One of Cumbria's leading law firms has welcomed four new equity partners into the practice.

Helen Hayward, James Johnston, Robbie Mather and Michael Walby are now equity partners of Burnetts, meaning they are part-owners of the business.

Managing partner Nick Gutteridge said: “In 2018 we introduced a new and transparent process to enable progression into the equity partnership. We were very clear about our expectations of new partners and very open about the opportunities provided by the business in which they were investing.

"Helen, James, Robbie and Michael bring into the partnership all the skills, behaviours and commitment needed to run a multi-million pound business.

"The equity partnership is now 11-strong and together we are looking forward to leading Burnetts to even greater success and growth.”

The last equity partner invited into the business was Richard Miller in 2014.

Mr Johnston, Mr Mather and Mr Walby all completed their training contracts with Burnetts. Mr Walby spent time at international law firm Pinsent Masons before returning to Burnetts’ corporate team in 2013. Ms Hayward joined the firm in 2013, having worked as the in-house lawyer at fashion house Burberry.

Mr Mather and Ms Hayward are heads of commercial property, Mr Johnston is head of dispute and resolution. Mr Walby has played a leading role in developing the firm’s corporate deals team.

Ms Hayward said: “I am delighted to be joining the equity partnership and looking forward to shaping Burnetts over decades ahead.

"We have lots of energy and ideas we want to bring to the partnership and I think it’s excellent that people can see there are opportunities to progress here.”

Mr Mather added: “It has been a personal ambition to achieve partnership and I am thrilled to be making that step and to be an integral part of the leadership team working together across departments to continue the growth of Burnetts.”

Mr Mather said: “I am looking forward to contributing to the development of the business, especially in working towards our goal of being the employer of choice – we want to attract the best people to Burnetts and for them to feel fulfilled and enjoy their working life.”

Mr Walby added: “I’m really proud to have been invited to join the equity partnership. When I decided to return to Cumbria, there was only ever one firm on my list. I’m confident our addition to the equity partnership will provide a further step-change in driving the business forward.”

Burnetts employs 175 staff across four sites in Carlisle, Cockermouth, Penrith and Newcastle.