Dorset law firm Ellis Jones has promoted rising star Bethanie Watson to Associate Solicitor.
Bethanie joined the firm as a trainee in 2014, qualifying as a solicitor two years later.
The former Parkstone Grammar School student first began working for Ellis Jones by helping out on reception during her school holidays.
Her training contract covered property, family, dispute resolution and company/commercial.
She now specialises in commercial property, conveyancing, residential property and insolvency.
“I really love the mix of clients that commercial property affords which is why I’ve ended up here,” said Bethanie.
She added: “I deal with the majority of commercial property matters with a particular focus on development, both residential and commercial, and property finance.”
Ellis Jones has also announced that Victoria Batstone has qualified as a solicitor in the firm’s family department.
Victoria, who graduated from Bournemouth University with a first class honours degree in law, joined Ellis Jones as a placement student in 2012 and was made a paralegal two years later.
She undertook both the graduate diploma in law with the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) and a Masters in Law with the Legal Practice Course (LPC) at the same time.
The twin-track approach effectively cut out the need for a training contract and allowed her to qualify as a chartered legal executive in January this year and then as a solicitor.
Victoria is a founding member of the Child Abduction Lawyers Association and secretary/member of the Bournemouth Junior Lawyers Division.
Her areas of expertise include all aspects of divorce and civil partnership dissolution, disputes involving children, child abduction and emergency applications relating to domestic violence.
Ellis Jones’ family department is ranked in Band 1 of Chamber & Partners. Deborah Leask and Sean McNally, Partners and Joint Heads of Department, are named as notable practitioners.
The family department is also in Tier 1 of the 2019 Legal 500.
Ellis Jones is a regional law firm with more than 160 staff including 14 partners.
It has six offices across the south coast in Bournemouth, Canford Cliffs (Poole), Christchurch, Ringwood, Swanage and Wimborne – as well as London – and offers a wide range of services to individuals and businesses