People on the Move: Davis Blank Furniss; Edwin Thompson; Harrison Drury; Story Contracting; Pareto Financial Planning

Charlotte Tyrer, Lewis Thompson and Jennifer Smith

Davis Blank Furniss, the Manchester & Glossop-based law firm, has promoted property lawyer Jennifer Smith to partner and Lewis Thompson, private client solicitor, to associate solicitor.

Jennifer joined the firm in 2013 and handles all aspects of commercial and residential property, including commercial property sales and acquisitions, advising on business tenancies for landlords and tenants, and sales, purchases and re-mortgages of residential properties.

Lewis Thompson was appointed in March 2017 and works in the firm’s Glossop office. He specialises in all areas of private client work including wills, lasting powers of attorney, trusts, court of protection matters and probate.

Also, Charlotte Tyrer has been admitted as a solicitor in the family and private client departments following the successful completion of her training contract.

Managing partner Kate Oldfield said: “Both these promotions are incredibly well deserved.

“Jennifer and Lewis have worked extremely hard and have shown tremendous commitment and energy to our clients and are central to the firm’s future.

“We are also delighted that Charlotte is continuing her career at Davis Blank Furniss and I have no doubt that she will be an outstanding addition to the team.”

Jennifer added: “Being promoted to partner is a real milestone in my career, but my focus will continue to be on adding value to my team, the wider business and our clients.”


Edwin Thompson Chartered Surveyors has appointed Suzie Barron as a commercial agency surveyor to service the busy Cumbria offices in Windermere, Keswick and Carlisle.

Suzie joins Edwin Thompson, which claims to be the largest firm of commercial surveyors in Cumbria, to add further support and experience to an expanding team.

Suzie Barron, Joe Ellis, John Haley, Amy Wilkin

Having worked for a number of national surveying firms in Leeds, Suzie took some time away to start a family in her home town of Kendal and said: “This is an excellent opportunity to get back into the commercial agency market and to work for such a well-known, reputable firm.

“I am delighted to be part of Edwin Thompson’s exciting and dynamic commercial property team and look forward to working with our current and future clients in the region and beyond.”

Over the past 18 months Edwin Thompson has employed 12 new team members within the North West offices. The firm, which has six offices, offer 138 years of experience and the appointment of Suzie Barron is a further asset to the expanding firm.

Commercial property partner, John Haley, said: “Suzie will be a fantastic addition to our commercial agency department, she comes with a wealth of agency experience spanning over 18 years and will specialise in the sale, letting and acquisition of land and property throughout Cumbria.”


North West law firm Harrison Drury has strengthened its private client team with the appointment of trusts and estate planning expert Elizabeth Fletcher.

Elizabeth joins as associate solicitor. She previously worked at Slater and Gordon, formerly Pannone, where she qualified in 2013.

Based at Harrison Drury’s Clitheroe office her appointment comes after steady growth in demand for wills, inheritance, trusts and related services at the firm.

Elizabeth’s role will cover estate and trust administration, will drafting and lasting powers of attorney, as well as developing the farming and agricultural side of the firm’s private client business.

Eve Carter, director at Harrison Drury, said: “The Ribble Valley is the heart of Lancashire’s farming and rural industry and a desirable location for retirement, too.

“Farm succession and retirement planning is, subsequently, a growth area for our Clitheroe office and Elizabeth’s appointment is a strategic move to meet this demand.”

Eva Carter, left, and Elizabeth Fletcher

Elizabeth added: “I’m from the Ribble Valley and have a great affinity with the region and its people.

“I was drawn to Harrison Drury because of its expertise and knowledge in private client services, but also because of its great working environment and culture.

“I’m looking forward to assisting our clients in the Ribble Valley as they make important life decisions.”

Elizabeth will gain valuable mentoring guidance from Harrison Drury director Jan Wright, who has particular expertise in dealing with agricultural and landed estate.

She will work alongside consultant Irene Chenery at the Clitheroe office to develop the team’s farm succession and retirement planning services.

Her appointment brings the private client team based at the Harrison Drury Clitheroe office to six members, which includes four private client specialists and two support staff.


Infrastructure company Story Contracting has promoted Martin Smith to operations director and introduced contracts manager roles to its expanding rail division after a succession of multimillion-pound contract wins.

Martin joined the business last year as regional operations manager. He started his career at British Rail before moving to Tarmac/Carillion where he worked for 22 years, progressing from site engineer to project director across rail, highways, civils and utilities.

Martin Smith

A key focus of his new role will be to successfully deliver the frameworks Story was awarded by Network Rail for CP6 on both London North East (LNE) and London North West (LNW).

Martin said: “I am really excited to be given this opportunity to lead the operational delivery for the rail division in England.”

Martin will be supported in his new role by contracts managers Dan Jones, for LNE, and Jonny Fearon, for LNW North, both promoted from within the Story team.

Dan Jones

Both contracts managers have developed their career through the business, with Jonny joining the business as a trackman in 2002.

The company is also recruiting for a third contracts manager for LNW South, working between Manchester and Birmingham.

Jonny said: “We have strong regional teams across our rail division and I am looking forward to working closely with Dan to ensure we maximise and develop our people’s potential as we continue to grow. It’s a very exciting time at Story Contracting.”

The promotions come as the company sets to work on new Network Rail framework contracts that will significantly expand the company’s footprint across the UK.

Jonny Fearon

The LNE contract is for five years and worth up to £50m for geotechnical work stretching from London to Scotland.

This followed a framework contract win worth up to £38m for structures and property works on the South of the LNW route which is home to the West Coast Mainline – the busiest mixed-use railway in Europe which supports the major British cities outside of London.

The company also secured three framework agreements with Transport for Greater Manchester. These cover the renewals of structures, property and track on the Metrolink network and could be worth up to £50m.

Martin said: “These frameworks will provide the bedrock for the business, but we also need to search out and deliver works for other clients such as Transport for Greater Manchester, HS2 and others.”

The Carlisle-based infrastructure company grew significantly in 2018. Contract wins across its five divisions led to 195 new starters joining the Story team.

The family-owned company is now targeting another 200-300 employees over the next five years to fulfil the new contracts.


Pareto Financial Planning has boosted its advisory team with the appointment of Matthew Lynch.

Matthew has worked in the industry since 2004 and holds qualifications in financial planning, discretionary investment and life and pensions.

He has joined Manchester-based Pareto from Aegon UK, where he was an account manager.

Matthew said: “I’m delighted to join Pareto, which is held in high regard in the market for the quality of service it provides to clients.

“It is also one of the few places where advisers can learn every aspect of the financial planning process, and that was a pivotal factor in my decision to move. I am excited to take the next step in my career development with Pareto.”

Matthew Lynch

Pareto director Paul Stones said: “Matthew is a great addition to our advisory team. He has an infectious passion for providing sound financial advice to individuals, families and businesses and working with their accountant, tax adviser or solicitor to ensure clients’ long-term financial security.

“With our support he will be able to build on his experience and knowledge of the sector and I am sure he will develop into an outstanding adviser.”

He added: “We are continually on the lookout for driven professionals to join our advisory team and will be recruiting further over the coming year to support the firm’s growth.”

Pareto advises individual and corporate clients on all aspects of financial planning, including pensions, investments, protection and employee benefits.