People on the Move: Gateley; CEL Solicitors; Catapult Ventures

The Manchester residential development team

The Manchester office of Gateley Legal continues to expand its residential development practice in response to the growing demand for new homes in the North West.

The team, which formed two years ago with the appointment of legal director, Louise Ilhan, has now grown to 10 staff, in addition to new legal director, Leanne Murray who joins from DAC Beachcroft.

Leanne said: “The state of the North West property market at present is strong.

“We’re seeing lots of activity across the specialist areas we work in, from immediate land acquisitions, long term and short term strategic land deals, and in the retirement housing sector.”

Louise Ilhan said: “I’m pleased to welcome Leanne to the team, her expertise and experience will prove invaluable to the team here, as well as the wider group.

“Last year we expanded the team further to incorporate our exhibitions team, who work to attract overseas private investors to buy new-build residential property in the UK. This has further expanded the business’s involvement in promoting the Northern Powerhouse to the rest of the world.”

Callum Nuttall, partner and national head of residential development, said: “Gateley Legal boasts the largest residential development unit nationally, providing services to 18 of the top 20 housebuilders.

“The team is made-up of around 200 staff, with 18 partners, but what’s most striking about Gateley is how everyone comes together to draw on a large network of expertise, whilst maintaining a regional focus for the client.”

Gateley Legal acts for all 10 of the top UK housebuilders and is ranked amongst the top-tier legal service providers in the Legal 500 for the North West for sport, media and entertainment and employment.


Liverpool-based CEL Solicitors has expanded its board of directors as it launches a new practice area to tackle the growing number of financial mis-selling claims from consumers.

Headed by financial litigation expert Elaine Walker, the new department is dedicated to supporting and assisting those who have experienced ‘financial mis-selling’, most commonly experienced among those who have been given unsuitable advice relating to mortgages and pensions.

Financial mis-selling cases, or Plevin claims, are when a lender was paid what is deemed an unfair amount of commission for a PPI claim without the consumer’s knowledge.

Elaine, who has more than 18 years’ experience in the industry, joins the firm’s 30-strong team at CEL, which also specialises in housing disrepair, data breach and Japanese Knotweed claims.

Her role will include growing the new practice area’s team, developing processes and building contacts, primarily focusing on Plevin claims to begin with.

Elaine Walker

Related to the high level of commission earned by a lender or broker for recommending a particular product, Plevin claims arise when the consumer is not aware of this process and has this commission added to the cost of their PPI. This means that many PPI mis-selling cases which were originally rejected can now be reconsidered.

Elaine said: “I’m extremely honoured to be joining such a dynamic team here at CEL Solicitors.

“Helping raise awareness of Plevin to mitigate the impact of financial mis-selling is something I’m extremely passionate about.

“It is widely accepted that the PPI deadline had passed, and while this is true for the claims themselves, it is still possible to claim against the high levels of commission alone.

“In some cases, this can be up to 67% of the PPI claim, so it’s an issue that is gathering momentum as more people begin to understand it.”

Elaine added: “CEL already had three incredibly strong practice areas, so to be adding to the mix and heading up a new arm of the business is exciting and signals a new chapter for the team.”

Following Elaine’s appointment, CEL is now looking to grow its wider team further, with the data breach department looking to increase in size.

Jessica Hampson, owner and director, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to announce our new department, expanding our core practice areas and driving recruitment across the business.

“We remain incredibly passionate about maintaining our ‘people before profits’ ethos, and we’re confident Elaine will align perfectly with what we stand for.”


Catapult Ventures has announced the appointment of Vijay Curthan as investment director in its GM & Cheshire Life Sciences Fund.

Vijay joins Catapult with a background in healthcare private equity, investment banking and pharma industry corporate strategy.

Vijay Curthan

Catapult CEO Nick Wright said: “I am delighted to welcome Vijay to Catapult as an investment director in our GM & Cheshire Life Sciences Fund.

“He has excellent experience working across healthcare investing and investment banking and since returning to the UK we were also impressed with his interactions with smaller companies.

“Vijay will be working on new deals as well as taking on portfolio management of several of our growing investments.”

Catapult also announces that it has promoted Emma Johnson to associate.

Emma Johnson

Nick Wright said: “Emma completed an internship with Catapult in the Summer of 2017, before heading down to University College London to complete her Masters. We were delighted that she returned to the area afterwards, and very impressed by her interview in 2018, after which she joined Catapult as an investment analyst.”

The GM & Cheshire Life Sciences Fund is a specialist seed and early stage venture capital fund targeting life sciences businesses with a presence in the Greater Manchester and Cheshire & Warrington region.

With a first close of around £31m, the fund is actively seeking to invest in high-potential innovative companies.