L-R: Harrison Drury's Rebecca Hayles, James Dickinson, Jacob Walker, John Chesworth and Rabia Bapu
Richard Bell

This week’s North West appointments

Jacob Walker, Rabia Bapu, James Dickinson and Rebecca Hayles, Harrison Drury

A law firm in Preston has taken on four new budding solicitors as part of a recent intake of trainees.

Harrison Drury has welcomed Jacob Walker, Rabia Bapu, James Dickinson and Rebecca Hayles on training contracts, in its single largest trainee intake to date.

The four newcomers will work for the next two years in various departments, including commercial property, employment, family law and dispute resolution, after which they will qualify as solicitors.

Harrison Drury MD John Chesworth said: “We’re experiencing fast growth and this requires us to recruit at all levels of the business. As we become a larger firm, there’s also clear need to expand our trainee programme.

“Jacob, Rabia, James and Rebecca represent the future of the firm.”

He added: “I’m looking forward to seeing them flourish and I’m confident they’ll follow in the footsteps of previous trainees who are progressing their careers with Harrison Drury. They’re hugely talented.”

Jacob has joined the firm after studying for a graduate diploma in law and completing Manchester Metropolitan University’s legal practice course. Rebecca, meanwhile, has joined from O’Donnells Solicitors, where she worked for two years as a paralegal in the company’s court of protection and mental health departments.

Rabia has come on board from the litigation team at Hempsons, where she worked to resolve healthcare related-disputes, while James joined Harrison Drury from law firm DWF. In his previous role, James garnered experience in family law, civil litigation, inquests, wills and probate.

Adam White, MAG Property

Manchester Airports Group’s property and development arm, MAG Property, has appointed a new director of commercial and business development.

Adam White has joined the firm after working for professional services firm JLL for 10 years, where he served as director of a development team.

Set to work alongside MAG Property’s CEO, Lynda Shillaw, Adam will be responsible for overseeing the separation of the firm’s £623m UK property portfolio and business development, land bank and investor relations.

Lynda said: “After 15 years of solid growth, MAG Property now offers something distinctive for businesses looking to occupy or develop space at our highly connected locations.

“We understand the complexities of the infrastructure and services that make airports work, so we know how to help businesses based there take full advantage of them.”

She added: “This is a really exciting period for MAG Property as we build a relatively unique market-leading property company within the aviation sector.

“Establishing a strong senior management team with the right knowledge and expertise is vital for us and Adam is the latest in a series of high calibre hires.”

Commenting on his new role, Adam said he is “really excited” to join MAG Property.

He continued: “As a diverse and growing business, I believe it is extremely well placed to capitalise on increasing occupational and investment demand.”

Louise Ray, Plastic Card Services

Macclesfield-based manufacturer Plastic Card Services (PCS), has taken on Louise Ray is its new marketing communications manager.

Louise, who has over 14 years’ experience in PR and marketing, has joined PCS to evaluate the firm’s brand among both existing and prospective clients.

PCS’ Adam Unsworth commented: “With year-on-year growth, now is definitely the right time for us to be investing in both the team and the company vision.

“We firmly believe that our people are central to the business, and pride ourselves on the long term relationships we build with both clients and employees.”

He added: “We look forward to working with Louise and taking advantage of the skills she brings.”

PCS, which has a team of 53 working in its Macclesfield plant, manufactures plastic cards and provides associated services in the UK and Europe.

Louise said of her appointment: “I am thrilled to be joining PCS, they are a growing company with a great reputation in the industry and I am really looking forward to the challenge.”

Chris Pestell, Enterprise Ventures

Enterprise Ventures, the Manchester-based venture capital and loan provider, has announced the first in a series of appointments to grow its lending team.

Chris Pestell, who has joined the firm as its new investment director, has worked for more than 30 years in business banking with organisations such as NatWest, Allied Irish, Bank of Scotland, Yorkshire Bank and FW Capital.

The appointment follows the launch of Enterprise Ventures SME Loans, which was established in June with £40m support from the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and Santander UK.

Enterprise Ventures’ chief executive, Jonathan Diggines, said: “Chris’ background in business banking, his experience of working with SMEs and his knowledge of alternative lending structures make him ideally suited to this new role.

“We have been delighted with the response to the launch of these new loans which represent a significant new source of investment into the SME market.”

Dan Cutts (pictured left) and John Schorah, Weightmans

Parters of national law firm Weightmans, which has offices in Knutsford, Liverpool and Manchester, has re-elected John Schorah as managing partner and Dan Cutts as the company’s senior partner.

The move represents a second three-year term for both, starting on May 1 next year.

Dan has worked with Weightmans since 2000. He commented: “John and I both share a real passion for Weightmans, our people and most importantly our clients.

“We will both continue to manage and motivate our teams in our 11 offices across the country, so that we can strengthen our business and continue to exceed client expectations.”

John Schorah, meanwhile, joined Weightmans in 2002. Commenting on his reappointment as managing partner, he said: “Dan and I are proud to be re-elected. For us, the Weightmans way is about our people delivering expert knowledge, outstanding client service and quality advice, consistently

“As a firm, we have hired key people, expanded in the areas our clients have asked us to, and are being rewarded by excellent rankings, awards and client feedback. We look to build on our success and keep moving forward. Exciting times ahead.”

(L-R) Natalie Booth, Sarah Mills, Hana Bednarova and Emma Thompson, Tecmark

Following a series of new client wins, content marketing company Tecmark has taken on four new members of staff in an effort to bolster its in-house expertise.

The Manchester-headquartered firm’s MD, Richard Heyes, said of the new recruits: “Their talents and expertise will only strengthen our position as we continue to push forward with our exciting growth plans.”

Natalie Booth, who previously worked for marketing agencies iProspect Manchester and theEword, has been appointed as head of search. In her new role, she will work alongside the firm’s search director, Stacey MacNaught.

Sarah Mills, meanwhile, has been taken on as a client account manager, a role that will see her working with Tecmark’s sales and operations teams to improve client relationships. Previously, she worked for seven years magazine publisher H Bauer.

Elsewhere, Hana Bednarova is Tecmark’s newest content promotion specialist. She joins the firm from Think Money Group, where she worked as a PR executive.

Emma Thompson, a former commercial feature writer for Trinity Mirror, has been appointed as content coordinator and will operate from Tecmark’s Liverpool office.

Dan Hooker, Overbury

After experiencing a period of growth in the North, refurb and fit-out firm Overbury has promoted Dan Hooker to the role of commercial director in the North.

Dan, who has worked with Overbury for the last six years as a contracts manager, has helped the company secure and deliver projects in Manchester and Leeds.

With more than 20 years’ experience in the construction industry, Dan has previously worked for Styles and Wood, Sindall and ISG.

The promotion is effective immediately and will see Dan working to shore up Overbury’s position in the market.

Overbury’s northern managing director, Peter Knight, said: “Having experienced a renewed appetite in fit out we have worked hard to secure a number of key contract wins and to grow our market share.

I am particularly delighted to have filled this position with an internal promotion.“

He added: “Dan is passionate about delivering an exceptional experience to all of our clients and his influence will be positive for the whole team as well as being a significant step within our steady growth plan.”

Overbury’s presence in the North is composed of offices in Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow, with North West organisations in its client portfolio including the BBC, AstraZeneca and the University of Salford.

John Crowther, MPD Group

Delivery software firm MPD Group has appointed a new non-executive chief technology officer.

John Crowther has joined the Manchester-headquartered company after serving as the digital transformation officer at VictoriaPlum.com and working with internet-based appliances firm AO.com for eight years.

MPD Group’s CEO, David Grimes, said: “John brings a wealth of experience from many years working at the heart of the ecommerce industry.

“His understanding and knowledge of fulfilment technology is an invaluable asset to the company. I’m thrilled to welcome him into the board.”

In his new role, John will work on developing MPD Group’s Electio Delivery Management Platform, as well as growing the in-house tech team responsible for the service.

John commented: “Ecommerce is fantastic – it’s opened doors for millions of retailers. But you are only as good as your distribution network which is what makes Electio so ripe for expansion.

“It’s a solid and robust but flexible technology which is exactly what the industry needs. Retailers have to offer choice to modern consumers and that’s what Electio delivers on.”

Image: Paul Chesworth

Image: Shane Campion

Paul Chesworth, Shane Campion and Thomas Williams, Bilfinger GVA

Real estate firm Bilfinger GVA has grown its national building consultancy team with three new appointments at its Manchester office.

Paul Chesworth, the new director of the 23-strong team, has joined from Robinson Low Francis (RLF). He has over 20 years of experience working on both traditional and design-and-build projects for the sports, leisure and retail sectors, among others.

Graham Fairhurst, a senior director with Bilfinger GVA, said: “Paul is a valuable addition to the team in Manchester.

“With his wealth of experience and strong connections across all sectors, we are confident Paul will play a strategic role in the growth of our existing national cost advisory offering, led from Manchester where we hope to make a further appointment in the coming months”.

Commenting on his new role, Paul said he is looking forward to bringing his experience to the team.

He continued: “I’m thrilled to be joining Bilfinger GVA’s Manchester building consultancy team at an important stage in its growth and national leadership.

“The team has an outstanding reputation and acts on behalf of some of the country’s biggest names.”

Elsewhere, Shane Campion has also joined Bilfinger GVA from RLF, where he garnered experience in the leisure sector. Thomas Williams, meanwhile, has joined the building consultancy team to help grow its building surveying services.

Senior director Graham continued: “We are pleased to welcome Paul, Shane and Thomas to the team. The appointments show the firm’s commitment to growth and providing first class advice to our clients across the UK.”

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