law firms, with more than 140 staff at offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Solihull and Birmingham.

many years at a large, global law firm, I felt it was time for a change. I wanted to work for a firm that offers me the autonomy to make my own decisions and to implement my own ideas and business plans, and Thursfields felt right to me. “I was attracted by the

collaborative and enterprising culture at Thursfields, and I think the firm's vision, values and aspirations align with my own.”

Helena, who lives in Shirley,

is a founder member and current chairperson of Friends of Shirley Park, and a member of Shirley Street Watch. She also serves as a

governor at Our Lady of the Wayside RC Primary School and has just become a trustee of the Solihull School Parents’ Association.

October 2020 CHAMBERLINK 61

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