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12th June 2019
Heather Payne joins FirstPort as Chief Technology Officer
Heather Payne joins FirstPort as Chief Technology Officer

Residential property management company FirstPort has appointed Heather Payne as Chief Technology Officer. She will be responsible for FirstPort’s digital transformation programme.

Nigel Howell, Chief Executive, FirstPort, said: “Unlocking the business’s digital capabilities across mobile and online applications is key to our future success. We’re very pleased Heather will join our Executive leadership team, adding her expertise in customer experience to the residential property management sector.”

Commenting on her appointment Heather Payne said: “In my first few weeks with FirstPort I have had the pleasure of working with a knowledgeable, enthusiastic and future focused team. I am excited to make Nigel's ambitious strategy a reality by helping the business to grow, through improvements in ways of working enabled through technology”.

Heather has spent her whole career successfully delivering digital transformation across multiple sectors. She was previously Chief Technology Officer at Avon Cosmetics responsible for technical delivery, innovation, information security and enterprise architecture, including unlocking the business’s digital and e-commerce capabilities across mobile and online applications. 

Prior to Avon, Heather held roles as CTO of Engineering at DMG Media, and Group Head of Software Development and Head of IT  at Thomas Cook Group and Hotels 4U. 

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4th June 2019
Bishop & Sewell Legal Research Award Winner Announced
Bishop & Sewell Legal Research Award Winner Announced

Winner, Marianne Johnson (centre) with runners-up Alex Braune (left) and Matthew Manso de Zuniga (right).

The inaugural Bishop & Sewell Legal Research Awards, held in partnership with City Law School, took place on 28th May at the firm's Russell Square offices. Open to all LPC students at City Law School, contestants were invited to submit a legal research memorandum answering questions based on a well-known copyright case and then 5 finalists went before a panel of judges to present their findings. The finalists were also given the opportunity to talk informally to staff about a career in Law.

The judges were very impressed with the high calibre of the finalists and were unanimous in awarding first place to Marianne Johnson who won a cash prize and a week's work experience at the Bishop & Sewell. Runners up were Matthew Manso de Zuniga and Alex Braune.

Marianne Johnson, Winner of the Legal Research Award, said:

“The competition was a chance to test the Legal Research and Writing skills I have learnt on the LPC regarding a fun fact pattern but challenging area of law. Having to think practically about the client's objectives forced me to go further in my research by including commercial as well as legal considerations. Having presented the research, I now feel more confident proposing my findings, and have gained valuable insight into the type of research tasks I will have to deal with in practice.“

Michael Gillman, Partner at Bishop & Sewell, commented:

“While access to information in the digital age has been made much easier, legal research remains an important skill which any aspiring lawyer needs to master. We are delighted to be working with City Law School to not only help students apply the skills they are learning but to also give them the chance to connect with our colleagues and become more informed about following a career in Law.”

James Catchpole, Director of the Legal Practice Course at City Law School, added:

"The City Law School heartily congratulates Marianne Johnson on being the recipient of the inaugural Bishop & Sewell Legal Research Award. As one of the UK's premier institutions of legal education, City Law School is delighted to be partnering with Bishop & Sewell to refine the vital research skills of legal professionals in anticipation of the new Solicitor's Qualification Examination (SQE)."

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