People on the Move: LDC; Aaron & Partners; Sixteen Real Estate; Addleshaw Goddard; MLP Law

Dale Alderson

LDC, the mid-market private equity investor, has announced the promotion of Dale Alderson to head of the North West.

The announcement comes as LDC seeks to increase its investment and support for UK mid-market businesses, having delivered 25 new deals and bolt-ons so far in 2020.

Since joining LDC in 2012, Dale has supported the growth of some of the UK’s most ambitious businesses, including video games label Team17, pest control business Pelsis, environmental specialist Adler & Allan, as well as HR software business Mitrefinch.

In his new role, Dale will be responsible for leading LDC’s investment activity in the region, helping management teams across the North West to realise their growth plans.

He will also oversee LDC’s Manchester-based team and portfolio, including marketing group MSQ Partners, HR software business Mitrefinch and traffic management equipment provider SRL Traffic Systems.

LDC’s team in the North West has backed more than 65 of the region’s most ambitious management teams, investing in excess of £250m in the last five years alone.

Recent activity includes investments in SGI Compliance, MSQ Partners and SRL Traffic Systems, as well as supporting the exits of Pure Cottages Group and Fishawack Health.

Dale Alderson said: “Having worked right across the North, the North West in particular is home to some of the UK’s most impressive businesses. While we’re currently operating in more challenging circumstances, I’m confident the region’s management teams will prevail and, alongside our experienced team here in Manchester, I’m looking forward to supporting them.”

Jonathan Bell, head of the North at LDC, said: “Dale has made a significant contribution to LDC in the last eight years, and he’s well placed to drive forward the Manchester team’s investment activity.

“Across the North we’re starting to see encouraging signs that the M&A market is rebounding, and we remain committed to deploying £1.2bn in the next three years to support ambitious management teams right across the UK.”

Dale’s promotion comes after a busy period of deal activity, with 18 investments in the first half of the year and seven deals in the past six weeks, including partnerships with two ambitious technology businesses in quick succession – Aker Systems and Kerv.


Chester-based law firm Aaron & Partners has announced a series of promotions in several of its specialist departments.

Aarons, which has offices in Chester, Shrewsbury and Manchester, has announced seven promotions from within the firm, including three new partners, a senior associate, and three associate solicitors.

Ben Mason, who is based in the firm’s Shrewsbury office and advises both commercial and individual clients, has become a partner in the firm’s growing employment team.

Having spent more than 12 years specialising in insolvency, Chris Mitchell has been promoted to partner in the dispute resolution and insolvency team. His wide-ranging experience includes appearances in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Simon Mawdsley, who is already a recommended lawyer in the Legal 500, has also been promoted, becoming partner in the family team after spending the past decade specialising in the financial aspects of divorce.

The firm’s renowned real estate team has seen three promotions, with Joseph Fletcher-Hunt becoming a senior associate and colleagues Steph King and Laura Gandy promoted to associate solicitors.

From left: Chris Mitchell, Nick Clarke, Ben Mason and Simon Mawdsley

Jennifer Harrison has also been made an associate solicitor within Aaron & Partners’ corporate and commercial team, advising on a wide variety of corporate matters including company acquisitions.

Nick Clarke, senior partner, said: “I’m really pleased to welcome Ben, Chris and Simon as partners. They’ve all made significant contributions to our excellent performance in recent years and their promotions are recognition of their hard work and the high standard of service they deliver to our clients.

“This year has obviously been challenging for everyone and it has given me great pleasure to see the resilience and flexibility that the team have shown. Therefore, more than ever it has been important for us to recognise excellent performance through promotions.

“We’ve always aimed to create an environment where our people can develop and progress with us, so it’s incredibly satisfying to see so many people moving forward with their careers through these promotions.”


Sixteen Real Estate has moved to establish a new planning department, recruiting Dan Whitney to lead it.

It’s a natural next step for the Manchester agency, formed in 2016 by Nick Nelson and Andy Backhouse, and one that will meet the demand brought about by their ongoing development and refurbishment projects.

The new department will also satisfy a need for planning services among existing clients.

Dan Whitney

Whitney steps on board as associate director-planning, bringing with him more than a decade’s planning experience in the North West market, notably at Manchester-based consultancy Mosaic Town Planning.

He has a depth of experience working with developers, occupiers and housing associations.

Alex Haigh, director-retail and leisure, said: “We believe that growing Sixteen Real Estate with the addition of an experienced planner makes a lot of sense.

“Dan’s expertise fits well with the rest of the team and drives our business forward.”


Prominent employment lawyer, Mike Burns, has joined Addleshaw Goddard as a partner, a strategic hire for the firm that not only bolsters its Manchester offering but adds significant strength to its national practice.

Joining from Eversheds Sutherland, Mike, who will lead the Manchester employment practice, brings more than 25 years of experience, advising on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law issues.

AG’s employment team is a pivotal part of AG and works closely with lawyers across the firm to deliver specialist advice across the entire spectrum of employment work and related areas such as health and safety, investigations, business protection and regulatory issues.

Mike Burns

Described by Chambers & Partners as “a robust backbone in challenging situations”, Mike’s expertise and skills set supports the ongoing growth of AG’s employment and immigration practice and follows on from the recent hires of Shakeel Dad and Rebecca Kitson as partners in the firm’s Leeds office.

Michael Leftley, head of employment and immigration, said: “We have invested heavily in our national employment practice.

“Alongside the addition of three partners we have seen the appointment of 13 additional lawyers across our UK offices. This investment has enabled us to continue to deliver specialist advice of the very highest quality across the entire spectrum of employment and immigration work.

“Employment issues have been at the forefront of the challenges businesses are having to navigate following the pandemic.

“Mike, Beccy and Shak, in addition to being very talented lawyers, are also wonderful people to work with. Inspiring and motivating leaders who have the talent and ambition to take our business in Leeds and Manchester to the next level. They are a significant upgrade in our senior capability.”

Mike O’Connor, head of AG’s Manchester office, said: “Mike is well known and respected in the Manchester market. He is a strategic hire for the office, which continues to play a key part in the firm’s growth.

“Manchester is a vital hub for legal services and we remain focused on delivering a market-leading service to clients across our core sectors.”


North West private and commercial legal practice, MLP Law, has promoted Rachel Owen to partner within its corporate and commercial team – the appointment makes her the fifth female partner in the company from a total of seven.

Rachel joined the Altrincham based business in 2019, following a varied career including a number of corporate roles before specialising in law.

With more than 10 years’ experience in both large national legal practices and specialist commercial law firms, Rachel brings a wealth of experience and exemplary client service standards to the company.

MLP Law owner and director, Stephen Atree, said: “Rachel is a tremendous asset to our commercial team and the decision to promote her to partner was very easy.

“She has excellent experience and her skillset makes her a great role model for junior colleagues. Her work here has been instrumental in the commercial team’s strong performance in the last financial year.

“The appointment has absolutely been made on merit and her fit with the company culture and DNA makes our overall offer to clients significantly stronger.”

Rachel Owen

Rachel said: “The last year has been tremendously fulfilling for me here at MLP. As a team we have a great spirit and shared objective of growing the division by continuing to provide a great service to new and existing customers.

“As partner, I’ll be heavily involved in shaping the direction of the team as we move forward and this is something I very much look forward to.”

MLP Law has offices in Liverpool, Lymm and Media City, in addition to its Altrincham HQ. It provides a full range of legal services to ommercial and private clients and has a vision to become the most trusted provider of legal services in the North West.

The company said it has built its reputation as a firm committed to advising growing, entrepreneurial and, often, family-owned businesses in the region.