New trainees arrive at Yorkshire firms

An influx of new trainees reveals where law firms across Yorkshire are aiming to strengthen their capabilities.


Gordons has appointed three trainees, two new apprentices and a junior assistant.

Graduates Alexandra Byrne, Megan Dutch and Maria Foanta have started training contracts, initially joining the private client, property litigation and commercial property teams, respectively. The trainees will work in various Gordons departments by undertaking four six-month seats.

Tegan Knappy and Charlotte Lindsay have also joined Gordons’s apprenticeship scheme, working in the personal injury and construction teams, respectively.


Pictured, from left to right: Alexandra Byrne, Megan Dutch, Lucy Rhodes, Maria Foanta, Tegan Knappy, partner Victoria Davey and Charlotte Lindsay

The Gordons Apprentice Programme was the first of its kind when it was launched in 2011 and has already celebrated its first two graduates.

As apprentices, Tegan and Charlotte will train to become chartered legal executives through a combination of in-work experience and academic study. Gordons will pay their salaries and course fees, meaning they will not accumulate any student debt. Lucy Rhodes also joins Gordons as junior assistant in the firm’s residential team.

Welcoming the new trainees and apprentices, Gordons partner Victoria Davey said: “We continue to enjoy keen interest in our apprenticeship programme and traineeships. It’s rewarding to welcome the next generation of lawyers to Gordons and see each year’s intake grow and thrive within the firm.”

“This year saw a particularly strong group of women who showed the sharp intelligence and outstanding attitude that has come to define Gordons’ people. We look forward to working with these talented young people, helping them build their career in law and helping us shape the firm’s future.”

Schofield Sweeney

Three new trainees have joined Schofield Sweeney. Emily Ibberson, Alexander Aitken and Rebecca Beech each start their training in the firm’s Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield offices.


Pictured from left to right: Back—Rebecca Leech, Alexander Aitken, Oliver Brooke and Melissa Wood. Front—Emily Ibberson, Lucy Bailey and Helen Matthews

Their recruitment follows the qualification of Lucy Bailey and Helen Matthews in Leeds, who have joined the commercial and corporate teams, and Oliver Brooke and Melissa Wood in Bradford, who have taken up roles in the commercial property and private client teams.

Luisa D’Alessandro, partner and training principal at Schofield Sweeney, said: “Schofield Sweeney always aims to recruit the best talent available and nurture and retain that talent for the long term. I am delighted that Lucy, Helen, Oliver and Melissa have all done so well and chosen to stay with the firm when they qualify as solicitors. Our trainee solicitor programme is very popular, we attract high quality candidates and train them in an exciting and supportive environment.”


Rollits has appointed four new trainee solicitors as part of its 2018 intake, further strengthening its Yorkshire base.


Pictured, from left to right: Lucy Stephenson, Lucy Trynka, Casper Hammond and Harriet Kingston

Lucy Stephenson, Lucy Trynka, Casper Hammond and Harriet Kingston have joined the firm at the start of their two-year training, having successfully completed their professional qualifications.

Trynka and Hammond have joined Rollits’s property and corporate teams in Hull, with Stephenson and Kingston based at the York office in the private capital and planning teams.

Ed Jenneson, training principal at Rollits, said: “We are extremely pleased to be welcoming these talented people to the firm at the start of their legal careers and I look forward to guiding them through their Period of Recognised Training over the next two years.”

Wake Smith

Wake Smith Solicitors has made a series of appointments as it heads into the final quarter of 2018.

Holly Abbott-Cragg has joined the private client team as a paralegal and will start a training contract at Wake Smith from September 2019. Abbott-Cragg, from Chesterfield, has previously worked at Irwin Mitchell and Trade Union Legal.

Sheffield Hallam University graduate Natasha Lindley has taken up a new role of paralegal in Wake Smith’s clinical negligence team to support the solicitors in managing an increasing number of new enquiries. Lindley, originally from Buxton, has joined from Irwin Mitchell.


Pictured, from left to right: Back—Sue Murray, Jessica Rowbotham and Natasha Lindley. Front—Holly Abbott-Cragg and Sam Bellagha

Sam Bellagha, who completed his undergraduate law degree at Sheffield Hallam University and a postgraduate diploma in legal practice at the University of Sheffield, has begun his training contract in Wake Smith’s company commercial team after working for a year as a paralegal in the firm’s private client department.

Jessica Rowbotham from Kiveton Park has also started as an assistant solicitor in the firm’s private client team after completing a training contract at Rotherham’s Walker & Co at the same time as studying for a master’s in legal practice at the University of Sheffield.

Finally, legal secretary Sue Murray has taken up a new position in Wake Smith’s residential conveyancing team

Wake Smith HR manager Jo Barnett said: “We have a strong employer brand across the city and our ambition is to be the employer of choice for the legal profession in Sheffield. It has been exciting to see the quality of applications received and candidates interviewed.”

Wilkinson Woodward


Pictured: Kate Machon

Leeds law graduate Kate Machon is the latest young professional to secure a training contract at Wilkinson Woodward.

Machon studied law at the University of Leeds and completed her master’s and legal practice course at the University of Law in 2018.

Having gained some initial experience at the firm as a student, Machon has now accepted a training contract with Wilkinson Woodward and will gain experience at its offices in Huddersfield, Brighouse and Halifax. She is due to qualify in October 2020.