People on the Move: Aliva UK; Sanderson Weatherall; Your Legal Friend; Touch Biometrix; HBV

From left: Ben Edmondson, Christian Price, Jan Astall, Justin Price

Architectural finishes expert Aliva UK has expanded its Warrington office in line with development plans for business in the North.

The specialist in facades and interior finishes brings Christian Price onto the team as a sales estimator, while Jan Astall comes on board as sales co-ordinator.

They join Justin Price, sales director and Ben Edmondson, technical manager at the Northern office in Stretton, near Warrington.

Aliva’s Northern expansion comes at a pivotal time for the company.

The new staff will support a range of large scale projects, including a multi-million-pound contract in Salford to install striking ceramic and rainscreen cladding on the luxury 24-storey X1 development, and the renovation of the 1960s Fabric House tower block in Cheadle Hulme, with a new brick slip and render design.

Jan Astall will provide a pivotal role to Aliva’s UK sales team and keep the Northern office running efficiently. She has extensive experience in client services and sales support.

With five years of experience at leading render and cladding manufacturers, Christian Price will be responsible for generating high quality, accurate and detailed design packages and costing estimates.

The Aliva team has also recently completed a ‘golden gateway’ for Europe’s biggest retail park at Edge Lane in Liverpool.

Other notable Northern projects include the award-winning curved insulated render for the Moneypenny Headquarters in Wrexham, and the gold aluminium mesh Grafton Street car park in Manchester.


Property and asset consultancy firm Sanderson Weatherall continue to go from strength to strength with the appointment of Heidi Otto in their internationally-recognised asset-based lending valuation and advisory team.

Heidi brings with her 18 years’ experience in the corporate recovery and business restructuring industry having spent the past 16 years at BDO.

She has also benefited from secondments within the Lloyds Banking Group where she worked in the business support unit and commercial finance team.

The move follows a number of important client wins and a further increase in market share for the Sanderson Weatherall team.

Head of Sanderson Weatherall’s asset-based lending team Christian Humphreys said: “Heidi brings unique experience to the team with her variety of roles at BDO that supplement the dynamic of the existing team credentials.

Front: Heidi Otto, Christian Humphreys. Back: Lee Joyce, Chris Brooke

“Heidi’s knowledge and professionalism will be instrumental in ensuring we maintain our leading position in the market.

“No-one can truly know the outcome of the Brexit negotiations and the effect it will have on the markets but we are continuing to see growth in demand for our services and Heidi’s appointment will allow us to meet this increased demand and market share moving forward.

“Companies are continually looking at new ways to secure funding lines and unlocking cash tied up in assets by way of revolving or term loan facilities is one way to do this.”

Heidi said: “In my previous role I worked closely with Sanderson Weatherall and I’m pleased to have joined the asset-based lending valuation and advisory team.

“The team continue to grow and have a clear plan for expansion moving forward and I’m really excited to be a part of it, especially with so many opportunities across a wide variety of sectors.”

Sanderson Weatherall’s asset-based lending team provide specialist advice and support to asset-based lenders across the UK and Ireland, supporting both domestic UK and cross border European transactions.

Their advice also extends to corporate finance advisors, private equity investors and direct to businesses.

It has offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Exeter, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Teesside and York. The firm employs more than 200 people and has a turnover of £15m.


Birkenhead-based Your Legal Friend has promoted two trainee solicitors who successfully completed the firm’s Learning and Development programme.

Gurdeep Singh and Catherine Donnelly became fully fledged solicitors after working on a wide range of cases across the firm’s clinical negligence, personal injury, professional negligence and accidents and illnesses abroad departments.

They undertook the programme, which is registered under the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Training Regulations 2014, after completing their Legal Practice Course.

Gurdeep, who has been with Your Legal Friend since 2016, has joined the clinical negligence department, working on a variety of cases including misdiagnosed illnesses and injuries.

Catherine Donnelly and Gurdeep Singh

Catherine has been promoted to the professional negligence department, which supports clients who have suffered financial loss due to property, legal or financial experts failing in their duty of care.

Alison Saul, head of personal injury and training principal at Your Legal Friend, said: “We invest significant time and resources to ensure all trainee solicitors get the experience needed to excel for the benefit of our clients.

“We adhere to the highest standards, so our learning and development programme needs to be exceptional.

“It includes regular education and training programmes so that trainees maintain a detailed understanding of changes to legislation and case law.

“Congratulations to Gurdeep and Catherine who have worked hard and will, no doubt, go on to have long and successful careers.”

Founded in 1983, Your Legal Friend offers a range of legal services and advice to the victims of personal injury and negligence. It employs more than 200 people and has supported around 200,000 clients over the past 35 years.


Touch Biometrix, a disruptive fingerprint technology company headquartered in St Asaph, North Wales, has appointed a chief innovation officer.

Rob Van Lier has joined the company, which was recently recognised as one of the Top 20 global key players in the fingerprint sensing market alongside the likes of Apple.

Rob is the latest senior appointment to Touch Biometrix following the recruitment earlier this year of Eric Derckx as chief technology officer.

Touch Biometrix was established by Dr Mike Cowin in 2017 with the aim of becoming one of the top five fingerprint sensor suppliers in the world by 2023.

Dr Cowin said: “We are delighted to have been able to recruit someone of Rob’s calibre. His is one of the world’s leading system architects for all display technologies, with a proven global track record.

“Rob will play a key role for Touch Biometrix in enabling us to quickly realise our first minimum viable product.”

Rob Van Lier

He has held senior roles in product development and engineering development teams in San Diego for Qualcomm MEMS Technologies.

Prior to that he worked in various system architecture and engineering roles for Philips Mobile Display Systems. Most recently, he was developing thin film drive electronics for Amazon.

Rob said: “I am delighted to be joining Mike and the rest of the Touch Biometrix team at such an exciting stage in the company’s development. I look forward to playing a key part in helping the company to develop its first minimum viable product.”

Dr Cowin added: “We are developing technology that will disrupt the fingerprint sensing industry and vastly improve the user authentication experience and its level of security – completely eliminating the need for passwords when using smartphones, computers and all manner of smart objects.”

Touch Biometrix made it on to the market forecast report for the fingerprint sensing industry earlier this year. The report predicts the fingerprint sensor market is expected to grow from $4.25bn in 2018 to $8.8bn by 2023.

The tremendous growth in fingerprint authentication technologies is being driven by the boom in mobile payment services and the need to increase the payment threshold for secure non-contact payment systems.

It is expected that biometrics will be standard in 90% of mobile devices by 2020 generating 1.37 trillion payment and non-payment mobile device transactions.


HBV, the Manchester-based specialist supported living developer, has appointed Laurence Basturkmen, as its new chief operating officer.

Basturkmen, who qualified as a chartered accountant in his native New Zealand, brings a wealth of experience to HBV having held senior roles at global accountancy firm EY and more recently at international construction firms and other fast-growth businesses.

HBV was launched in Manchester in 2012 and operates as a joint venture with Morgan Sindall Investments Limited. It has delivered more than 650 new build ‘supported living’ apartments across England for people with a wide range of disabilities. Turnover last year was £30m.

As part of the organisational changes, former managing director Jonathan Wrigley becomes executive chairman and Alastair Sheehan becomes business development director.

Laurence Basturkmen said: “HBV is a trusted developer in the supported living sector and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with the team and continue to grow the business.

“I’m proud to be working with colleagues who are delivering value to all our stakeholders, delivery partners and local authorities and making a positive social impact.

Laurence Basturkmen

“I will continue to place our greatest emphasis on changing the lives of vulnerable people for the better as we look towards the next phase in the evolution of the business.”

Jonathan Wrigley said: “Laurence is the right person to drive the next phase of growth in the business and we are delighted he has accepted this senior leadership role.

“Not only has he got the commercial acumen to make a positive impact, he’s also popular and respected by our existing team who have already got to know him well.”

Lisa Scenna, managing director of Morgan Sindall Investments Limited, added: “Our successful joint venture with HBV continues to go from strength-to-strength as we roll out more new supported living developments as part of our £200m pipeline of funding for the sector. We are delighted Laurence has joined the HBV team.”