New Partner Promotions Set the Scene for Year of Success at Yorkshire Law Firm

Leading law firm Ison Harrison has announced nine promotions across its network of Yorkshire offices.

Among the promotions from solicitor to partner are Ami Law, Gemma Vine, Magda Dakowicz, Tim Wilson, Simon Helliwell, Jessica Haigh, James Pascoe, Katrina Stapleton and Georgina Pogge-Von Strandman.

This latest round of promotions follows Ison Harrison’s successful transition to becoming entirely employee-owned at the beginning of 2022. 

Gemma Vine joined the firm as an experienced specialist inquest lawyer in 2020. She has played a key role in helping the firm develop a national reputation for inquest and civil liberties work and due to her profile and expertise, was instrumental in securing the firm’s recent Claims Against Public Authorities (CAPA) legal aid contract. Last year saw Gemma named in the Chambers Directory for her expertise as an inquest lawyer, further enhancing the firm’s reputation in this field.

Magda Dakowicz joined the new build team as a conveyancing assistant in 2016 and quickly rose through the ranks at several regional offices until taking on the responsibility of running the new build team based at the firm’s Leeds head office. Magda is a partner who deals with all aspects of residential sales, purchases and part-exchange matters, is fluent in Polish and committed to excellent client care.

Tim Wilson joined the firm in 1997 in what was then the firm’s largest team; the Road Traffic Accident team. In 2012, Tim changed direction to become a private client lawyer. Not only a well-established wills and probate fee-earner at the Crossgates office, he is respected and well-known across the firm having worked at various offices and teams throughout his career including head office and Morley. Tim’s promotion to partner is richly deserved after more than 25 years of dedication and commitment.

Simon Helliwell has been at the firm for over two decades, originally joining in 1999. He joined the personal injury team in 2004 and his approach to catastrophic injury and brain injury cases is second to none, consistently delivering the best results for his clients.  In 2021, he secured compensation in excess of £3 million for a client who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a road traffic accident. Simon accepted the case when it was close to the limitation date, after other firms had rejected the case as it was deemed too risky or complex.

Jessica Haigh joined the firm in August 2021 as an assistant solicitor working out of the Pontefract and Barnsley offices. Specialising in wills and probate, she is now based permanently in Barnsley. Having developed a very strong caseload since her arrival, Jess is one of the firm’s leading wills and probate lawyers who is helping raise the profile of the firm across the region by delivering first-class client service and a consistently strong financial performance.  

James Pascoe joined as a residential property lawyer in August 2017 and was the first person to start working from the Harrogate office when it opened in 2021. Already one of the firm’s ‘go to’ property lawyers within the residential conveyancing team, James’ key strength is the relationships he has forged with estate agents and mortgage advisers with whom he has worked for many years, establishing a solid reputation for both himself and the firm in Harrogate and beyond. 

Katrina Stapleton has been instrumental in supporting the clinical negligence team. Since joining in 2017, the performance of the division has gone from strength to strength and Katrina has played a key part in the department’s growth and success over the last seven years. She is also a standard bearer for wellbeing initiatives at the firm. The only non-lawyer promotion to partner in this latest round, this reflects her importance to the clinical negligence team and the firm as a whole.

Georgina Pogge-Von Strandman joined the residential property team in 2015 bringing several years of local and national experience into her role. Now branch manager of the Harrogate office, she quickly established the firm’s presence in the town and has grown the office into one of the firm’s best-performing regional branches.  

Ami Law joined the firm’s clinical negligence division in 2015. Ami has grown to become one of the most able litigators and clinical negligence lawyers on the team and was promoted to Associate last year. Ami has also taken the lead on successful business development on behalf of the Snappy Trust.

Ison Harrison, which has a network of eighteen offices throughout the region, was founded in 1978. Forty-six years later it now employs more than 250 staff across Yorkshire and offers the broadest suite of legal services in the region.

Commenting on the promotions, Jonathan Wearing, managing director said: “As we did last year, we’ve got off to a flying start for 2024 with a big round of strategic promotions that will give a huge boost to the continued growth of the business, exactly two years after becoming entirely employee owned. The past 12 months have seen an ongoing focus on the expansion of our commercial offering and specialist services for an ever-growing client base. Under our innovative employee-owned structure, the next 12 months should prove to be even more successful and eventful than the previous year. 

“These latest promotions follow the most successful year we’ve ever had. The contributions to the firm from the promoted individuals, some of whom have been with us over twenty years, are all well deserved. To begin the new year with nine partner promotions and strengthening our financial backbone demonstrates how the employee ownership model is truly benefiting the team as well as our clients.” 

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