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Charles Russell Speechlys Appoints Sally Ashford to Head of Guildford Office and Promotes Richard Flenley to Partner

11th May 2022

9 May 2022 – Charles Russell Speechlys has announced the appointment of Sally Ashford as the new Head of Guildford Office. The announcement was made alongside the firm’s annual promotions to partner and senior associate level which included Richard Flenley, specialist in real estate disputes, also from the Guildford office, promoted to Partner.

Sally Ashford, who joined the firm in Guildford over 26 years ago, has headed up the non-contentious Private Client team since 2012 and was instrumental in the successful launch and subsequent significant growth of the Family Business specialist team. In addition to her expertise in advising high net worth individuals and family business owners in relation to their estates and family succession planning, Sally has considerable experience in capacity work and the court of protection.

Sally takes over from Duncan Elson who has headed up the Guildford office for the last twenty years. Duncan stepped down from this management role as of 1 May 2022 but continues as a Partner leading the Guildford Private Wealth Disputes team, advising in relation to contentious trusts and estates.

Richard Flenley, who joined the firm in 2012, is one of six individuals across Charles Russell Speechlys nationally to have been promoted to Partner.  Richard is a commercially focused disputes lawyer specialising in real estate and infrastructure disputes, with clients ranging from major international companies to small businesses and individuals.

In addition to Sally Ashford and Richard Flenley’s promotions, three lawyers from Charles Russell Speechlys’ Guildford office have been promoted to Senior Associate. These are: Aidan Welton (Real Estate); Sophie Lockwood (Employment, Pensions and Immigration); and Lauren Clarke (Tax, Trusts and Succession).

Duncan Elson, Partner, Charles Russell Speechlys: “These promotions are extremely well deserved and reflect the expertise and continued growth of Charles Russell Speechlys in Guildford.  It has been a huge privilege to have headed up the Guildford office for over 20 years but the time has come for me to step down from this role. I am delighted that Sally Ashford, who has been a very valued colleague in the Guildford office for many years, has been appointed to take over the reins. Her reputation for excellence has helped the firm with significant growth and she is widely respected by our clients as well as our teams locally, nationally and internationally. I look forward to working with and supporting her in her new role and I also congratulate Richard, Aidan, Sophie and Lauren on their promotions.”


Sally Ashford, Partner and Head of Charles Russell Speechlys’ Guildford office:  “With Duncan at the helm, Charles Russell Speechlys in Guildford has experienced significant growth and become recognised as one of the leading law firms for business and private clients in the South East, with a reputation for a considered and personal approach and a team of highly talented lawyers.

“I am thrilled to be taking on the role of Head of the Guildford office as we continue to invest in our teams and deliver exemplary service to our clients across a broad range of areas including corporate, family, property, litigation, employment, construction and private client work. We have ambitious plans for further growth and I look forward to playing an even greater role in the firm’s expansion.”

Charles Russell Speechlys employs over 180 staff in its Guildford office at One London Square and provides a full range of legal services to businesses and private clients in the region, backed by the resources of an international law firm. For further information, please visit