Ward Hadaway hires Watson Burton commercial partner

Newcastle firm Ward Hadaway has turned to arch rival Watson Burton for the hire of commercial partner Mark Whitehead.

Whitehead was previously head of Watson Burton’s commercial team, head of its chemicals, pharmaceuticals and materials group and a member of its energy and utilities team.

He has 14 years’ experience working for clients including GDF Suez Energy, CE Electric, SABIC, Croda, Akzo Nobel and Ineos.

He also has a track record advising businesses in the renewables sector, including advising the National Renewable Energy Centre on renewable energy testing development projects.

Commenting on his appointment, Whitehead said: “I’ve been really impressed with how ambitious the firm is to grow its practice across the country and its ambition matches my own.”

Colin Hewitt, head of commercial law at Ward Hadaway, said: “Mark’s reputation in the energy, utilities, chemicals and pharmaceuticals sectors speaks for itself and he will bring an added dimension to the services we already offer to our clients.

“The fact that we’ve been able to recruit someone of his experience and standing in the market speaks volumes about the way in which Ward Hadaway is progressing as a firm and about our ambitions for the future.”

Whitehead is the 10th lawyer to join Ward Hadaway in the past nine months. Other hires have included regulatory partner Kirsty Gomersal, who joined from Cobbetts (9 March 2011), and public sector partner Karen Andrews, who joined from Trowers & Hamlins (7 June 2010).