People on the move: Diversity Travel; Ballyclare; The Lead Agency; Exchange Chambers; Farleys Solicitors; Medicines Discovery Catapult

Przemek Koszka

Specialist travel management firm Diversity Travel has appointed former head of IT Przemek Koszka to its board of directors.

The move follows an unprecedented period of expansion for the firm’s technology team, which has grown from three to sixteen full time staff in the past three years.

Headquartered in Manchester, Diversity Travel specialises in UK and international air travel, accommodation, and rail travel.

The company develops cost effective travel arrangements for more than 2,000 clients across the globe, including the Salvation Army, ActionAid, Wellcome Trust, Save the Children International and the London School of Economics.

Przemek joined Diversity Travel as head of IT in July 2014, when the firm’s technology team consisted of three staff. Under his progressive leadership, the team has grown and diversified to consist of two distinct components: a development team, led by Mahmoud Salah, and IT operations team, led by Rory O’Rourke.

Encompassing developers, system admin, and business intelligence experts, the overall technology team now employs sixteen people.

Przemek will join five directors on the company’s board. He said: “I am honoured to be joining the board at Diversity Travel, and the team’s growth over the last three years is all down to their incredible hard work and dedication to surpassing our clients’ requirements.

“We knew we needed to match the business’s future goals, which involved more digital activity and the development of our own customer-facing portal. As we operate in a niche market where suitable ‘off the shelf’ products are rare, we decided to develop our own tools and in doing so the team has really taken off.”

Christopher Airey, managing director of Diversity Travel, said: “The future of travel is increasingly focused on technology, and we want to ensure that Diversity Travel continues to be at the forefront of that growth. Przemek’s initial appointment was a significant step towards this but we have been very pleased by the pace of growth achieved already, which has placed the tech team at the forefront of some of the most innovative work we do for our clients.”

In 2016 Diversity Travel reported an increase in sales of more than 60% from £36.4m in 2013 to £56.6m at the end of 2015, through a strengthened workforce and increased presence in London and Melbourne to enhance the service for its global customers.


Stockport-based workwear manufacturer Ballyclare has appointed Charlie Clarke as regional sales manager for Northern England and North Wales.

Clarke brings excellent industry knowledge and experience of working with both distributors and end-users to her new role, the company said.

“We are excited to have secured Charlie’s services,” said Roger Foster, Ballyclare’s sales and marketing director. “She has many years’ experience across the workwear sector, having previously worked for Simon Jersey, Alexandra and more recently, for Orn Workwear.”

“Charlie’s appointment is an important one for Ballyclare’s future development and we’re delighted to welcome her on board.”


Customer acquisition specialist The Lead Agency, based in Liverpool, has appointed Neil Cosgrove, Keith Price and Steven Thompson to join its fast-growing team.

Cosgrove and Price have joined from digital agency Rippleffect, also headquartered in the city, where they held the role of project manager and communications manager respectively.

At The Lead Agency, Cosgrove becomes programme manager with responsibility for managing process change across the business, while Price joins as brand manager with a remit to develop the company’s positioning, culture and communications.

Thompson arrives as senior digital designer from Manchester-based Volcanic and will be working on websites such as and as well as new platforms in the education sector.

Founder and managing director Anton Hanley said: “This is an extremely exciting time for us as we expand into new markets and start relationships with some fantastic clients. Neil and Keith will play an important role in how we develop and evolve the business, while Steven is another great addition to our growing UX and design team.”

The Lead Agency, which formed in 2002 as AutoNetwork, now employs more than100 people across its offices in Liverpool, London, New York and Kiev. Its clients include BMW, Jaguar, General Motors, BPP University and Havas Media.


Exchange Chambers has welcomed family law specialist Damian Garrido QC as a door tenant.

Garrido was born and educated in Manchester before heading south to undertake his degree and train for the Bar.

He has practiced from chambers in Temple for 23 years, establishing a strong reputation for providing sound, practical advice, constructive negotiation and robust, persuasive advocacy.}

Garrido’s recruitment brings his breadth of experience in both child and financial family law back to the North for clients who want the expertise of a London silk with the convenience of local chambers.
He is also a recorder sitting part-time as a judge in the Family Court and is authorised to sit as a deputy high court judge in the Family Division. He undertakes private FDRs and early neutral evaluations, and represents clients in arbitrations, for those wishing to resolve family disputes outside the formal court system.

He remains a full member at Harcourt Chambers in London and Oxford.


North West law firm Farleys Solicitors has announced the appointment of three new associate partners, as the firm continues its growth across the region.

Rachel Harrison, Charlotte Mills and Laura Walmsley have taken up their new positions following the firm’s annual round of promotions, in its Blackburn, Manchester and Preston offices, respectively.

Commercial litigation solicitor Harrison joined the firm in 2013, advising businesses and individuals on a wide range of commercial disputes, alongside corporate solicitor Charlotte Mills, who specialises in business sales and purchases, corporate finance and company law and procedure.

Walmsley joined Farleys in 2006 and is a member of the firm’s fraud and business crime team, dealing with a national caseload of criminal law matters.

Partner Ian Liddle said “I would like to congratulate all three solicitors on a deserved recognition of their invaluable contribution to the firm’s success.

“As a firm we strive to offer the highest quality of service at all times and their talent, hard work and dedication to clients enable us to maintain this. These promotions also demonstrate Farleys‘ continued commitment to support and invest in our people and expertise as we continue our growing presence in the region.”


Four more leading figures from the life sciences sector have joined the Medicines Discovery Catapult, based in Macclesfield, to complete the senior management line-up.

Chief information officer John Overington,  chief operations officer Marcus Harrison, chief business strategy officer Mark Samuels and chief scientific officer Peter Simpson, chief executive Chris Molloy, as work begins in earnest on a number of technology projects that support and promote collaborative, fast-to-patient drug discovery.

Overington will lead his expert team to help the UK community make better use of data in the complex process of medicines discovery.

Harrison assumes overall responsibility for the operational functions of the Catapult, including finance, HR, programme management, facilities, procurement, IT, legal & IP.

Samuels will oversee a team responsible for syndicate engagement, licensing, commercial and collaborative R&D income, marketing and communications, as well as managing an external advisory board.

Simpson will be responsible for the scientific strategy of the Catapult as well as managing and delivering collaborative medicines discovery science projects.

He joins the team from the N8 Research Partnership where he was the director, responsible for developing collaborations across the research-intensive universities of Northern England, and increasing the productivity and impact of academic research.