People on the Move: Lovell; Jackson Lees; Thorneycroft Solicitors; Project BankNorth; Haworth Group

David Ward
X The Business Desk

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Partnership homes developer Lovell – which has North West offices in Altrincham – has appointed David Ward as its managing director for the North.

David takes up the newly-created director position with Lovell, part of Morgan Sindall Group, after a nearly 31-year career with Keepmoat Group where he held a series of senior roles and was most recently strategic projects director.

From 2012 to 2017, David was managing director for Keepmoat’s Northern regeneration business covering regional offices in Liverpool, Salford, Newcastle and Glasgow.

In his new role, David will drive forward planned growth across Lovell’s North West, Scotland and Eastern regions in line with the company’s national business plan.

Lovell managing director Steve Coleby said: “David has wide-ranging residential experience, industry expertise and knowledge of the market.

“He is, therefore, the ideal candidate to lead our ambitious plans for strategic growth across the North, where we are delivering an exciting mix of land-led residential developments, major joint venture projects and large-scale housing regeneration programmes.”

Current projects include a £25m development of 133 homes in Kinghorn, Fife; a £45m, 200-home project with Homes England at Altcar Lane, Leyland, Lancashire through the Accelerated Construction Programme; and Willow Grange, a £30m waterside residential development in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.


North West law firm Jackson Lees Group has appointed a new director and head of culture & engagement as part of the company’s ongoing investment in employee wellbeing and development.

Gemma Ellison, 30, will lead on employee engagement, promoting transparency and creating opportunities with the goal of encouraging employees to take ownership of developing their skills and experience.

The firm is committed to nurturing a positive and healthy corporate culture, ensuring everyone in the business is able to grow and deepen both their technical and interpersonal skills.

Gemma’s appointment is a key element of this wider focus on people welfare and will be pivotal in helping all members of the company develop.

Gemma Ellison

As part of her focus on team wellbeing and engagement, Gemma will lead the strategic development and operational delivery of the firm’s training academy, an internal resource that enables employee learning and development needs, both holistically and comprehensively.

Joanna Kingston-Davies, Jackson Lees Group chief operating officer, said: “Gemma is an outstanding family care lawyer, becoming Liverpool Law Society’s Junior Lawyer of the Year in 2015, and Jordan’s Family Law Young Solicitor of the Year (a national award) in 2016.

“Through her work in family law she has already made such a positive difference to the lives of so many young people in care and their families.

“Gemma’s enthusiasm is infectious and she has had an extremely positive impact on the people within our business over the past few years, through the various initiatives she has come up with and launched alongside her day job as a family lawyer. It is fantastic that she can now continue to enhance the culture and engagement within the business in her new role.”

Gemma Ellison said: “I’m so pleased and proud to have been appointed to this role.

“It’s fantastic to be part of a business which genuinely prioritises the wellbeing and development of its people. Legal services are very much a people business and we have an amazing team who all work so hard to make a positive difference to their clients.”

The Jackson Lees Group is made up of Broudie Jackson Canter, Jackson Lees and The Jackson Lees Foundation. The group provides a full-service legal solution to personal and commercial clients with more than 260 employees across six offices in Merseyside and Manchester.


Due to a continued period of growth, Thorneycroft Solicitors is pleased to announce that Nicola Dickinson, the head of volume legal services at the firm, has taken a position on the Thorneycroft Solicitors board.

Nicola’s new role took effect from December 1, 2018, when she took the role of director of volume legal services and legal operations.

The announcement follows a series of recent successes for the firm including the acquisition of Leathems Solicitors in Whaley Bridge in August.

Nicola has been with the firm since December 2015 and in that time has made a significant impact. She has brought her considerable experience to improve the firm’s systems and procedures across its new business department, portal and litigation teams.

The firm said the efficiencies made in these teams and new structures put in place have helped it to deliver an improved client service, progress cases and achieve targets set.

Nicola Dickinson

As a result of improved performance in these teams, Thorneycroft Solicitors has been able to expand its business to bring on new commercial partners and grow existing relationships.

This has led to the firm setting up their credit hire team.

That department has now grown to encompass the credit hire team and employers’ liability claims team. As a result of this growth, the department was rebranded as the volume legal services department.

As a board member, Nicola will be able to contribute to improvements across the firm with ideas and efficiencies which have worked successfully in the volume department to date.


Northern-based start-up, Project BankNorth, has announced three new senior appointments as the company moves one step further on its regulatory journey.

Ewan Hutton, Andrea Dalton and Goi Ashmore join Project BankNorth at a high point as the business closes in on its seed capital raise, which is more than 80% subscribed.

With more than half a century of experience between them, the trio will join the team as chief technology officer, programme director and treasurer, respectively.

Project BankNorth recently submitted its first draft regulatory business plan to the UK’s combined regulator and with the move to call in pledges from its initial stage of funding, these represent important steps on its journey to shake up the SME lending market.

Ewan, who’s experience includes First Direct, Simpson Millar and HSBC, said: “I’m excited to be joining BankNorth at such a pivotal stage in its development to help shape the business.

From left: Jonathan Thomson, Goi Ashmore, Ewan Hutton, Andrea Dalton

“I have a wide range of experience in global and domestic roles at the intersection of marketing, technology and innovation, and I look forward to bringing these skills and mindset to this innovative company.”

Andrea joins from challenger bank Civilised, where she was also in a lead programme role, while Goi has extensive treasury experience, latterly as treasurer for Barclays’ European and Middle East operations.

Jonathan Thompson, founder and chief executive, said: “These new additions to the team bring a wealth of knowledge in their respective fields, and will have a positive impact in the future of Project BankNorth.

“All three appointments are extremely passionate about SMEs and the financial sector, and will help shape our unique, innovative offer.”

Project BankNorth expects its innovative model will transform the way SME lending is delivered, by focusing the whole business around the frictionless delivery of tailored debt solutions for UK businesses.

The Project BankNorth team has been working with Growth Capital Ventures for its current seed raise.


Harworth Group, a regenerator of land and property for development and investment, has appointed three directors to head up its development operations in each of its core regions of the Midlands, North West and Central (Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire) as it continues to sustainably grow its business.

Steven Knowles

In the North West, Harworth has appointed Steven Knowles as regional director.

Steven joined Harworth in September 2018, having previously worked for St Modwen Properties for 14 years, most recently as their North West regional director.

He has already made his first acquisition as regional director, with the purchase in October of the 56-acre Moss Nook site in St Helens that has an outline planning consent for 900 new homes.

He will be responsible for purchasing new strategic sites in the region as well as developing existing sites, such as Logistics North in Bolton.