People on the Move: Avison Young; Fluid Digital; Total Fitness; Baines Wilson; APJ Solicitors; Cushman & Wakefield

From left: Georgina Iliff, Nicola Rigby, Paul Kallee-Grover. Edward Blight, Natalie Solaru

Avison Young is investing in its development and regeneration capabilities across its North West region with the appointment of four new team members to its Manchester and Liverpool offices to work alongside Nicola Rigby, director and regional lead.

Paul Kallee-Grover joins as a director, having previously worked at ARUP in Liverpool.

Edward Blight, formerly from Cushman and Wakefield in Manchester, takes the role of senior surveyor, while Natalie Solaru joins from the regeneration team at Halton Borough Council and Georgina Iliff joined the team as a graduate in September.

The investment in the team is part of continued growth plans across the North West business and is in response to a number of exciting instructions secured for the team across the public and private sector on major regeneration initiatives, reflecting Avison Young’s commitment to invest in services that support clients from the start of the property life cycle and beyond.

Recent and ongoing mandates for the team include strategic delivery advice to Wirral Council, including in relation to Wirral Growth Company and Birkenhead, delivering estate renewal at Runcorn New Town for The Riverside Group and Onward Homes, and the procurement of a developer partner for Rochdale Boroughwide Housing at Lower Falinge and College Bank.

Nicola Rigby said: “Our development and regeneration advisory capability has always been an area of strength and distinction for our business. We see enormous market opportunity across the North West region, and our investment means we can better support our clients across the public and private sectors to deliver sustainable and inclusive growth in our cities and local economies through major urban renewal and change.

“I’m delighted to welcome Paul, Edward, Natalie and Georgina to team as we look to continue to grow over the coming years.”

Paul returns to Avison Young after 18 years to further strengthen the national planning development & regeneration business offer.

He will advise clients on all aspects of commercial development and will draw on experience in the management of strategic and site-specific development projects for both private and public-sector clients.

He said: “I am bringing back to Avison Young a set of skills that I have honed through the delivery of high profile projects in the UK as well as international markets.”

Paul has been recognised by the UK Government and specifically the Board of Trade as a leader in fostering relationships with overseas investors and partners that are actively looking to invest into the real estate sector.

Avison Young acquired GVA earlier this year and said it is the world’s fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm.

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Manchester ecommerce agency Fluid Digital has promoted Nick Handley to the position of head of performance marketing.

Nick was previously the agency’s digital insight manager, analysing clients’ sales, traffic and usability data to enable Fluid to advise on ecommerce strategy.

In his new role Nick will head Fluid’s performance marketing team which manages campaigns for clients across a range of paid digital advertising services.

This includes Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising and Amazon Marketing.

He will be tasked with driving Fluid’s performance marketing services and improving its offering to both new and existing clients. This will include improving internal processes and staying abreast of new technologies and services that can be offered to clients in this rapidly-evolving market.

Nick brings four years’ experience to the role and will be working with clients including Wynsors World of Shoes, Moda Furnishings and Lakeland Leather.

Nick Handley

Since joining the agency Nick has helped shape the team into a fast-growing department, with a transformation of their fees towards a revenue-based model, hiring new team members to grow the agency’s headcount, and a PPC Agency of the Year win at the UK Digital Growth Awards.

He said: “I’m really excited to have been selected for this position as it will give me the ability to shape performance marketing services at Fluid and help the agency, and more importantly, its clients, grow revenues.

“Performance marketing is such a dynamic and fast-paced sector and I’m looking forward to building on the results Fluid has achieved and taking this part of its business to the next level. For the clients, I want to deliver excellent results that will enable them to prosper and grow and build strong and long-lasting relationships with Fluid.”

Adam Hindle, Managing Director, added: “Nick has really impressed us with the work he has done previously and was a natural choice to lead the team. He is bringing with him a wealth of ideas and we have some exciting plans for the future of our performance marketing offering.”

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Mid-market health club, Total Fitness, has appointed a head of facilities to oversee all 17 of its health clubs, located in the North of England and Wales.

Graeme Dick has taken on the role following 19 years of employment within the company.

As well as heading up maintenance management across all 17 health clubs, Graeme will be responsible for developing and coordinating Total Fitness’s facilities team and managing the operational expenditure and cap-ex budgets.

Graeme Dick

The appointment comes as the company continues to drive a successful business turnaround strategy which has seen membership figures increase by 8,000 since the beginning of 2019.

Graeme first joined Total Fitness in December 2000. In his experience working for the chain he has successfully project-managed the development and opening of three new clubs, including Teesside, Preston and Wakefield.

Graeme is keen to streamline the maintenance programme to improve the smooth operation of clubs, as well as introducing new technologies to improve the speed of job turnarounds and reporting. He also plans to reduce the brand’s carbon footprint over the next 18 months by introducing a number of energy-saving initiatives.

Graeme said: “I’ve been given some fantastic opportunities during my 19 years with Total Fitness and I’m looking forward to bringing about even greater change in my new role managing the facilities.

“We take great pride in maintaining our clubs to the highest standards and know that this is a major draw for members. This has been a key factor in our recent success in growing membership across Total Fitness. It’s something that our entire team take great pride in and is key to our people-powered success.”

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Law firm Baines Wilson has recruited Jennifer Bell, specialist in corporate and commercial law, as partner.

With more than 14 years’ specialist experience Jennifer advises on mergers and acquisitions, shareholder and investment agreements, restructuring, banking and finance, and commercial contracts.

Having previously worked for transport solicitors Backhouse Jones, Jennifer also brings specialist expertise in advising leading transport and logistics firms.

Jennifer Bell

Jennifer said: “Baines Wilson’s corporate department have a strong reputation for quality and effective transaction handling and are regularly recognised as top tier by the leading guides to our industry which is why I was particularly keen to join this team.”

Andrew Hill, head of corporate and commercial, said: “It has been an incredibly busy year for the corporate department, advising on a number of large deals. Regarded as a leading corporate lawyer, Jennifer’s appointment will help us meet the growing demand for our services and ensure our clients have access to the very best legal advice.”

Jennifer will primarily be based in the Baines Wilson’s Lancaster office, though will work across the firm.

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Mis-selling litigators, APJ Solicitors, has continued its rapid growth with several new additions to the firm.

The litigation team will benefit from the expertise of new head of litigation, Jodie Hudson.

Jodie has more than 10 years’ experience in the field at firms including Carpenters and 2020 Legal Limited. She will be responsible for overseeing all ongoing cases and providing solutions to ensure client satisfaction and the best outcome possible.

The new heads of department will be joined by a range of support staff, including litigation executive Gary Mullineaux.

From left: Jodie Hudson, Gary Mullineaux, Molissa Hughes

The legal team will also welcome new solicitor, Molissa Hughes, who has more than seven years’ experience at firms including DWF and Carpenters, to bring invaluable support to the expanding team.

Managing director, Anthony Wilson, said: “We’re delighted to be expanding the team at all levels. All new hires bring a fresh skillset and will be an integral part of APJ’s continued growth.”

Currently employing 110 staff, and set to hire an additional 40 members of staff, APJ also recently expanded into new offices in Manchester and acquired a further office in Daresbury to accommodate the growth.

The new hires follow a successful 12 months, which saw the firm take on 6,500 new cases.

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Cushman & Wakefield has appointed Harry Skinner to its Manchester-based office agency team.

Harry joins as an associate from Avison Young and brings seven years’ experience of the Manchester office market, having acted on behalf of local landlords, funds and property companies in central Manchester and wider North West.

In his new role Harry will be working on Manchester developments for clients Schroders, Credit Suisse and Bruntwood.

Harry Skinner

Rob Yates, partner and head of Cushman & Wakefield’s office agency team in Manchester, said: “Harry is a great addition to our team and comes to us with a solid agency background and a wealth of experience.

“He will provide our clients with an excellent level of service and work ethic, underpinning our strong position within the North West office market.”

Harry Skinner added: “I’m excited to be joining a well-respected team with a market-leading position in the Manchester market.”

In 2018 Cushman & Wakefield’s office agency team transacted six of the 10 biggest deals in central Manchester and is currently advising on several high-profile schemes across the North West.

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