People on the Move: Eric Wright Group; Weightmans; Apadmi; Excello Law; Return

From left: Rebecca Chrimes, Tony Bignold, Kate Corden, Rebecca Clifton

Preston-based Eric Wright Facilities Management, part of the Eric Wright Group, has undergone a management restructure as part of its planned growth strategy.

Tony Bignold has been appointed as operations director to oversee the facilities management operations and service delivery. Tony brings with him a wealth of experience in leading operations, developing people and building customer relationships.

As part of the restructure Kate Cordon has been promoted to head of operations, while Rebecca Chrimes steps up to the position of operations manager.

A further nine appointments, including graduates, managers and supervisors, have also been made bringing the total facilities management team to 140.

Tony Bignold said: “Eric Wright Facilities Management is set for significant expansion and I am delighted to join the team at such an exciting time.

“I have previously helped companies grow and improve their quality of service, so am looking forward to helping the facilities management team as it faces similar challenges.”

Eric Wright Facilities Management managing director Mark Steed added: “The business has been built on solid foundations and we are now setting our sights on expansion, targeting larger organisations and public sectors contracts and growing our contract base right across the Midlands and the North of England.

“Investing in our team to ensure we have the best people with the right skills is crucial to achieving our goals. We have undertaken a root and branch review of the business and have recruited and promoted the best people into senior positions, as well as strengthening our foundations with the appointment of graduates and technical specialists.”


Law firm Weightmans has appointed Ashton West as non-executive director as part of the firm’s ongoing transformation.

Ashton is a highly respected member of the insurance industry having worked in claims and general management, as well as steering a host of industry initiatives for more than three decades.

As chief executive of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB) for 15 years Ashton guided the organisation through periods of significant change and innovation, spearheading the development of the Motor Insurance Database – using advances in technology and collaboration with enforcement agencies to address the problem of uninsured motoring and related claims.

Ashton West

His work was recognised in 2015 when he was awarded an OBE for services to road safety.

Ashton will use his experience in strategic transformation and commercial innovation to help Weightmans plan for its future, and ensure the board operates under the highest standard of governance as the firm continues with the implementation of its new national strategy.

The five year plan was launched in 2017 and designed to accelerate growth as well as attract and retain highly skilled and entrepreneurial talent.

This approach is already generating results, with the firm announcing record turnover of £97.1m and a 5.3% increase in gross profit for the 2017/18 financial year.

Weightmans’ managing partner, John Schorah, said: “It is a great privilege to welcome Ashton on board – his experience and track record of leading organisations through great change is second to none.

“I have no doubt that his objective, strategic input will be hugely beneficial to the firm, ensuring we are on the right track to achieving our goals for growth and performance over the coming years.”

Ashton West said: “At a time of unparalled change, technological advancement and opportunity, it is exciting to be working with an organisation that has a clear plan for its own development and growth whilst remaining totally focussed on delivering great service to clients.”

Ashton will join Weightmans’ board this month, joining current non-executive director Alison Littley who has been with the firm since 2014.

Weightmans is based in Liverpool and also operates a Manchester office.


Manchester-based Apadmi has added another 19 recruits to the payroll as part of its continued growth plans across 2018.

The roles hired include a project manager, test analyst and digital designer, but Apadmi are also keen to nurture talent within the region, hiring six graduate developers and creating five internships.

The company put in place an ambitious five-year growth plan last year, kicked off by its expansion into a second office in The Federation, Manchester.

The new Apadmi recruits

This move wasn’t just to help grow their team, but to help further their relationships with key clients, as well as their connections within the tech and business community.

Apadmi is looking forward to welcoming a further four people to its team during October, and is currently recruiting for another 12 vacancies.

Chief executive Garry Partington said: “Over the next few years we’re planning to reinvest a great deal back into the business, particularly in terms of our team’s development and providing them with great training opportunities.

“It’s an approach that’s helped develop us into the UK’s leading large digital agency, as recognised by the UK Agency Awards and Northern Digital Awards this year.”


Richard Williams, known to many as Dicky, has joined national, new-model firm Excello Law from Knights in Chester.

He specialises in agricultural, estates and private client services and has more than 20 years’ experience acting for some of the largest landowners in Cheshire, North Wales and nationally.

Dicky qualified in 1995 and has spent his career at a number of firms in Chester, building a practice focused on all aspects of agricultural law from dealing with the sale and purchase of large estates to small fields, development and diversification, farm tenancies, complex first registrations, forestry and sporting rights, renewables projects including wind farms and solar parks, public and private rights of way, farm partnerships and boundary disputes.

Richard Williams

In his private client work, Dicky represents high net worth individuals in substantial residential property transactions as well as providing bespoke estate and tax planning.

He has been consistently recognised by both Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession and the Legal 500 as a leading expert in his field.

On his move to Excello Law he said: “The ability to work in an agile manner at Excello is a massive bonus for me and, I believe, my clients who want me to be responsive and available when it suits them. I am very much looking forward to being part of the team at Excello and helping to grow the business in Chester.”

George Bisnought, founder and managing director of Excello Law, said: “Dicky is a highly experienced lawyer and well known throughout the North West.

“We are delighted that he has joined Excello Law where his specialism will bring added value to the range of legal services we offer. He is a great addition to our team in the region, which continues to go from strength to strength.”


Manchester-based digital agency Return has recruited John McAreavey as new operations director to join its growing team of digital professionals.

With more than eight years’ of experience in the marketing industry, John has worked at a multitude of businesses including Google, Danone and The Hut Group.

He has gained a wealth of experience at media powerhouses such as MediaCom, OMD Intl and Havas Media.

A recent mover to the North, John spent five years in the London agency world, moving from digital-specific roles to multi-media comms planner.

He has worked with a number of brands, ranging from National Express and Hyundai, to E.ON, Cisco and Samsung, among a number of others.

John said: “Return is a fantastic digital agency that has been building its profile in the North and beyond across the past 10 years. The role is an incredible opportunity that I couldn’t turn down.

“Being able to shape the agency and help our client partners deliver substantial change to their respective businesses isn’t something that comes along often.”

Return was formed in September 2008, with the simple aim to maximise its clients’ return on digital investment. It has gone from being a one-man-band to a multi-channel, award-winning agency.

John McAreavey