John Baddeley to assume high sheriff role, exiting Wake Smith Solicitors

John Baddeley is to step down in his role as chairman, shareholder and director at Wake Smith Solicitors to become high sheriff of south Yorkshire.

John, who has been at Sheffield-based Wake Smith for 36 years, will take up the ceremonial role from 8 April this year. He will retire and not work for the firm for 12 months while he undertakes his duties.Head of property, Neil Salter, becomes the new Wake Smith chairman from 1 January. He has worked his way up to equity partner/director/shareholder over his 29 years at the firm.Commercial property director Paul Gibbon also joins the firm’s management board. From 1 April, the company will promote director Rebecca Robinson to head of the corporate team.


John Baddeley said:

“I am very proud to be taking up the role as the high sheriff of south Yorkshire. My decision to leave Wake Smith has been an incredibly difficult one; however, the office of high sheriff is a high honour and it is an immense privilege to be selected. I hand over the role of chairman in Neil Salter’s capable hands. I wish him all the best in his new role.”

Neil Salter commented:

“John being chosen as high sheriff is a remarkable recognition of his profile in the city and, to an extent, that of Wake Smith.  Sadly for us, John will be stepping down from the firm whilst he undertakes his duties, as he will be spending substantial amounts of time with the judiciary, and this has the potential for a conflict of interest.

“John has been integral to the development of the spirit and culture of Wake Smith and its continued success, and I would not be surprised if, after his time as high sheriff, his involvement with the firm may re-commence in some way, shape or form.”“We wish him a fond farewell for now, with a huge sense of pride and admiration on his appointment.”

The role of high sheriff dates back before the Norman conquest. There is one in every county in England and Wales. It is a non-political royal appointment, originally responsible for the maintenance of law and order within the county, and the collection of taxes for return to the crown.The function has evolved and it is now largely a ceremonial role with responsibility for supporting crime prevention agencies, the emergency services and the voluntary sector.


Image:  (left to right) Wake Smith’s Paul Gibbon, John Baddeley, Rebecca Robinson and Neil Salter.
Emma Cockings
Emma is the content editor for Yorkshire Legal News. Emma is an experienced writer with a background in client-centric personal injury law for a major firm. She has attended and reported on numerous high-profile legal events in Yorkshire.