Wilsons announce latest promotions

1 May 2021

We are delighted to announce the following promotions effective from 1 May 2021:

Michael Ellis – promoted to Partner

Mike trained at a firm in Poole, Dorset, qualifying in October 2007. He joined our Litigation team in March 2010 to work with Mike Parker, Peter Bourke and Ben Thornton. After a brief spell at a Southampton firm (2014 to 2016), Mike re-joined the team and has since focussed on commercial property landlord and tenant disputes, also dealing with property related disputes including those relating to rights of way, land registration, residential property and insolvency. During lockdown, Mike has been a regular contributor to the firm's website and he is looking forward to strengthening the firm's commercial property litigation offering.
Jen Martindale – promoted to Partner
Jen joined the Litigation team on qualification in 2007, having trained with us, and also having worked in the Accounts team for a year in 2002-2003. Jen has technical expertise in various areas of litigation, including contractual disputes, director/shareholder disputes, post-termination restriction disputes, debt recovery, TOLATA and Town/Village
Greens. Jen is also expert in procedural matters such as CPR Part 36, and costs budgeting/recovery. 
Tim Olliff-Lee – promoted to Partner
Tim joined Wilsons as a trainee solicitor in 2013, qualifying in 2015, after a 14 year career as a rural chartered surveyor. He acts mainly for private client farmers and landowners on large (and sometimes very large) estate sales and purchases, on renewable energy arrangements such as solar farms and battery storage and in connection with agricultural tenancies. He builds strong relationships with clients who appreciate his technical legal expertise coupled with the additional insight which his dual qualification as a surveyor brings. Tim is a key member of the Property team - he is knowledgeable, helpful and approachable, which means his expertise is much sought after (also amongst his colleagues). Tim is a regular speaker at all sorts of surveying and rural events.
Jessica May – promoted to Senior Associate
Jess joined us as an associate in March 2017 and advises charities and individuals on (mainly) contentious probate matters with some trust disputes as well. Jess has a particular area of interest in capacity disputes. She is popular with clients and colleagues alike.
Kate Penn – promoted to Senior Associate
Kate joined us in September 2012 as a trainee solicitor. In September 2014, she qualified as a solicitor in the Residential team. This will be Kate's second promotion with Wilsons - it recognises her ability with clients, her technical expertise and knowledge, as well as her sheer hard work. 
Sue Pritchett – promoted to Senior Associate
Sue originally qualified as a valuer and auctioneer. She has been with Wilsons since the mid-1990s, starting as an Executive Secretary before retraining and qualifying as a Licensed Conveyancer. Sue works with several large estates on various issues including their title matters and their day to day property management. Sue's promotion recognises her extraordinary work ethic, her encyclopaedic knowledge of the Estates she works with, the relationship she has built with her clients, and her unfailing team work.
Sophia Zand – promoted to Senior Associate
Sophia joined Wilsons as a trainee in 2012 and qualified into the Employment team in 2014. Between March 2017 and August 2018 she worked for ASB Law LLP in Crawley before re-joining the firm. Sophia provides commercial and strategic advice to a range of employers on a wide variety of employment matters including contracts, handbooks, restructures and redundancies, complex exits and grievance and disciplinary matters. Experienced in Employment Tribunal proceedings, she defends businesses in a broad range of claims including unfair dismissal, discrimination and breach of contract. She has particular expertise in advising independent schools considering withdrawal from the Teachers' Pension Scheme.  Sophia regularly speaks at the firm's HR and Trustee Training events.
Natasha Letchford – promoted to Associate Solicitor
Natasha qualified into our Employment team in 2017, after completing her training contract with us. She supports a variety of employer clients (including charities, schools and individuals) on issues including absence management, disciplinary matters, grievances and employment documentation such as contracts and handbooks, as well acting in Employment Tribunal claims and advising employees on settlement agreements. Natasha has developed a particular expertise in data protection law, particularly the GDPR/Data Protection Act 2018 and regularly advises clients on data protection issues in the employment context.
Ben Smith – promoted to Associate Solicitor
Since qualifying with Wilsons as a solicitor in 2017, Ben has also qualified as a member of the Association of Tax Technicians and he is currently undertaking the exceptionally difficult Chartered Tax Adviser qualification. Although Ben covers the full range of tax planning and trust work, his main areas of work are tax planning for business owners and stamp duty land tax. 
Annie Wills – promoted to Associate Solicitor
Annie joined us in September 2018 having qualified in September 2017. She has a wide repertoire in almost all aspects of our property work, including farming arrangements, the myriad complications that can arise on estates, some overage and development issues and more general commercial matters - assisting everyone in the team.  

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