People on the Move: Brabners; Lightbulb Leadership Solutions; Forbes Solicitors; Local Care Force; St John’s Buildings Chambers

From left: Nik White, Eleanor Stirrett, Elspeth Christie and CEO Robert White

Independent legal practice, Brabners, has bolstered its construction practice with three senior appointments.

Elspeth Christie and Sarah Nunnery-Jones join the firm as partner and senior associate, respectively, while Eleanor Stirrett has been promoted to the role of partner.

The appointments are another key step in Brabners’ drive to capitalise on the continuing strength of the property and construction market.

A series of senior hires announced in the last 12 months, including the appointment of head of real estate Paul Firth, has seen the firm’s real estate team grow to more than 100 people across its three offices.

Elspeth Christie has more than 15 years’ experience, and previously led the non-contentious construction team at DLA Piper in Liverpool, where she was recognised by the firm as one of 2018’s ‘Inspirational Women in Real Estate’.

She will be joined at Brabners next month by Sarah Nunnery-Jones, having spent four years working together at DLA Piper.

Eleanor Stirrett has been promoted to partner after three years at Brabners.

She advises a variety of clients including developers, funders, housing associations, educational institutions, local authorities and contractors.

She is also actively involved in the Forum for the Built Environment and currently holds the position of secretary for its Liverpool branch.

Paul Firth, head of real estate at Brabners, said: “The property and construction market continues to thrive. Helped in the North West, in particular, by a real focus on strengthening the region’s infrastructure and economy.

“Bolstering our real estate practice with the specialist knowledge and experience that Elspeth, Eleanor and Sarah bring is another example of our commitment to delivering outstanding service to our clients.

“It is also extremely rewarding for the team as a whole to be able to attract and welcome new talent, while also recognising and promoting talent from within.”

Nik White, managing partner of Brabners, added: “Building our real estate practice remains a key pillar in our firm-wide growth strategy and is a key part of our ambition to be the region’s leading independent legal practice.

“I look forward to seeing that part of the firm flourish as the team continues to build its market presence both in the North West and across the UK.”


Global leadership consultancy Lightbulb Leadership Solutions, based in Manchester, has experienced a period of exceptional growth in the past 12 months, announcing the appointment of 14 new consultants to deliver its significant growth plans in 2019.

Established in 2007 by award-winning and renowned speaker, business consultant and entrepreneur, Fiona McKay, Lightbulb Leadership is experiencing unprecedented demand for its full-service leadership consultancy, with a roster of clients including Phaidon International, Morson and Conexus.

Plans include building on its Middle East and US business, as well as expanding further into the thriving sectors of hospitality, recruitment and finance over the next 12 months. The consultancy firm has an ambitious growth strategy for 2019.

Its ‘coming soon’ Leadership Capital Consultancy will target hyper-growth companies looking to develop their leadership capability and succession model to secure private equity investment and prepare leaders in organisations for IPOs, as well as advise private equity companies and funds on the leadership return and growth opportunities in their portfolio companies.

Fiona McKay

Fiona McKay said: “While the past year has seen exceptional growth, our plans for 2019 will catapult us onto a wider international stage.

“We care passionately about the leaders we create and the impact they have on the world. Our new consultants will join our experienced team and will equip leaders to become the brightest visionary, strategic and influential lightbulb leaders of tomorrow.”

She added: “We’re excited to continue our mission of driving excellence and delivering results in people, performance, profits and parity in the best businesses throughout the world, helping their leaders to switch on solutions to some of the toughest challenges in business today.”

As well as growing its presence in the Gulf States, Lightbulb Leadership Solutions is targeting a deeper penetration into current European markets and the Eastern seaboard of the US to offer a truly global presence.


Law firm Forbes Solicitors has expanded its employment team into Manchester city centre.

The move coincides with partner Emma Swan being appointed as head of commercial employment and partner Ruth Rule-Mullen being appointed as head of public sector employment, to oversee the team’s continued growth within the commercial and public sectors.

From left: Jonathan Holden (head of employment), James Barron, Sal Chowdhury and Emma Swan (head of commercial)

Associate solicitor Sal Chowdhury and solicitor James Barron are now working full time out of the firm’s offices at Church House, Deansgate, which was previously only a base for part of Forbes’ insurance team.

The team in Lancashire is continuing to grow, too, with solicitor Katy Parkinson joining earlier this month.

Jonathan Holden, partner and national head of employment, said: “Moving Sal and James into Manchester city centre is part of the team’s strategy to grow our client base in the Manchester area along with an increase in demand for the services we provide.”


Manchester-based agency nursing provider Local Care Force and Local Care Force Training has bolstered its team with the appointment of Marija Greenwood as a clinical nurse trainer.

Marija joins the Local Care Force team from Manchester Metropolitan University where for the past 16 years she has been a senior nurse lecturer.

During her career she has taught tens of thousands of nurses, both post- and pre-registration and has also been a practicing clinical nurse for more than 44 years.

Marija Greenwood

She was introduced to the business by her daughter, Amelia Greenwood-Blott, who is the agency’s senior clinical lead nurse.

Marija said: “Nursing and teaching have been my life’s passions and so I am delighted to be working with the team at LCF delivering specialist training for its staff and clients.”

Local Care Force managing director Leanne Silverwood said: “Marija is a huge asset to the team and the enhancement she brings to the nurses’ revalidation and professional development is unheard of in other agencies.

“We are thrilled to welcome her on board. She has proven incredibly popular already and there is never a spare seat on her training courses.”


St John’s Buildings chambers’ barrister Lorraine Cavanagh has been approved for appointment as Queen’s Counsel (QC) in the latest round of Silk appointments announced by the Lord Chancellor.

Lorraine, who was called to the Bar in 2000, is an expert in complex children cases and also practices in the Court of Protection.

She regularly acts in medical treatment cases for children and adults.

Further, she practices in health and welfare matters in the Court of Protection, and conducts judicial review and Human Rights claims with a focus on community care provision and child rights.

Lorraine is among 108 successful applicants to be appointed Silk this year, 30 of whom are women.

Lorraine Cavanagh

The appointments are made by Her Majesty The Queen on the advice of the Lord Chancellor, David Gauke MP, following consideration by the independent Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel.

Lorraine will formally become a Silk when she makes her declaration before the Lord Chancellor at the ceremony on March 11.

Richard Norton, head of chambers at St John’s Buildings, said: “With her track record of acting in complex children law cases, Lorraine has demonstrated superb knowledge and a long standing dedication to the profession – she is truly deserving of the appointment.

“Lorraine is the fourth member of our family team to become Silk. Her appointment adds further gravitas to our already outstanding group of family law barristers.”

Sir Alex Allan, chair of the selection panel, said: “We remain concerned that the number of female applicants remains comparatively low, but I am pleased that of those women who did apply, over 60% were successful. I was also pleased to note that 18 BAME applicants were appointed, a record number.

“Each year, the panel has the difficult task of identifying the truly excellent advocates. I am confident that those appointed today truly deserve to be Queen’s Counsel.”

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