People on the Move: Weightmans; Liverpool MIPIM Steering Group; Fieldfisher; Meadow Foods; Baines Wilson
National law firm Weightmans has bolstered its partner numbers by promoting two Liverpool-based associates, including the firm’s innovation manager Catriona Wolfenden, in a continued commitment to improve client experience through innovation.
Catriona Wolfenden practiced as a lawyer from 2011 until becoming innovation manager in May 2018.
She is responsible for the development, delivery and management of the firm’s innovation and technology projects, working closely with the Innovation Group.
Thomas Starkey is a real estate lawyer and social housing specialist working predominantly for social housing clients. He also acts for local authority clients and national charities.
The promotions come following a year of advancement in Liverpool-based Weightmans’ approach to technology and innovation, announcing an AI partnership with Kira Systems and the University of Liverpool, securing government funding for further exploratory work and creating a dedicated innovation hub and adding new skills to an evolving workforce, including a legal engineer – an entirely new role for the firm – and two data scientists.
Weightmans’ managing partner, John Schorah, said: “The changing professional services landscape and developments in technology provide the opportunity for greater efficiency, accuracy and cost reduction both for our business and our clients.
“Weightmans has invested in technology and innovation for decades – constantly seeking ways in which to provide new and different services to clients looking for quicker results or access to enhanced data and intelligence.
“Over the last 12 months we have seen an acceleration in these ambitions, and to welcome Catriona to the partnership at this time is a natural step as we continue on this journey.”
Sean Beech, partner at Deloitte, is stepping down as chair of the Liverpool MIPIM Steering Group and will be replaced by Stephen Cowperthwaite, managing director at Avison Young Liverpool.
The news was announced at a MIPIM partners meeting when the private sector delegates were joined by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram to review the successes from the March Cannes event and set out the strategy for the 2019/20 programme, which encompasses MIPIM UK and Expo Real in October, as well as Cannes 2020.
Beech has led the Liverpool MIPIM delegation since 2013 when he was asked by Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson to galvanise private sector support and ensure that Liverpool was present at the annual international event to showcase the city’s investment opportunities. In recent years, the programme has been delivered under the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
Beech said: “Leading the Liverpool MIPIM delegation has been one of my career-defining achievements. We have increased the delegation from 14 partners and 25 people in March 2014 to 42 partners and 120 people this year, amazing growth, and I believe that MIPIM represents the very best of how the private and public sector work together in the city region.
“Through my involvement, I’ve made great friends across the business community, but above all I’ve seen real examples of investment which have come from conversations at MIPIM, creating new jobs and growing our economy.”
Stephen Cowperthaite said: “Sean has put in place a really solid platform that we can build upon, and we are now in a position to raise the bar. I’ve enjoyed being a member of the steering group for the past two years and relish the opportunity as chair to help lead the conversations and set our MIPIM agenda.”
Beech continues to lead the Liverpool Deloitte office and was also recently appointed as the firm’s North West Clients and Industries head. Deloitte have already signed up for the Liverpool MIPIM 2019/20 programme.
Fieldfisher has announced the appointment of Kirsty Tinsley-Fenney to its real estate team.
This follows the announcement of two new medical negligence partners from Slater Gordon only last month, bringing Fieldfisher’s Manchester partner count to 21.
Kirsty joins Fieldfisher from Warrington-based FDR Law, where she worked as a real estate partner in the commercial department.
Described by a recent Legal 500 ranking as “brilliant”, Kirsty brings with her more than 15 years’ experience (predominantly at Eversheds) advising local market, national and international clients on all manner of real estate transactions.
Kirsty has extensive experience in high value investment acquisitions and disposals, asset management of client portfolios and development in predominantly the logistics and industrial sector, but also retail, office parks, science and technology parks and mixed use/retail schemes.
Her recent work includes the bringing forward of the first stage of development at Hollinwood Business District and a £30m portfolio sale of substantial industrial-focused properties.
The portfolio consisted of seven sites which extended to 777,000 sq ft and were located throughout the Midlands and North of England, all of which were subject to occupational tenancies, and the transaction represented a net initial yield of 8% and 39.14 psf capital value.
Having also been part of the Warrington and Cheshire market over the past few years, this is an area of focus that Kirsty is keen to pursue at Fieldfisher and the 21st Annual Property Review only serves to demonstrate the strength of the regeneration, development and investment activity that is continuing to thrive in Warrington.
Kirsty said: “Fieldfisher has been operating in Manchester for a significant time already, but I have watched the firm go from strength to strength over the past couple of years, strategically focused on client relationships and with the well-respected recruitment of key people.”
Head of real estate, Liam Buckley, said: “We are delighted that Kirsty has chosen to join Fieldfisher and know she will be a real asset to the team. Her appointment strengthens what is already a leading real estate team within Fieldfisher Manchester.”
Chester-based Meadow Foods, an independent dairy and leading supplier of dairy-based ingredients to the food industry, has expanded its team with two new appointments.
Gary Lambert is the company’s new head of strategic operations and Emma Stevens joins as head of HR.
Gary has more than 30 years’ experience in the manufacturing and engineering industries, gaining experience from senior roles at Tangerine Confectionery and Cadbury Trebor Bassett.
His varied role as head of strategic operations will involve consultation on all major capital projects, operations strategy developments as well as mergers and acquisitions, and will focus on increasing Meadow Foods’ capacity – enabling the company to launch new innovation, offer more variety and increase efficiency across its sites.
Emma joins from Village Bakery, with more than 10 years’ experience managing HR. Her new role will involve delivering strategic approaches to ensure employee and corporate agendas are aligned with the business objectives of the company. Emma will focus on increasing employee engagement across the business and evolving development opportunities.
Mark Chantler, Meadow Foods chie executive, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Emma and Gary to Meadow Foods. We look forward to working with Emma on employee development strategies and business objectives, and Gary’s appointment will be key as we continue to grow the business organically.
“We’re incredibly excited to be able to continue to grow our team to ensure we continue to provide and develop the best quality products, service and experience for our customers.”
Meadow Foods operates from sites in Chester, Peterborough and Holme-on-Spalding Moor where it manufactures value-added dairy ingredients seven days a week for some of the UK’s best known food manufacturers.
It currently employs more than 300 people and handles in excess of 650 million litres of milk each year direct from more than 650 farmer suppliers from across the UK.
Lancaster commercial law firm Baines Wilson has promoted two members of staff.
Tom Scaife, who originally joined the firm on a work experience placement, becomes the firm’s first equity partner to have taken the path from trainee to being an owner of the business.
Elizabeth Sewell, who joined the firm in 2002 and has been a key individual in the commercial property team, becomes a partner.
Other changes within the team see Duncan Harty becoming head of commercial property and Sean Logue taking on the new role of head of partnership.
Tom Scaife said: “We see our trainees as an investment in the future of the firm. I hope my journey from trainee to equity partner in just 10 years inspires others to achieve the same.
“The professional development opportunities offered by this firm are fantastic and are important in ensuring we retain the very best legal talent in Cumbria.”
Sean Logue will combine his role in the commercial property team with taking on increased responsibility as an ambassador for the firm in the external market place.
He said: “Having a figurehead for the firm is important for our business as we enter the next phase of our growth.
“I’m delighted to see Duncan Harty become the new head of commercial property in my place. Duncan has played a huge part in growing the team and reputation of the firm – one that has seen the commercial property team consistently gain top tier ranking in Legal 500, a guide to outstanding law firms UK wide.
“Elizabeth Sewell has also been a vital member of our team, making a significant contribution to the firm.
“I congratulate Tom, Elizabeth and Duncan on their new appointments and look forward to an exciting future as Baines Wilson continues to grow.”