Ward Hadaway lawyer elected to CBI regional council
3rd January, 2017
A CORPORATE lawyer in the Manchester office of law firm Ward Hadaway has been elected on to the regional council of business organisation, the CBI.
Melanie Yeomans (pictured), a Partner in the Corporate team at the Top 100 UK law firm, starts a three-year term as a member of the CBI North West Regional Council this month.
Melanie was appointed following a closely contested election in which CBI members across the North West voted.
A Corporate lawyer with more than 20 years’ specialist experience, Melanie has been involved in CBI activities in the region for a number of years.
Since 2011, she has been Ward Hadaway’s Manchester office representative for CBI matters, participating in local discussion groups (including its Entrepreneurs Club), representing the office at presentations and seminars both locally and nationally and hosting events in the office.
Melanie has also represented Ward Hadaway at the annual CBI Conference in London for the last three years.
In her new role, Melanie will be part of a network of more than 600 senior business executives that play a leading role in influencing the UK policy landscape at a devolved, regional and national level.
Amongst other things, CBI regional councillors provide strategic advice on issues concerning or impacting on business, ensure that the needs of business in the region and our views on local issues are properly understood and represented and promote the wider interests and welfare of industry and commerce.
Speaking about her election, Melanie said: “I am delighted to have received the backing of fellow CBI members to be appointed to the regional council.
“Given my growing involvement in its activities and witnessing what a key role the CBI plays in influencing policy and acting as a voice for businesses both large and small, it was a natural step to put myself forward but to be elected is fantastic.
“I am now looking forward to working with my fellow councillors and addressing some of the pressing issues facing businesses right across the region.”
At Ward Hadaway, Melanie specialises in advising both investors and management teams on private equity and venture capital investments with a particular expertise in the life sciences sector and regularly advises clients on acquisitions, disposals and the reorganisation of companies and businesses.
Melanie said: “My day to day dealings with a client base of largely owner-managed businesses and SMEs mean that I regularly witness at first hand the issues being faced by businesses be it as they look for ways to grow and expand through funding, or engagement of a skilled workforce or gaining access to new markets.
“At Ward Hadaway, we strive to be involved in our clients’ businesses in a way that is much more than the pure legal function.
“It is key to our work with clients that we appreciate the issues they are facing, not just for the immediate matters in hand but so that we can anticipate ways we might assist them ahead of time.
“In my role as a CBI regional councillor I will make sure that the issues we see regularly impacting clients’ businesses are brought to the table for discussion and it will be interesting to gain the insight and experience of fellow councillors.”
Dealing with the consequences of Brexit and where businesses in the North West fit into the devolution agenda are identified by Melanie as amongst the key issues being faced by companies in the region.
She said: “It goes without saying that ensuring businesses are positioned to deal with the impact on Brexit will be key.
“But at the same time, we must ensure that the North West remains a priority for this government and that the Northern Powerhouse agenda doesn’t get sidelined as Brexit issues take over.
“We must ensure that the North West receives the funding it needs to keep and attract the best businesses, to capitalise on the fabulous universities we have in the region as businesses seek to spin-out and to attract and retain the best people.”
Jamie Martin, managing partner at Ward Hadaway and a former regional chairman of the CBI in the North East, said: “It is terrific to see Melanie elected on to the CBI regional council and I am sure she will do an excellent job representing the needs and concerns of businesses across the North West.
“As a firm, Ward Hadaway has a long association with the CBI and this latest appointment will serve to further strengthen the relationship which we have with the organisation and its members.”
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