The Collaborative Professionals Network (CPN) has been established to shout about the large numbers of professional services firms that have established a base in Yorkshire.
It also aims to provide a forum for debate about issues facing the regional economy, such as the importance of protecting employees’ mental health.
CPN has been formed as a result of a partnership between The Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, Leeds Law Society, The Institute of Directors, the Chartered Institute of Taxation and the Association of Taxation Technicians, the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
The representatives behind the CPN held a meeting at the offices of law firm Womble Bond Dickinson in Leeds to plan the group’s activities in 2018 and sign a formal constitution.
The constitution states that CPN aims to encourage communication and collaboration between professionals working in Leeds. The group will promote the services offered by CPN members to each other and their clients.
It will also provide professional training and education to members of CPN, and work for the mutual benefit of professionals and businesses across Yorkshire.
The group is chaired by Karen Eckstein, a Leeds-based legal director at Womble Bond Dickinson, who specialises in tax and accountancy related professional negligence claims.
Ms Eckstein said: “Yorkshire has a wealth of talent. We want to discuss how best to identify, develop and manage that talent, to make us all more successful.”
The CPN is planning an event with a headline speaker in May next year, to talk about ways of building business in Yorkshire. The group is also considering holding an event with a focus on mental health later in the year.
Ms Eckstein added: “We see our aim as encouraging communication and collaboration between professionals and businesses in Leeds and Yorkshire.
“We are working together for the wider benefit of professionals and businesses in the region.”
She added: “We want to connect with the universities and encourage and support businesses and professionals.
“We want to become a strong local network, collaborating to make those of us who provide professional services better at what we do and for us all to understand each other more.”
The CPN’s vice chairman is Andrea Jones, who is a private client solicitor at Ward Hadaway in Leeds and the group’s treasurer is Lucy Parr, the managing director of First Tuition in Leeds.
Other high profile business figures who attended the meeting to sign the constitution included Paula Dillon, the new president of Leeds Chamber of Commerce and Natalie Sykes, regional director of the Institute of Directors in Yorkshire and the North-East.
The new CPN committee will meet at least three times a year and decisions will be made by a simple majority, although the chairman will have a casting voted if needed.
Earlier this year, the Collaborative Professionals Network hosted an event featuring Sir Clive Woodward, who is the former head coach of England’s rugby union team and also served as Team GB’s director of sport.
During his speech at Leeds Beckett University, Sir Clive outlined how the “teamship” approach revolved around “creating an environment so good that everyone wants to be a part of it and nobody ever wants to leave”.
This approach centred around rules for conduct agreed within the team, such as good time-keeping, and also a philosophy of respecting every team members’ right to express an opinion.
Sir Clive said: “Teamship is not a theory. it’s something I’ve learned to do.”