Womble Bond Dickinson welcomes new partners to support North East growth
June 10, 2022
Law firm Womble Bond Dickinson has welcomed three partners to its senior team, who are now providing crucial support to help the North East, and its many organisations, secure further growth.
With an upcoming move into new offices in the heart of Newcastle’s innovation district, Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) is cementing its reputation as one of the region’s most forward-thinking and dynamic law firms.
Strengthening its already impressive offering in the region, the firm has recently welcomed three Newcastle-based partners to its senior team; Stacey Hall, Sarah Daun and Gavin Ellison.
Stacey predominantly focuses on corporate transactional work, with a wealth of experience advising serial acquirers, owner-managers and investors, and has been involved in some of the region’s leading deals.
Stacey has seen first-hand what the region offers potential investors from across the globe.
She says: “Recently, we’ve been particularly busy in the tech space, both regionally and further afield, with investors very interested in this sector.
“The new Helix site will put us at the heart of Newcastle’s emerging life sciences and tech hub, where we will be ideally placed to support clients in these spaces.”
For Stacey, who has worked on a series of multi-jurisdictional transactions over the past 12 months, Newcastle represents a major opportunity for growth for businesses, both at home and abroad.
She says: “Inward investment, including foreign investment, into the region is a key focus for WBD – we want to support businesses looking to move into our region, as well as those existing companies expanding and growing here.
“On a local level, HMRC moving 9000 employees into the city centre will bring a great boost to businesses and is a commitment to retaining significant employment in the region.”
The firm’s expertise in these areas is particularly relevant to Sarah, who specialises in privacy law and commercial contracts with an emphasis on working with manufacturing sector clients.
Sarah works across the region but is particularly involved on Teesside.
She says: “There’s an awful lot happening on Teesside generally; there’s the freeport, there’s the Centre for Digital Trade and Innovation, and there are all the developments around the airport.
“It’s a very happening area, and lots of our clients are primed to capitalise on that.
“There’s a real link between Teesside, international trade and digital.
“A lot of the manufacturers on Teesside trade internationally, and are owned by companies that are overseas, and the freeport is all about increasing inward investment and trade into and out of the North East.
“And from our office at the Wilton Centre, we are able to offer clients advice locally while tapping into our national and international expertise.”
With companies from all over the world looking to the North East as a new base of operations, there is a real need for these businesses to offer competitive packages to attract the best talent the region has to offer.
As part of this, employers need to effectively manage the cost of their pension scheme liabilities to remain competitive in the market. Gavin has more than 15 years’ experience acting for trustees and employers on pensions law.
He works with a number of international clients based in the North East and beyond, helping them formulate and progress benefit restructuring and transition management exercises for a combination of defined benefit, hybrid and defined contribution schemes.
He says: “As a North East–based team, I am really proud of what we have achieved throughout the region and beyond in supporting employers to manage their pension scheme liabilities and in helping trustees protect members’ interests.
“As a newly–promoted partner, I’m excited to be working with key stakeholders from the region’s pensions landscape on sharing best practice and pushing forward change.”
The internationally attractive and diverse nature of the North East business landscape means a wealth of expertise across multiple areas is needed – and for Stacey, Sarah and Gavin, WBD is the ideal firm to support the growth and prosperity of the region.
For Stacey, the firm offers a delicate but crucial balance.
She says: “WBD offers local expertise – but with the outlook and capability offered by our transatlantic reach and international network.
“We’re committed to the region with strong local ties and are able to support our region’s businesses to deliver on their aspirations with our strength and depth of knowledge and experience, which reaches across jurisdictions.”
Sarah agrees, saying: “WBD can offer a mix of unrivalled manufacturing sector knowledge combined with in-depth tech and data expertise, and an understanding of how new technologies are applied in the sector, enabling businesses to enhance their productivity and meet their net–zero targets.”
Gavin says: “WBD works strategically with businesses across a range of sectors within the region to de-risk significant final salary pension scheme liabilities, helping employers to save costs and remain competitive in the market.”
Nigel Emmerson, WBD’s head of office for Newcastle, adds: “We are delighted with the promotions of Stacey, Sarah and Gavin.
“They are all quality lawyers, who will add to our strength in the Newcastle office.
“Newcastle and the wider North East continues to push forward with momentum building, and these promotions will all help us play our part in driving the region forward.”