Judging takes place for the 21st Walker Morris Children’s Charity Calendar Competition

Judges Dean Poole, Ashley Jackson and David Smedley

Judging has taken place for the law firm’s 21st anniversary Children’s Charity Calendar Competition.

Primary school children from across the Yorkshire, Humber and North East Lincolnshire regions, have displayed their fantastic artistic talents by painting pictures that depicted their favourite month of the year.  Winning entries will be used to produce a charity calendar, sold in aid of Yorkshire's Martin House Children's Hospice.

Renowned Yorkshire artist, Ashley Jackson and fellow judges David Smedley from Walker Morris and Dean Poole from West Yorkshire Printing had the difficult task of selecting the winning paintings.

The 13 winners, including the coveted front-page prize, will each receive a hamper of art materials and a cheque for £250 for their schools.  Runners-up will also receive a prize.  The winners will be notified in September.

David Smedley, Walker Morris partner, said:

“The 2016 calendar will be very special for us as it marks the 21st anniversary of the Children's Charity Calendar Competition.  The quality of artistic talent and creativity in Yorkshire's primary schools is staggering, and this year was no exception.  It made our role as judges extremely difficult and we felt many of the paintings would not look out of place in a gallery! 

“I would like to thank fellow judges, Ashley Jackson and Dean Pool for helping to make some tough decisions. Ultimately we believe we’ve chosen a wonderful range of paintings and we are eagerly anticipating seeing the calendar in print.”

Ashley Jackson added:

“It is always a great pleasure to be a judge on the Walker Morris Calendar Competition, a role that I enjoy immensely but do not take lightly.

Each year the children's use of colours, techniques and imagination is a joy to see and as always ensures that decisions are difficult to make.

As well as the children who entered, I wish to thank the teachers who not only provide the time and support but often the inspiration to allow the children embrace the message that art is not just  for a few but for everyone to enjoy.”

Last year, as part of the 20th Anniversary celebrations, the winning and runner-up paintings were displayed at The Tetley, in Leeds, as part of a week-long unprecedented public exhibition of over 260 paintings from across the 20 years of the Competition.  The Exhibition attracted 4,000 visitors and included an auction which ran for the duration of the Exhibition. The auction was a one-off opportunity to purchase the paintings from across the 20 years of the competition with all proceeds going directly to Martin House Hospice.

Walker Morris announces latest major investment in infrastructure to enhance its client service offering

Walker Morris has announced that it will be investing in a new practice management system to streamline its financial processes and provide greater flexibility and simplicity for clients.

This is the latest in series of significant investments in the firm’s infrastructure.  Last year Walker Morris reaffirmed its commitment to the region by investing in a radical redesign of its office in Leeds, which at the time was the largest office refurbishment in the city for five years.

Following a rigorous selection process the firm has chosen to invest in Aderant Expert to provide the right infrastructure to help improve billing processes, enhance financial predictability, increase client retention and win new business.

The system will enable Walker Morris work more collaboratively, both internally and externally with its clients.  Ian Gilbert, Managing Partner at Walker Morris, said:

“We recognise the importance of continuing to invest in innovative technology to maintain our competitive edge in the legal marketplace. This significant investment for the firm will assist us in continuing to deliver the distinctive service to clients for which we are renowned.”

Walker Morris advises on acquisition of consumer gadgets brand RED5 by Menkind

Corporate lawyers at Walker Morris have advised the sellers of the Hull-based consumer gadgets brand, Red 5 (Retail) Limited and The Source Wholesale Limited on the sale of their shares to Menkind Group Limited.

As part of the acquisition, Menkind, the UK’s leading multi-channel niche gifts and gadgets retailer, intends to retain RED5’s existing stores, warehouse and offices, plus its 220 staff. The original founders Jonathan Elvidge and Joth Baron will remain actively involved in the business during the transition period, as consultants to the management team.

RED5 was founded in 2005 by Elvidge, the original creator of the Gadget Shop, and Baron, as the ‘ultimate gadget shop’ with its first store opening in Hull.

It currently has nine permanent UK stores and four concessions in Hamley’s and Selfridges, in addition to a number of pop-up stores, and also sells product via its website and via wholesale to stores including Boots, Argos and John Lewis.

Graham Mackenzie and Victoria Smithers from the Walker Morris corporate team advised.

Paul Kraftman, chief executive and founder at Menkind, said:

“We are delighted to have acquired RED5, which has huge credentials within the gadgets arena, and until now was a main competitor of ours.

“Both Menkind and RED5 have distinctly different propositions and customer bases, which each brand owns within its section of the market.  Whilst RED5 tend to attract younger buyers, Menkind’s wider gifting range appeals to the more mature customer.  We feel this acquisition is key to the continued growth of Menkind, and anticipate it helping us to increase our market share and accelerate our expansion.

“Our vision is to be the brand leaders in our niche markets, increase our store portfolios in the UK and expand internationally. We feel, with the acquisition of RED5, we can confidently achieve this with both brands.”

 Jonathan Elvidge, founding director at RED5, said:

“We are thrilled that Menkind has acquired RED5 - it was previously a competitor that we have had tremendous respect for, and we are delighted to come together in this move. We feel this acquisition will help to cement the future success of the RED5 business, and that both companies will benefit from additional support, resource, sector experience and expertise as a result.”

Walker Morris helps Amscreen carve out media and solutions divisions to drive greater efficiency

Amscreen focuses on screen solutions with the sale of its media division to DigiCom Out of Home

Corporate lawyers at Walker Morris have advised Amscreen on a new partnership agreement that will see DigiCom acquire the media sales and marketing activities of Amscreen’s 3,500 strong UK digital roadside and healthcare networks with immediate effect.

Amscreen’s media sales and marketing team, based out of their London office, will transfer to DigiCom under the terms of the deal.

Amscreen will continue to provide the hardware and software solutions and will have full responsibility for the operation of the signage networks including monitoring, technical support and maintenance.

Simon Sugar, Amscreen’s CEO said

"This move will allow us to concentrate on our core competencies of hardware and software development whilst the media operation will benefit from Tom Goddard’s considerable experience in the OOH environment. We are delighted that we shall continue to work in a truly symbiotic fashion with Tom and believe that the media team will benefit significantly from his guidance and leadership”.

John Hamer, Head of Corporate at Walker Morris said:

“We’ve worked with Amscreen over a number of years and are delighted to have been able to bring our specialist corporate and technology sector expertise to advise them again. The deal will provide a solid platform for growth for both companies and will play to the strength of each company’s core competencies.”

Walker Morris team takes on the Yorkshire Three challenge

On Saturday 25 July, a team of 15 volunteers from Walker Morris took on the Yorkshire Three challenge to raise money for the firm's chosen charity of the year for 2014-15, the Alzheimer's Society.

The team were blessed with a very sunny day and clear skies, which made for spectacular views of the Yorkshire Dales. However, some were caught in a hail storm at the top of Ingleborough, the final peak, later on in the day! The team battled blisters and pulled muscles in order to complete the challenge, with every member valiantly finishing the 26 mile trek in under the 12 hour target.

The team organised various fundraising events in the office in the run up to the challenge, including bake sales, a team buffet lunch and a raffle [with some fantastic prizes that had been kindly donated by various business in the region].

The team comprised Michelle Coughlan, Robin Culshaw, Anna Gausden, Tom Jackson, Zenia McDermott, Nick McQueen, Charlotte Needham, Rebecca Parker, Christian Slinger, Andana Streng, Bart Topps, Suzanne Treen, Jennifer Wagstaffe, Jon Wharam and Charlotte Wright.

If you would like to sponsor the team, you can still do so at