Ian Burke

Head of People & Culture

Job Role at EMG

I joined EMG as Head of People & Culture in October 2019. A key focus of my role is in supporting our people and the EMG employer brand. Supporting the organisation to become more agile is what good people practices are about and crucial to our people practices is maintaining transparency, being open with colleagues regarding the success and failures of the business. At EMG we endeavour to foster an open environment of feedback and communication helping colleagues feel trusted, respected, and valued. Behaviour breeds behaviour and my work involves introducing positive people practices to the workplace so we can increase colleague satisfaction and happiness which in turn is passed through to the people who engage with EMG Solicitors’ services. My role is about setting a clear people strategy and direction, helping people unite to share and achieve the organisation’s mission and objectives whilst championing EMG Solicitors’ culture and values.


I gained my first degree in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management and after managing several catering contracts, I took up the position of Training Manager with the Hotel and Catering Training Board delivering industry based management training programmes. I moved to Booker Wholesale as Regional Training Manager and was soon promoted to Regional Personnel and Training Manager. Having achieved a post graduate diploma in Human Resources I moved to The Co-operative Group as Regional HR Business Partner and was promoted into a national role as HR Manager for Development and Change taking on specific projects including a major programme focussing on staff engagement.

After leaving The Co-operative Group I established my own learning and development business, Turning Tides, delivering amongst other things a 16-module leadership development programme. I moved to The Percy Hedley Foundation as Head of HR and OD during which time I successfully achieved an MSc in Leadership and Change Management. After two and a half years as Head of HR for Sage Gateshead I took up a newly created position as People & Culture Manager here at EMG Solicitors. I am a level 7 qualified coach, a master NLP practitioner and I am licenced in Insights and MBTI personal profiling.

What do you like about working at EMG?

People are at the core of everything we do, this is reflected through individuals, across our teams and in the work we deliver to our clients. There is also quite a strong emphasis on cake!

Outside of EMG?

I regularly practice Tai Chi, play badminton, cycle and I am a park runner. I love all genres of music and regularly attend concerts. : Additionally I am a Trustee for both the MEA Trust in Newcastle and for Willow Burn Hospice in County Durham.