Monday 30th November 2020
Home Weekly Business<br />E-newsletter ebusiness weekly news 01/04/2020

Merger extends law firm’s Suffolk reach with a second Ipswich office

Ellisons Solicitors is merging with Ipswich-based law firm Blocks Solicitors in a move which will see the firm expand in a range of service areas and gain a second office in the town. Ellisons has been keen to expand in Ipswich, particularly in the town centre, since establishing its base at Wherstead Park six years ago. Both Ipswich offices have existing business and personal service teams, specialising in areas which include; agriculture, wills, trust and probate, employment and HR, corporate and commercial, commercial property, dispute Resolution and residential property. Established in 1890, Blocks Solicitors is one Suffolk’s leading law firms and will bring a high level of complementary expertise into Ellisons. Current equity partners at Blocks, Andrew Fleming, who specialises in corporate and commercial as well commercial property, and Frances Barker, who specialises in employment law, will continue as partners. Guy Longhurst, managing partner at Ellisons, said: “Merging with such a reputable firm perfectly reflects Ellisons’ ethos of traditional values with modern, innovative working, providing our clients with the highest possible standard of service. This is of course an extremely challenging time for everybody, but Ellisons has helped its clients and colleagues through various crises during its 250 year history, and now look forward to supporting the clients, colleagues and contacts of Blocks.”

Andrew Fleming added: “There is a lot of synergy between Ellisons Solicitors and Blocks, and our service offerings and firm cultures are a near perfect match. I very much look forward to seeing what the future holds for Ellisons Solicitors incorporating Blocks, and its talented team.” The new office, on Arcade Street, will carry a new name - Ellisons Solicitors incorporating Blocks.

Photo: Tim Logan, Guy Longhurst and Seamus Clifford, Ellisons Solicitors

Cambridge firm see global rise in demand from key sectors

Cambridge-based Domino Printing is supporting vital sectors in the current crisis to maintain supply chains in the face of soaring demand for essential products. The company has seen a significant global rise in demand for its printing equipment, inks, consumables, spares and service support from manufacturers in key sectors such as healthcare, pharmaceutical, medical devices and food & beverage. Customers use Domino equipment to comply with government and industry regulations in these sectors, as well as print date and batch/traceability codes onto individual products, cases and pallets. In an audio interview with The Manufacturer magazine, Carl Haycock (right), Domino Printing’s operations director and global head of health and safety and manufacturing excellence, said: “Our staff have risen to the challenge brilliantly. All office personnel are now working from home and in terms of our production team, any people at high risk are self-isolating….We are fortunate in being able to respond smartly to the evolving situation as we have an agile supply chain with key assembly hubs close to our markets from which customers can be supplied with short lead-times. We are also able to hold significant stock of strategic items.”

Sale of flats marks completion of Colchester waterfront regeneration scheme

Buyers have acquired the last luxury flats on a £5m Colchester development which marks the final stage of the town's historic Hythe waterfront regeneration that started life before the last recession. Property and construction consultants Ingleton Wood worked with Heritage Developments to provide a a range of 37 apartments overlooking the River Colne in Ballantyne Drive, near the University of Essex. Alec Hunter, senior associate and architect at Ingleton Wood, said: “Colne View represents a very important development for Colchester and we were excited to use our experience and expertise to help complete the long-awaited sustainable revitalisation of The Hythe. We made use of modern light gauge steel construction to accelerate the project which has resulted in an energy-efficient and aesthetically pleasing building.” Planning approval was first granted in 2006 but the financial crash saw the collapse of progress. Ingleton Wood was appointed as architects almost a decade later in 2015 to help realise the original vision. The final phases of the eight-storey construction have now been finished.

See Profile Ingleton Wood


Business confidence plunges as virus takes its toll

Business confidence among firms in the East of England plunged by 25 points over the past month to just 1 per cent firms’ whilst confidence in their own business prospects was -8 per cent, down from 21 per cent in February, according to a business barometer from Lloyds Bank. Based on research from 2-16th March – before the lockdown took effect – it also showed economic optimism in the region fell by 22 points to 10 per cent. Nationally, confidence was recorded at -3 per cent, among the lowest levels  seen since the financial crisis. David Atkinson, regional director for the East of England at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “The impact of the virus was already being felt by East of England businesses before the social distancing measures were announced by the Government, so it is no surprise that the overall confidence and business prospects of firms across the region have dropped so significantly during the last month. As tough trading conditions continue to weigh heavily on businesses’ collective outlook, we can likely expect an even more subdued picture next month.”

Employment lawyer appointed deputy chair at LEP

Jeanette Wheeler, head of the employment law team at Birketts, has been appointed deputy chair of New Anglia LEP, taking over from Lindsey Rix. Jeanette Wheeler is a recent past president of the Norfolk and Norwich Law Society and a member of the University of East Anglia Council. She also currently sits on one of the Norfolk Chamber area councils and is a former chair of the Norwich Business Women’s Network. She said: “I am proud of the work done by the LEP board and look forward to increasing our contribution in these challenging times. During this unpredictable period, it remains vital for businesses and public sector leaders to work together to support those at every level of the professional community. As our current chair, chief executive and the LEP team seek to make the right decisions for Norfolk and Suffolk it is important to remember that after Coronavirus has passed, the work of the LEP is set to play an even more crucial role in helping businesses get back to full strength.”

See Profile Birketts

Law firm appoints two new associates

Ashtons Legal has appointed two new associates from the firm’s individual client services division. Louisa Bradberry (right) from the firm’s lifetime planning team in Norwich and Joanna Cotgrove (far, right) from the firm’s family law team in Cambridge have been promoted to associates having completed Ashtons’ Becoming an Effective Leader programme. Ashtons CEO Edward O’Rourke said: “It is always rewarding to be able to promote talented team members from within the firm and Louisa and Joanna are no exception. These appointments demonstrate the commitment we have to investing in the professional development of our staff and take the number of associates in the firm to 41. Together with our 35 partners, they are working to meet a wide range of legal needs across the region and beyond.”

See Profile Ashtons Legal

Law firm goes live with online instructions

Essex law firm Fisher Jones Greenwood has become the first UK law firm to introduce Settify – a website plug in and online portal to take instructions for both family law and wills & estates matters and which limits the need for initial face-to-face contact with clients. Settify involves a personalised, digital on-boarding platform for clients to answer a series of questions about their wishes, assets, and family in their own space and in their own time. Susanne Grimwade, partner and head of wills, life planning & probate at FJG, said: “In this current time of uncertainty we want to reduce any in person contact we have with our clients, but not stop communication completely, particularly with those who are most vulnerable. Over the past few weeks we have inevitably seen a rise in estate planning queries and Settify allows clients to instruct a solicitor, access documents and track case progress on a new matter all from their own home. We know we need to change the way in which we work for the foreseeable future and Settify bridges this gap”.

See Profile FJG

New platform to help offshore wind firms limit impact of virus

A new platform to limit the impact of the virus on the offshore wind supply chain has gone online. The free communication and knowledge-sharing forum calls for the sector to adopt a “supply chain mindset” during the crisis and invites businesses from the supply chain, developers and industry bodies to take part in open communications. Rachel Moore, CEO of TMS Media, said: “The UK leads the world in the development of offshore wind and is dependent on its highly-skilled, flexible and proactive supply chain…. Survival of these companies is key to the development pipeline, energy transition, UK energy security and our economy, especially the regeneration of our coastal communities.”

Norwich firms launch website to help parents during lockdown

A new website that is home to hundreds of free resources to help parents keep their children occupied during the Covid19 lockdown has been launched by two Norwich-based businesses. Home huddle (, has been developed and built by agency Creative Sponge and web developers GRIT Digital and lists over 100 websites offering free educational, creative, and fun activities – all categorised and searchable. The site is the idea of Creative Sponge’s managing director Nikki Lamb and creative director Michelle Williams, both parents to two primary school aged children. Nikki Lamb said: “Home huddle is our way of making things easier for parents. It’s a home for all the brilliant resources that are out there to keep your kids inspired and happy once their schoolwork has been done.”

See Profile Creative Sponge

Accreditations for cleaning tech solutions firm

Industrial cleaning services firm Tube Tech International has received three ISO accreditations following an ISO audit at its hq in Rayleigh, Essex. The accreditations have been awarded for the provision of specialised industrial cleaning services and apply to the company’s research and development into robotic cleaning technology solutions. They are:  ISO 9001:2015 accreditation for Quality Management Systems;  ISO 14001:2015 accreditation for Environmental Management Systems and  ISO 45001:2018 for Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems. Managing director at Tube Tech International Jon Camp said: “Receiving these accreditations is a fantastic achievement for everyone at Tube Tech. It represents our commitments to quality, environmental and occupational health and safety management, all of which have been part of the DNA at Tube Tech since the conception of the company.”