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Connect Yorkshire Partner and Leeds-based law firm Clarion has made eight promotions.

Alex Cooper, Andrea Unwin, Charlie Smith, Estelle Oates, Kayleigh Fantoni and Sarah Harrison have all been promoted from senior associates to legal directors. Grace Allison and Stephanie Jameson become senior associates.

Roger Hutton, joint managing partner, said: “During what has been an extremely busy 12 months for us, we are proud the team has pulled together to provide a seamless service for our clients.

“It’s particularly pleasing to see so many of our lawyers rising through the ranks and progressing their careers with Clarion.

“Our congratulations to the hard working and talented people recognised in this year’s round of promotions.”

With 15 years’ experience, Cooper is a valued member of Clarion’s corporate team who has led on high profile and complex matters and has developed a specialism in joint ventures, working closely with the banking and real estate teams.

Unwin joined the banking and finance team in 2019, bringing strong technical and organisational skills as well as high standards of client care.

She has been the lead lawyer on a number of complex instructions, acting for key lender clients and borrowers, and has been recognised in the Legal 500 as a ‘key lawyer’. She specialises in leveraged finance and provides corporate and real estate finance support on transactions.

Over the last two years with Clarion, Smith has led on a number of highly technical and complex matters, with a focus on outsourcing projects.

She also shares her knowledge and experience by supervising juniors and delivering client training and external seminars.

Oates is one of Clarion’s home-grown talents, having trained with the firm. She has established a pivotal role in the business restructuring and insolvency team, managing, mentoring and supervising junior colleagues both within her own team and in the wider firm.

She is a technically solid lawyer and has been involved in a number of complex insolvencies and successful antecedent transaction claims.

Fantoni has added her leadership abilities to the commercial dispute resolution (CDR) team, managing junior members and mentoring others.

She plays an active role in the wider business as well as having a loyal client following.

Having completed her training with Clarion in 2014, Harrison has gone on to become a well-regarded technical lawyer, taking the lead in some major client deals for the corporate practice.

She has significant experience in transactions in the media sector as well as expertise advising clients on investments, group restructures, Enterprise Management Incentive schemes and family investment companies.

Real estate lawyer Allison has been promoted to senior associate in recognition of her strong technical skills, running transactions with minimum supervision and her passion for providing excellent client service.

She has developed a specialism in supporting clients in the fitness and leisure sectors as well as acting for a number of key regional developers.

Since joining the firm’s CDR practice in 2019, Jameson has quickly become a key member of the Clarion team, providing exceptional client service and commercially focused advice.

Her promotion to senior associate recognises her invaluable contributions to the business.


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