TOTUM PARTNERS

Our Judging Panel​

Meet our Judging Panel.

Our judges for Totum’s Rising Star Awards represents the very best in business services expertise from across the professional services sector. They will assess the shortlist, making the final decision before we announce our Rising Star Award winner on 13th February 2024.

Finance

Bob Granger

Finance Director

Trudie Gunter

Head of Client Financial Decision Support

Bob’s career has spanned Big4 with PWC, Technology with Vodafone, Hospitality with Mill House Inns Plc, Retail with Lakeland – and for the last 6 years he has been the Finance Director at Weightmans LLP a top 50 law firm. Bob is incredibly proud of the award-winning finance team at Weightmans, and is a keen supporter of helping people reach their dreams.

Trudie holds the position of Head of Client Financial Decision Support at Norton Rose Fulbright, boasting an illustrious career in the legal sector. Her professional journey includes notable roles at high profile law firms such as Pinsent Masons, Clifford Chance, and Ashurst. Renowned for her ability to nurture and guide staff, Trudie has earned a stellar reputation for aiding her teams in their career advancement.

Natasha Owoh

Finance Director

Scott Wallace

Director of Finance

Natasha holds the position of UK Finance Director at Bird and Bird, a prominent international law firm. She has a wealth of experience in the legal sector having also worked at Eversheds and Herbert Smith Freehills. Natasha has traversed the full career cycle having initially started as a Commercial Accountant and advancing to her present role as Finance Director. She is committed to her team’s personal development whilst raising the profile of business services and is a key advocate of empowering women in the workplace.

Scott is the recently appointed Director of Business Finance at DAC Beachcroft (DACB), an international law firm, and brings a wealth of legal sector finance experience. Before joining DACB, he served as the Chief Finance Officer and was a member of the Executive Board at BDB Pitmans. Scott’s extensive background in the legal sector began with his transition from Big 4 audit to Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF), where during his near decade long tenure he played a crucial role as a member of the NRF EMEA Finance Leadership team. He actively contributed to shaping and implementing the strategic vision for the EMEA finance function.

Jo Woods

Chief Finance Officer

Jo is the Chief Finance Officer for Kennedys Law LLP. She has had a career that spans professional services (as both a fee earner and in business services), media and research sectors. As a non-executive she has been on the board at Kingston University. She’s spent a lot of time working with and transforming finance teams to meet the challenges of the businesses that are their clients and as part of that passionate in seeing new talent develop and thrive.

Finance

Bob Granger

Finance Director

Bob’s career has spanned Big4 with PWC, Technology with Vodafone, Hospitality with Mill House Inns Plc, Retail with Lakeland – and for the last 6 years he has been the Finance Director at Weightmans LLP a top 50 law firm. Bob is incredibly proud of the award-winning finance team at Weightmans, and is a keen supporter of helping people reach their dreams.

Trudie Gunter

Head of Client Financial Decision Support

Trudie holds the position of Head of Client Financial Decision Support at Norton Rose Fulbright, boasting an illustrious career in the legal sector. Her professional journey includes notable roles at esteemed law firms such as Pinsent Masons, Clifford Chance, and Ashurst. Renowned for her ability to nurture and guide staff, Trudie has earned a stellar reputation for aiding her teams in their career advancement.

Natasha Owoh

Finance Director

Natasha holds the position of UK Finance Director at Bird and Bird, a prominent international law firm. She has a wealth of experience in the legal sector having also worked at Eversheds and Herbert Smith Freehills. Natasha has traversed the full career cycle having initially started as a Commercial Accountant and advancing to her present role as Finance Director. She is committed to her team’s personal development whilst raising the profile of business services and is a key advocate of empowering women in the workplace.

Scott Wallace

Director of Finance

Scott is the recently appointed Director of Business Finance at DAC Beachcroft (DACB), an international law firm, and brings a wealth of legal sector finance experience. Before joining DACB, he served as the Chief Finance Officer and was a member of the Executive Board at BDB Pitmans. Scott’s extensive background in the legal sector began with his transition from Big 4 audit to Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF), where during his near decade long tenure he played a crucial role as a member of the NRF EMEA Finance Leadership team. He actively contributed to shaping and implementing the strategic vision for the EMEA finance function.

Jo Woods

Chief Finance Officer

Jo is the Chief Finance Officer for Kennedys Law LLP. She has had a career that spans professional services (as both a fee earner and in business services), media and research sectors. As a non-executive she has been on the board at Kingston University. She’s spent a lot of time working with and transforming finance teams to meet the challenges of the businesses that are their clients and as part of that passionate in seeing new talent develop and thrive.

People & HR

Alan Demirkaya

Chief People Officer

Felix Hebblethwaite

Group HR Director

Alan is Kennedys Chief People Officer. He leads of a team of professionals that span UK, Europe & Middle East, the Americas and Asia Pacific. Alan sets the HR strategy advising the business on all aspects of the people agenda including people policies, benefits, recruitment, talent and performance management, learning and development, wellbeing, diversity, equity & inclusion and responsible business.

Alan has run change and transformation programmes including merger integrations, and has partnered with senior leaders to develop people strategies including compensation and reward programmes, succession planning and talent mapping, performance management frameworks and has led culture and D&I initiatives. 

Felix Hebblethwaite is the Group HR Director and member of the Board at Foot Anstey. Felix oversees the HR function, which is responsible for delivering the people elements of the firm’s strategy and for championing an inclusive culture that ensures talented people succeed.

Felix is a strategic thinker with a track record for delivering positive change within a partnership environment. He is particularly focused on pursuing the firm’s growth ambitions and navigating what continues to be a fiercely competitive market for talent.

Felix is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Carly Hubbard

People & Culture Director

Shahnaz Begum

Divisional Head of HR

Carly Hubbard joined Harbottle & Lewis as the Firm’s People & Culture Director in February 2023 with almost 20 years of HR experience gained in businesses across the City and internationally.

Having worked in the legal sector in other international firms since 2007, Carly brings extensive experience in designing and delivering people strategy, alongside a passion for employee engagement, health and wellbeing, talent management and reward.

In her role, Carly is responsible for HR, Graduate Recruitment, DEI and Learning & Development, and strives to ensure the people strategy aligns with the culture; accelerates change; and supports the delivery of excellence. 

Shahnaz is an experienced HR professional currently working for the Corporate Division at Linklaters.  Shahnaz’s role is focussed on ensuring the successful delivery of Linklaters People strategy, concentrating on DE&I, Reward, Wellbeing and Talent Management, which feeds into the strategic success of the business. Alongside this, her personal interests are focussed on increasing diversity and social mobility into the legal profession through coaching, mentoring and acting as a Champion to help build on the success of the Linklaters Race Action Plan. 

Shahnaz’s career has been focussed in the legal sector and began in-house in 2008, managing the UK Graduate Recruitment programme at a successful London based US firm.  Shahnaz completed her Masters in HR Management in 2012.

People & HR

Alan Demirkaya

Chief People Officer

Alan is Kennedys Chief People Officer. He leads of a team of professionals that span UK, Europe & Middle East, the Americas and Asia Pacific. Alan sets the HR strategy advising the business on all aspects of the people agenda including people policies, benefits, recruitment, talent and performance management, learning and development, wellbeing, diversity, equity & inclusion and responsible business.

Alan has run change and transformation programmes including merger integrations, and has partnered with senior leaders to develop people strategies including compensation and reward programmes, succession planning and talent mapping, performance management frameworks and has led culture and D&I initiatives. 

Felix Hebblethwaite

Head of Global Client Development

Felix Hebblethwaite is the Group HR Director and member of the Board at Foot Anstey. Felix oversees the HR function, which is responsible for delivering the people elements of the firm’s strategy and for championing an inclusive culture that ensures talented people succeed.

Felix is a strategic thinker with a track record for delivering positive change within a partnership environment. He is particularly focused on pursuing the firm’s growth ambitions and navigating what continues to be a fiercely competitive market for talent.

Felix is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

Carly Hubbard

People & Culture Director

Carly Hubbard joined Harbottle & Lewis as the Firm’s People & Culture Director in February 2023 with almost 20 years of HR experience gained in businesses across the City and internationally.

Having worked in the legal sector in other international firms since 2007, Carly brings extensive experience in designing and delivering people strategy, alongside a passion for employee engagement, health and wellbeing, talent management and reward.

In her role, Carly is responsible for HR, Graduate Recruitment, DEI and Learning & Development, and strives to ensure the people strategy aligns with the culture; accelerates change; and supports the delivery of excellence.

Shahnaz Begum

Divisional Head of HR

Shahnaz is an experienced HR professional currently working for the Corporate Division at Linklaters.  Shahnaz’s role is focussed on ensuring the successful delivery of Linklaters People strategy, concentrating on DE&I, Reward, Wellbeing and Talent Management, which feeds into the strategic success of the business. Alongside this, her personal interests are focussed on increasing diversity and social mobility into the legal profession through coaching, mentoring and acting as a Champion to help build on the success of the Linklaters Race Action Plan. 

Shahnaz’s career has been focussed in the legal sector and began in-house in 2008, managing the UK Graduate Recruitment programme at a successful London based US firm.  Shahnaz completed her Masters in HR Management in 2012.

BD & Marketing

Rajmeena Aujla

Head of Communications

Rhys Calcott

Co-Head of Global Client Development

Rajmeena is Head of Communications at Charles Russell Speechlys. Her deep-rooted passion for digital multimedia, corporate storytelling, stakeholder engagement, media training, digital and social media content creation, media relations, c-suite level profiling, and crisis communications has enabled her to build robust client and employee relationships. 

Before joining Charles Russell Speechlys, Rajmeena honed her expertise in PR agencies, working with a diverse clientele spanning corporate, financial services, and professional services. She later transitioned in-house, contributing her talents to Eversheds and PA Consulting.

Rhys Calcott is a business development and marketing professional at Slaughter and May with broad and varied experience gained from working in professional services for over 10 years. Rhys co-leads a large team tasked with retaining and growing client relationships, identifying new business opportunities and winning work globally.

Rhys has a proven track record of delivering successful client initiatives, including running key client programmes. With a clear passion for marketing and BD, Rhys is highly driven and thrives on the development and success of his BD teams.

Sean Murtagh

Director, Bids & Pursuits

Manjit Sanghera

Global Head of BD & Marketing

Sean is a director at BDO LLP and leads the Bids & Pursuits team, supporting the firm’s largest and most strategically important opportunities. He is also a member of the Markets, Sales & Clients leadership team, working closely with the CMO on shaping strategy and delivering impact.

Previously, Sean spent 17 years with Deloitte LLP in a variety of positions covering marketing, sales, account management and bids in both sector-aligned and service-aligned roles. For the last 8 years with the firm, Sean was part of the Clients & Markets Leadership team. Sean is passionate about client centricity and ‘winning’ in the marketplace.

Manjit Sanghera, Global Head of BD & Marketing Operations at Linklaters, has over 15 years’ experience working in the marketing tech space, introducing business efficiencies and leading large teams.

Manjit has had a successful career, working her way up to a leadership position after joining as an Advisor in 2011. She’s a strong DEI advocate and has led a number of key initiatives in this space to help drive positive change.

Gemma Vaites

Director of BD & Marketing

Gemma is BD & Marketing Director at Capsticks, leading a team that covers bids, business development, events, PR and communications.  Gemma works closely with the senior leadership team to design, shape and help lead the firm’s strategy.  The firm’s clients all work to make a difference and include the NHS, social housing providers, local authorities and regulators. 

Gemma’s team recently delivered a brand re-fresh, client survey and introduced OnePlace to the firm.  The team are currently delivering a change project around the role of the ‘Client Account Lead,’ working with legal and business services teams to improve client experience.

Previously, Gemma spent 8 years in the Property industry in London and Sydney, working with public and private sector clients.

BD & Marketing

Rajmeena Aujla

Head of Communications

Rajmeena is Head of Communications at Charles Russell Speechlys. Her deep-rooted passion for digital multimedia, corporate storytelling, stakeholder engagement, media training, digital and social media content creation, media relations, c-suite level profiling, and crisis communications has enabled her to build robust client and employee relationships. 

Before joining Charles Russell Speechlys, Rajmeena honed her expertise in PR agencies, working with a diverse clientele spanning corporate, financial services, and professional services. She later transitioned in-house, contributing her talents to Eversheds and PA Consulting.

Rhys Calcott

Head of Global Client Development

Rhys Calcott is a business development and marketing professional at Slaughter and May with broad and varied experience gained from working in professional services for over 10 years. Rhys co-leads a large team tasked with retaining and growing client relationships, identifying new business opportunities and winning work globally.

Rhys has a proven track record of delivering successful client initiatives, including running key client programmes. With a clear passion for marketing and BD, Rhys is highly driven and thrives on the development and success of his BD teams.

Sean Murtagh

Director, Bids & Pursuits

Sean is a director at BDO LLP and leads the Bids & Pursuits team, supporting the firm’s largest and most strategically important opportunities. He is also a member of the Markets, Sales & Clients leadership team, working closely with the CMO on shaping strategy and delivering impact.

Previously, Sean spent 17 years with Deloitte LLP in a variety of positions covering marketing, sales, account management and bids in both sector-aligned and service-aligned roles. For the last 8 years with the firm, Sean was part of the Clients & Markets Leadership team. Sean is passionate about client centricity and ‘winning’ in the marketplace.

Manjit Sanghera

Global Head of BD & Marketing

Manjit Sanghera, Global Head of BD & Marketing Operations at Linklaters, has over 15 years’ experience working in the marketing tech space, introducing business efficiencies and leading large teams.

Manjit has had a successful career, working her way up to a leadership position after joining as an Advisor in 2011. She’s a strong DEI advocate and has led a number of key initiatives in this space to help drive positive change.  

Gemma Vaites

Director of BD & Marketing

Gemma is BD & Marketing Director at Capsticks, leading a team that covers bids, business development, events, PR and communications.  Gemma works closely with the senior leadership team to design, shape and help lead the firm’s strategy.  The firm’s clients all work to make a difference and include the NHS, social housing providers, local authorities and regulators. 

Gemma’s team recently delivered a brand re-fresh, client survey and introduced OnePlace to the firm.  The team are currently delivering a change project around the role of the ‘Client Account Lead,’ working with legal and business services teams to improve client experience.

Previously, Gemma spent 8 years in the Property industry in London and Sydney, working with public and private sector clients.