People on the move: Brabners; Join the Dots; Co-op; Context; SCS Facility Services

L-R: Andrew Rogers, Mark Brandwood and Russell Forward

Commercial law firm Brabners has promoted 10 of its lawyers across its Manchester, Liverpool and Preston offices.

The appointments include two new promotions to partner – Andrew Rogers and Russel Forward.

Property litigation lawyer Rogers joined the firm’s Liverpool office in 2016 from DWF. He advises occupiers, landlords, investment funds, local authorities and offshore investors and has extensive experience of dealing with litigation in the High Court.

Russel specialises in real estate finance and restructuring. He advises banks, insolvency practitioners, institutional lenders and bridging finance providers. He qualified in 2004 and joined Brabners in 2014 to head up the real estate finance and restructuring team.

Meanwhile, the firm has also promoted two lawyers to senior associate – Hannah Carter in litigation and Joanne Radcliff in family.

The final six promotions are to associate – Alex Watson and Brendan McAleese in employment, Daniel Hayhurst, David Seddon and James Petts in corporate and Oliver Andrews in litigation.

Mark Brandwood, managing partner, said: “These promotions exemplify the strength in depth of the firm. Our focus is on developing the talent we have in-house and complementing that with the right external appointments. This has produced a team of commercially minded lawyers who offer sound legal advice that is tailored to the needs of individual clients and the sectors they operate in.”

Brabners has also made a number of recent senior appointments including sport and entertainment specialist Simon Taylor and private client practitioner Steven Appleton, who both joined the firm as partners.

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Manchester-based consumer insight company Join the Dots has made a number of key appointments to further strengthen their client services team off the back of continued financial growth.

Tracey Hunter has been appointed as senior client director. Hunter is a seasoned marketing strategist having worked on both the client side (PZ Cussons, RHM and Co-op Food) and in advertising agency and brand consultancy roles (TBWA and Brand Chemistry).

Martin Bryant has been appointed as client director. Bryant brings with him ten years’ of client side experience, most recently at Yum! Restaurants International, where he worked for KFC.

Join the Dots underwent a management buyout in May this year led by managing director Quentin Ashby, who has also reported a strong start to the current financial year, with turnover of £5.8m for the first 6 months of 2017, an increase of 21% on the equivalent period last year.

Ashby said: “These are exciting times and we are delighted to be once again reporting strong results. Key to our growth is the focus we place on continuing to develop our existing client relationships and we’re constantly looking at how we can best meet their needs. Attracting high calibre talent is key and we are delighted to welcome Tracey and Martin to the team.”

Join the Dots delivers consumer insight to their clients through a combination of rigorous primary research and the latest thinking in psychology, behavioural economics and consumer trends. The company has 140 staff and boasts a multi-national portfolio of clients including GlaxoSmithKline, The Co-op, Diageo, British Airways, Unilever, BBC, Tesco and Nationwide.

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The Manchester-based Co-op has announced the appointment of Rebecca Birkbeck as director of community engagement.

The newly-created role will see Birkbeck managing the Co-op’s community activity, including the local community fund and the recently introduced member pioneer programme.

Birkbeck said: “The Co-op has community in its DNA flowing right back to the Rochdale Pioneers and it operates at the heart of communities across UK. Being part of such a proud history and transforming it into an exciting future is both a huge pleasure and an important responsibility.

“My role as director of community engagement is to listen to our members and work with colleagues to deliver what matters most to them. We are an enabler, and through our Local Community Fund we support causes selected by our 4.5 million members, providing them with a voice.

“In April, we gave out more than £9m to over 4,000 local causes, and by 2020 we expect to have shared over £100m with local causes. This gives an idea of the scale of the community operation at the Co-op, but it is not just about the money.

“The exciting thing about this role is its sheer potential to make change. The first stage of our community strategy was launched in September 2016, and since then we continue to recruit Member Pioneers, whose sole role is to work with our stores, our local causes and our members to help support and connect them to others in their local communities.”

Rufus Olins, group director community & campaigns at the Co-op, said: “I am thrilled that we have attracted someone with Rebecca’s skills and experience to join the team, and it is an indication of the priority we give to our work in the community.”

Rebecca’s previous roles include CEO for The Join In Trust, which built on the legacy of London 2012 to encourage more people to volunteer in sport and lead healthier and happier lives, and strategy director at Deloitte, where she played a significant role delivering projects primarily in public and not for profit sectors.

More recently she was part of the team working with the Royal Foundation of Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Heads Together campaign, working to reduce the stigma of mental health through to the London Marathon, where Heads Together was the charity of the year.

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Technology PR specialist Context has appointed two new staff members to strengthen its content and media relations proposition.

Tacita Wilcox joins the Macclesfield-based company from Manchester Metropolitan University Faculty of Business and Law where she held the role of press officer.

She will be working across a range of clients in the IT sector, helping to drive their content and media relations programmes.

Rudi Duffy joins Context with a technology and marketing background. She will be responsible for research and social media support for clients across the business.

Frank Smith, managing director at Context, said: “It’s great to be strengthening our team with new people following a period of growth for the company.

“Investing in skills is an essential part of any business and the differing backgrounds and experiences Tacita and Rudi bring will add a new dynamic to what we can offer our clients.”

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Preston-based SCS Facility Services, which recently launched an office in Liverpool, has appointed Peter Lamb as business development manager to support and help drive the firm’s exciting expansion plans.

The specialist facilities services firm, now in its 10th year, has diversified and strengthened its service range becoming a one stop shop property services provider.

With solid foundations in place, SCS is now looking to consolidate its position within the North West as the go to contractor of choice for social housing landlords.

Lamb will identify new business opportunities whilst supporting the management team, establishing a strong operational structure. With an extensive background in the property and housing sector, Peter’s specialisms lay within the mechanical and electrical sector, diversifying into business development in later years.

He said: “I’ve been aware of SCS and owner Sarah Southworth for many years and have been impressed with the way in which the company has grown and evolved. When the new position became available and I met with SCS, the fit seemed perfect and we both quickly recognised the strong synergy and exciting scope and opportunities that lay ahead.”

Sarah Southworth managing director at SCS Facility Services added: “It’s a real coup to get Peter on board. He has a strong background in business development within our sector and will help us stabilise the business as we strategically target new growth areas. We welcome him on board at a really exciting time for the company.”

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