Wilkin Chapman appoints new director of risk and governance

The largest law firm in Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire has hired an experienced compliance specialist to lead its risk and governance team.
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Jody Evans has joined Wilkin Chapman, bringing with her over a decade of experience in law firm risk and compliance. The director of risk and governance is a new role for the firm, ensuring that risk, compliance and governance are represented at a strategic level within the business. Jody said:

“My job is to help the firm remain compliant, creating governance structures to embed risk awareness across all roles and areas. It’s effectively a dual role - supporting the business in making sure that effective processes exist and are followed, and making sure clients receive the best service possible and are protected in their instructions with us.

"In the rare instances where things go wrong, my team and I will manage those incidents to ensure a good outcome, review how the issue has happened, and take steps to help reduce the risk of future recurrence.

Jody Evans, Director of Risk and Governance at Wilkin Chapman.Jody Evans, Director of Risk and Governance at Wilkin Chapman.
Jody Evans, Director of Risk and Governance at Wilkin Chapman.

“I’ll be helping to create and implement a strategy to ensure the firm, its people and its clients are protected as much as possible.”

As well as ensuring the firm is compliant, Jody’s role also sees her taking a lead in driving Wilkin Chapman’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) activities. She explains:

“Wilkin Chapman already does a lot of fantastic things, particularly in the local community as well as implementing operational changes to ensure we’re more environmentally aware and sustainable. However, previously there hasn’t been a role, or strategy, to spearhead and coordinate those efforts.

“My role looks to change that by bringing all of that activity in line with the firm’s strategy, and ensuring we are measuring, monitoring and reporting those activities. It’s a chance to reset, further embed ESG into our culture, and bring all the great work that’s already happening together in a more coordinated way.”

After starting her career in the legal sector in 2006, Jody has been leading legal risk and compliance teams since 2010, when she was appointed to support a law firm in the delivery of ambitious growth plans through law firm acquisition. In her ten years at the firm, it grew from one office and 100 employees, to 750 people across seven locations.

From there, Jody joined a private equity backed legal services provider before moving into legal compliance consultancy, and then back to leading an in-house legal risk and compliance team based in Warwickshire. She applied for the role at Wilkin Chapman after her return from maternity leave to have her first child. She explains:

“Applying for the role at Wilkin Chapman was a little bit of a wildcard for me in terms of location as I’m based in North Birmingham- however the forward thinking approach of the firm meant this geographical hurdle was not an issue and so I’ll be working remotely and travelling around the firm’s offices.

"There was more than enough in the job description and in the discussions with the HR team and senior management team to really pique my interest. The passion and drive to ‘be better’ with risk, compliance, and governance being at the heart of this change really came through.

“The firm is at a great junction. It has placed significant investment in its people, infrastructure and offices - such as the new Wolds office in Louth - to ensure client service is delivered at the best possible level and that our people can continue to thrive in the best working environment.

"The firm’s presence within the local area is also fantastic - people know and really trust the brand. Now that all of these investments have been made the opportunity is to build on this excellent foundation to make things even better.

“The other thing that struck me was that everyone I met as part of my recruitment process was so passionate, energetic, engaged, and genuinely wanting to make things even better. From a risk and compliance perspective, that is absolute gold dust!

"The worst case scenario for me is to join a team who think that everything is already perfect and are reluctant to explore opportunities and adapt to change. That is not Wilkin Chapman at all. This firm recognises that it needs to constantly strive to improve, even when already delivering outstanding service.

“It's a brilliant firm that I’m really happy to be a part of and I’m looking forward to the future.”

With over 400 partners and staff located across a network of legal offices in Grimsby, Lincoln, Beverley and Louth, Wilkin Chapman is the largest law firm in the Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire area and it ranks as the 111th largest firm in the UK, with offices in Grimsby, Lincoln, Beverley and Louth.

Wilkin Chapman provides trusted legal and insolvency advice to both private and commercial clients who are based locally, nationally and internationally.

For more information visit www.wilkinchapman.co.uk.