Clock turns forward on planned leadership evolution at Ward Williams

James Beckly and Andy Snapes with John Elkington at the Queens Award for Sustainable Enterprise presentation, March 2023

Clock turns forward on planned leadership evolution at Ward Williams

Ward Williams has today announced the culmination of a two-year leadership evolution strategy, which sees James Beckly take over the role of Senior Partner from Andy Snapes, the last of the firm’s Founding Partners to hold the role.

The change in leadership sees Andy become Ward Williams’ Chairman, taking over 40 years’ experience at Ward Williams into an external ambassadorial role, with an internal focus on mentoring and supporting others in the organization.

James joined Ward Williams in 2017, being promoted to Managing Partner in 2021. Working closely together with Andy and the other Partners, the Senior Management Team has overseen the firm’s doubling in turnover and witnessed several pivotal milestones. These include the successful restructuring of the business into a custodianship model to drive employee excellence, and the attainment of B Corporation™ Certification – becoming the first chartered surveying firm in the world to do so.

In 2022 the firm was also successful in being awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development, bolstering its reputation as one of the leading proponents of sustainability in the built and natural environment.

James also leads the firm’s project management teams, where his experience and expertise have cemented the company’s foothold in delivering high-quality, sustainable projects. He has been instrumental in supporting the development of an innovative Construction Management service, which is delivered under the brand “Whitebox”, led by Partner Stuart Wilkinson.

As part of this planned evolution, the Ward Williams team is currently in the process of a significant rebranding project – due to launch in January 2024 – which will encompass the firm’s aim to further its positive impact on the built and natural environment for people, places and the planet.

Andy’s new role will see him continuing to work closely with James and the other partners to further propel Ward Williams’ success in the sector both nationally and overseas.

James Beckly, Senior Partner at Ward Williams, said,
“It’s a challenging yet exciting time for our industry, and I’m proud to be taking the lead of the next stage of Ward Williams’ evolution at a time of great transformation. My focus will be on ensuring we’re fit for the future through continued improvements to our infrastructure in readiness for AI integration and improving our service delivery through the formation of strategic partnerships with other industry leaders.

“I am excited to build on Ward Williams’ track record in sustainability and delivering a positive impact in our communities and for the people we work with. I was pleased to share the news of our recent B Corporation™ recertification following a rigorous evaluation process and having made significant progress against many key areas of improvement over the last three years.

“Through steadfast custodianship, it is our mission to consistently deliver professional and innovative advice while positively impacting people, places and planet to ensure a sustainable future.”

Andy Snapes, Chairman at Ward Williams, said,

“It has been an absolute privilege to lead Ward Williams over the past ten years. I am hugely proud of the legacy of sustainable growth and the many other notable achievements that we have been able to deliver as a team working together. The development of Ward Williams is a tribute to the sum of the many parts that it now encompasses.

As the last of its Founding Partners to take the role of Chairman, it gives me great pleasure to reflect on the dreams of those three founders who had a simple vision of what a great consultancy business could look like and become.

The business can look forward with the unshakeable confidence that it is underpinned by a governance model that is premised on long-term custodianship, is led by an amazing and diverse team of people and continues to enjoy the support of its clients across the length and breadth of the UK.

I have absolutely no doubt that James and the other Partners will continue to lead and further develop Ward Williams in the right way. I look forward to supporting them in their endeavours, and I wish James every success as he takes the helm and guides the good ship Ward Williams on the next stage of its voyage!” Ward Williams was recently reappointed to the NHS SBS framework agreement and is working with the likes of the National Trust, Homes England and notable private clients to deliver quantity surveying, project management and building surveying services on a range of groundbreaking projects across the UK. 

Photo shows James Beckly and Andy Snapes with John Elkington at the Queens Award for Sustainable Enterprise presentation, March 2023