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New executive team to lead Napthens

Regional law firm Napthens solicitors has unveiled a new executive team, including the external appointment of David Cole as non-executive chairman, which will oversee and steer the firm’s strategy and growth plans.

David will lead the firm’s new executive board and brings with him significant experience in managing and developing SMEs and owner-managed businesses.

He oversaw the development of pharmacy business, L Rowland & Co to become the largest family-owned business in the sector, 3rd largest wholesaler and 4th largest pharmacy operator in the UK, before negotiating its sale to the German healthcare group Phoenix.

Working with David is John Whittingslow, who has been with Napthens since 2006 and becomes CEO of the firm, which operates offices in Preston, Blackburn, Blackpool and Penrith.

The executive team will include Simon Ainsworth, head of the firm’s Private Client division which incorporates the Family, Wills & Estate Planning, Wealth Management and Residential Property teams. Simon joined Napthens in 2007 following its merger with Wallwork & Co.

Keith Melling, as head of Commercial Division, will oversee the Corporate department, including the Business Recovery and tax services, Employment and Litigation. He joined Napthens from a national law firm in 2009.

James Allison, who joined in 2008 from Pannone becomes head of the newly-created Real Estate division, which incorporates Commercial Property, Leisure & Licensing, Construction and Rural.

Shru Morris, who joined Napthens in 2014, also joins the executive team. Having spent the early part of her career at Baker Tilly, Shru went on to gain experience in the legal sector with Weightmans before joining Napthens. She is a qualified Chartered Accountant and as Director of Finance she has overall responsibility for the firm’s strategic and operational financial management.

John Whittingslow, CEO, said: “David’s appointment is a significant coup for the firm and his experience will play a key role in how we will grow from a sound business foundation with the delivery of high quality, specialist services to meet our clients’ evolving needs.

“Our long-held objective is to be the region’s pre-eminent law firm, representing ambitious and innovative businesses and individuals while employing the best people in our industry. The new executive team will give us the structure and drive to achieve this.

“While the legal industry has experienced significant change over recent years, it has presented Napthens with new opportunities. We are a strong and ambitious business and while we continue to build a regional presence we are committed to our local markets and this remains a focal point for us in relation to our growth plans.”

Executive Team - Napthens