People on the move: Clarke Willmott; Acumen Financial Partnership; Fig; RSM; Community Foundation for Lancashire

From left: Rebecca Clarke, Anthony Fairweather, and Nicola Walker

Further expansion at the Manchester office of national law firm Clarke Willmott has seen the appointment of a high-quality private client team.

Nicola Walker – known as Nicola Birchby until her recent marriage – and Rebecca Clarke have joined as senior associates, along with their secretary Jennifer Daly from the private client team at DWF Manchester.

They will be joined in December by partner Paul Davies, also from DWF in Manchester.

Anthony Fairweather, Clarke Willmott’s private client managing director, said: “Clarke Willmott has one of the leading private client teams in the UK, and it is with great pleasure that we add to this with such an excellent team in our Manchester office.

“Paul, Nicola and Rebecca bring a wealth of experience of their own of servicing high net worth individuals, business owners and entrepreneurs.

“They join family partner Chris Longbottom who moved to Clarke Willmott in January this year. They will also benefit from the support of their colleagues from across the Clarke Willmott network of seven offices nationwide.”

The Manchester office of Clarke Willmott has undergone significant expansion this year, with a move into Grade A office space at 55 Spring Gardens, and the appointment of new partners and teams.

Roy Crozier, head of the Manchester office of Clarke Wilmott, said: “2018 has been an exciting year for Clarke Willmott in Manchester.

“We have built upon our successful corporate, IP, employment, litigation and social housing teams by adding excellent new partners and teams in construction, insolvency and family law.

“Our reputation in the city continues to grow and it is great to have a new private client team joining us to further enhance the range of services that we provide to clients.”

Clarke Willmott operates seven offices across the country, in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton and Taunton.


West Lancashire firm Acumen Financial Partnership has brought in a new trainee financial adviser.

Daniel Frampton, 19, made it to the final selection process to become a Royal Marines Officer and is now looking to bring the dedication and efficiency learnt during his military training into a career within the financial sector.

Daniel Frampton

This latest addition to Acumen’s ranks sees the team grow to 15, a figure which includes seven qualified financial advisers.

Daniel will initially work within the expanding protection products market alongside Acumen director Jon Landy, who said: “We believe in investing in young talent and saw an opportunity with Daniel to recruit someone with real potential and a willingness to learn.

“We have mapped out a five-year plan for him to learn the ropes and hopefully become a full Chartered Financial Planner.”

Formed in 2006 on Merseyside, Acumen relocated to Burscough, Lancashire, in 2016 and currently has around £175m funds under its management.


Glossop-based integrated marketing agency, Fig, has expanded its client services team as it continues to grow its national portfolio of business-to-business clients.

Account manager Nikita Murray joins the full-service agency from Cheshire telecommunications firm, Chess, where she was responsible for communications, PR and social media.

Nikita Murray

She previously spent four years as communications officer for Derbyshire Constabulary.

Nikita assumes responsibility for managing a selection of Fig’s retained trade and consumer clients, ranging from Stockport-based packaging manufacturer Glossop Cartons and Shropshire professional hygiene and wiping products manufacturer Northwood Hygiene Products, to Buxton’s historic Devonshire Dome venue.

Managing director, Helen Duncan, said: “As well as expanding the capacity of Fig’s account management team to handle our growing number of clients, Nikita further enhances our digital marketing offer, bringing with her considerable social media expertise.

“She has already proved herself to be a true “Figster”, combining strong experience with sincerity and a real passion for using marketing to achieve tangible results.”

Fig’s latest appointment brings its in-house creative, digital and PR team to 17.


Audit, tax and consulting firm RSM has expanded its team in the North West with the appointment of 48 new school leaver and graduate trainees as part of its bid to strengthen the wider growth of the firm and to become first choice adviser to middle market leaders globally.

The new trainees will begin their careers within the firm’s tax, audit, corporate finance, risk, restructuring advisory, financial reporting and IT teams based across the North West, with 19 in Manchester, 13 in Preston, six in Liverpool, seven in Stoke and three in Chester.
The appointments are part of another record intake of 320 trainees across RSM’s UK office network.

Regional managing partner, Jill Jones, said: “Our vision to be first-choice adviser to middle market leaders globally relies on attracting, supporting and retaining new talent, and this year’s record intake supports our strategic goal.”

RSM offers trainees a range of career opportunities from technical development and overseas secondments to participation in key corporate and social responsibility activity, including taking on the Duke of Edinburgh Gold award.


The Community Foundation for Lancashire welcomes Owen Phillips as the organisation’s new development manager.

Owen has more than 12 years’ professional experience in business strategy and B2B development.

Previously, Owen led the business development and management of large and small organisations, including management positions at Lancashire Probation Trust and chief executive of Ribcaged Productions.

In 2017, he was selected as Lancashire Business View’s ‘Innovator of the Year’ and a finalist for the ‘Lancastrian of the Year’ Award. He is currently president of the Clitheroe Chamber of Trade, the youngest in the chamber’s 91-year history.

Owen Phillips

Owen will be developing and implementing an overall development strategy, directly engaging and managing relationships within the Lancashire business community and with individuals who are passionate about making a difference to the lives of others in Lancashire.

He said: “I am absolutely thrilled and delighted to be chosen to take up this opportunity to lead the development of the Community Foundation in Lancashire. I look forward to working with the excellent team and board, building on the success so far.”

Karen Morris, development director at the Community Foundation, said: “We are delighted that Owen is joining the Community Foundation. He has an impressive track record in leadership and brings with him a wealth of knowledge, skills, experience and passion.”