People on the Move: Mulbury; Detectronic; Exchange Chambers; Woodcocks Haworth and Nuttall Solicitors; urbanbubble

Chris Kelly

Residential developer Mulbury has recruited former Keepmoat Homes technical director Chris Kelly.

Chris, who has 30 years’ experience in the construction industry, joins Mulbury as technical manager after more than three years with Keepmoat.

Chris’s career has also seen him undertake engineering roles for housebuilders including Morris Homes and Persimmon Homes.

At Mulbury he will lead the four-strong technical team. The team works alongside architects, engineers and other consultants on site investigation and appraisal, design and planning, remediation, construction and utilities matters.

Greg Mulligan, director of Mulbury, said: “Chris is an incredibly experienced building engineer and brings strong leadership qualities to our technical team.

“Mulbury typically has up to 14 housing sites under construction at any one time, as well as many more potential new schemes in the pipeline.

“We needed someone with Chris’s knowledge and skills to ensure we can continue providing a quality service to our housing clients, coming up with great technical solutions to make sites viable.”

Chris, who is from Wigan, said: “I’ve worked with housebuilders and registered housing providers my whole career, so it’s a sector I know incredibly well.

“It’s great to be helping Mulbury identify and bring forward sites that can help registered providers build new homes.”


Neil Butler has joined Colne-based monitoring specialists, Detectronic, specifically to lead telemetry business development for the company.

Accumulating 34 years’ experience with a leading UK-based technology group, Neil has international telemetry, software and channel partner development knowledge working with global clients across a variety of industries, including water, oil, gas, transport and food & drink.

Neil Butler, left, with Steve Woods

Neil said: “Detectronic work closely with several UK water companies and part of my remit is to further enhance relationships and introduce the team to wider contacts within the water industry who could benefit from Detectronic’s monitoring expertise and telemetry solutions.

“I will also be supporting Detectronic to implement the Worldwide Industrial Telemetry Standards (WITS) protocol into our instrumentation in order that our products can readily be used by all UK utility companies.”

Steve Woods, managing director, said: “Neil brings unrivalled expertise and knowledge to Detectronic and we’re proud to welcome him into the team.”


The former President of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) has returned to his Liverpool roots and joined Exchange Chambers as a member – more than 20 years after undertaking work experience at the Set.

Matthew Stockwell, who was called to the Bar in 1998, specialises in serious injury and public law work.

He joins Exchange Chambers from Outer Temple Chambers in London, having previously completed pupillage in Liverpool and practiced successfully for many years as a tenant of local chambers.

Matthew has a high-value, serious injury practice, dealing with both trauma and clinical negligence, and served as President of APIL in 2013. In recognition of his “outstanding contribution” to the work of the organisation, he was made an Honorary Life Member in 2015.

He has a particular knowledge and experience of brain injury litigation, organising specialist training events on a regular basis.

Matthew Stockwell

In the field of public law, Matthew has a long-standing interest in mental capacity law, education and health and social care provision and regularly appears in the Court of Protection, Family Division and Administrative Court.

Matthew said: “Exchange Chambers is a Northern heavyweight with a national reputation for excellence.

“Their barristers are regularly at the forefront of the most important and complex cases, while Exchange also has an outstanding reputation for client service.

“I am absolutely committed to the highest standards and believe my practice can go from strength to strength at such a progressive, service-driven Chambers.”

Tom Handley, Exchange Chambers chief executive, said: “Matthew is an outstanding barrister who is well known throughout the personal injury sector for his role with APIL and for the work he has undertaken on behalf of seriously injured clients.

“He is recognised for his know-how and experience, combined with a strong work ethic and empathy.

“We are looking forward to working with Matthew to strengthen his reputation as a leader in his field. It’s good to welcome him back home.”


Lancashire law firm Woodcocks Haworth and Nuttall Solicitors has made three key appointments as part of its ongoing expansion strategy.

Hayley Wharton

Hayley Wharton has qualified as a solicitor, while Louise Thornsby has been awarded a training contract, and Andrea Barker promoted to paralegal.

Hayley, 27, recently completed the training contract she started in January 2017.

She joined WHN Solicitors as a paralegal while completing her legal practice course in 2014.

In order to qualify as a solicitor, Hayley had to undergo a series of exams, as well as gaining experience in WHN’s civil litigation team.

Based at the firm’s Bury office, Hayley’s areas of expertise include residential landlord and tenant disputes, contractual matters, land and boundary issues and debt recovery.

She is also a member of the Law Society.

Louise, 26, joined Bury-based WHN in March this year as a paralegal and expects to complete her 18-month training contract and qualify as a solicitor in March 2020.

Louise Thornsby

She works mainly in the commercial dispute resolution department, handling contract disputes and debt recovery matters, as well as in the employment and private litigation teams.

Louise completed a Graduate Diploma in Law in 2015 and Legal Practice Course in 2016, both at the University of Law in Manchester.

Previously, she attended Manchester University, where she graduated in English Literature and American Studies.

Meanwhile, Andrea, who is based at the firm’s Haslingden office, has been promoted to paralegal.

Andrea originally started working at WHN in 1986 as an office junior and has had several secretarial and administrative roles since.


Andrea Barker

She is a key member of the firm’s private client team, working alongside Berin Jones, Stephen Parr and Catherine Hamilton on estate administration and probate matters, advising clients on all aspects of the probate process, including obtaining grants and dealing with the distribution of estates.

David McCann, a director at WHN Solicitors, said: “The promotions reflect a strong commitment to developing people within the firm in a way that enables them to grow professionally and personally, while enhancing the firm’s reservoir of skills and knowledge.

“I am confident that Hayley, Louise and Andrea will be great successes in their various roles and contribute significantly to the quality and depth of our service offer.”


Gemma Price has been appointed head of property management at residential property manager urbanbubble.

With more than 20 years’ experience across a wide range of business sectors, including property, leisure and hospitality, Gemma joins the Manchester-based business from her role as head of operations at Recom Solutions and a director at Hardcastle and Hogarth.

Prior to her three years at Recom, Gemma spent seven years at commercial property group Bruntwood in a head of property role.

Her role at urbanbubble sees Gemma focus on leading the property teams in delivering the highest levels of customer service across the firm’s block management portfolio.

The plan is that the role will evolve as the company continues to grow, with Gemma developing the service delivery teams across several new customer groups.

Gemma said: “Choosing urbanbubble was an easy choice for me, not only is the company at a very exciting point in terms of business growth, it also has a very strong values culture and a customer-centric business where the customer is at the very heart of it.

“Customer service is what I am passionate about, so there is a genuine fit between my own personal aspirations and those of the business.”

Gemma Price

Michael Howard, founder and managing director of urbanbubble, said: “Gemma brings with her a veritable wealth of experience in the property sector and we’re excited by what she can bring to her new role.

“We have every confidence that Gemma will be a great asset to urbanbubble.”

Based at Sevendale House in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, urbanbubble recently expanded its property management activities outside North West England by securing further nationwide Build to Rent (BTR) schemes with Legal & General.

Following the success of the partnership’s inaugural BTR scheme, multi-award winning The Slate Yard in Salford, Greater Manchester, urbanbubble has taken on the management of Legal & General’s latest BTR schemes in Bath and Birmingham, alongside its newest acquisition in Deansgate, Manchester.

With the extension of the partnership, urbanbubble will manage more than 1,500 BTR apartments on behalf of Legal & General.

The company will also support Legal & General in underwriting future acquisitions as it seeks to rapidly expand its BTR portfolio to 6,000 units by the end of 2019.

Driven by urbanbubble’s increasing nationwide reach and growing number of units under management – forecast to almost double from 8,000 to more than 15,000 by 2021 – the firm expects to see revenues rise to £6m in the year ending June 2019, with further growth to £9m in 2020, and to £12.5m in 2021.

In Manchester, urbanbubble expects to be managing some 2,500 residential units by late 2019, while in Liverpool the number of homes under its management is forecast to increase from 1,700 at present to about 4,000 by 2020.

In these regions, the business manages schemes on behalf of Legal & General and other blue-chip clients such as English Cities Fund, Salboy, Elliot Group, PAG, Capital and Centric and Mulbury.

Delivering the expansion from urbanbubble’s head office is a workforce set to double in size from 150 to about 300 by late 2019.