People on the Move: Kimpton Hotels; Vincents Solicitors; Crossfield; Welocalize Life Sciences; Taylors Solicitors

Johan Scheepers

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, part of InterContinental Hotels Group, has announced the appointment of Johan Scheepers, as general manager of its Kimpton Clocktower Hotel in Manchester, joining Kimpton London Fitzroy, Kimpton Blythswood Square in Glasgow and Kimpton Charlotte Square in Edinburgh as the brand’s fourth, and last, hotel to open in the UK.

Officially opening on Oxford Road, on October 1, Scheepers joins the impressive 270-room property with extensive experience from a number of properties from within the IHG portfolio.

Most recently, he spearheaded the rebirth of the 240-bedroom, Intercontinental The George after a major rebrand investment in October 2019.

Prior to that he took on the role of opening general manager, heading up the Principal Charlotte Square after the completion of a £25m refurbishment as Edinburgh’s top five-star lifestyle hotel, with 199-bedrooms and two destination restaurants.

There he also managed the transition of the hotel to become Kimpton Charlotte Square, part of the IHG Kimpton brand.

Scheepers has also spent some of his career at Sun City in South Africa, one of Africa’s premier vacation destinations and described as a World within a City.

His experience and knowledge of the brand means he is a fitting choice to start the next chapter of this unmistakable landmark on Manchester’s city skyline.

Kimpton Clocktower Hotel takes its new name from the breathtaking clock tower at the centre of its striking Victorian Grade II-listed architecture.

Johan Scheepers said: “I am very much looking forward to being part of the next phase for this iconic Manchester hotel and opening it as the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel. This is the latest addition to the global Kimpton brand, and the last site to open here in the UK – I believe we have saved the best until last.

“Each Kimpton hotel is an escape from the ordinary, and Kimpton Clocktower Hotel will offer a real ‘wow’ factor stay with a warm Mancunian welcome.”


An increase in property transactions at a Lancashire law firm has resulted in a recruitment drive.

Vincents Solicitors has appointed solicitor Luke Robinson to its commercial and residential property team in response to an upturn in work over recent months.

The property team remained fully active throughout lockdown, with most fee earners working from home. Despite a brief slowdown in sales and acquisitions in the early part of lockdown, pent up demand and the new Stamp Duty holiday have meant a significant increase in business of almost 50% compared with the same time last year, since restrictions were eased towards the end of May.

Craig Aikman, head of commercial and residential property, said: “Continuing to service our clients as usual throughout lockdown allowed us to complete ongoing and planned transactions, and pick up additional work referred to us by estate agents and financial advisors when their usual legal advisors were unavailable.

Craig Aikman, left, and Luke Robinson

“Following the easing of restrictions and restart of residential home sales, and the Government’s Stamp Duty Holiday announcement, we’ve seen a bounce of around 50%.

“The Fylde Coast has remained particularly active, so the arrival of an experienced local practitioner is a great boost to our team at this time.”

He added: “Luke is well known in the area, having worked in residential and commercial property locally for several years, and being an active member of a number of football clubs.

“He’s very personable and popular with both clients and our professional estate agent and financial advisor colleagues. A trainee of mine at a previous practice, I’m delighted to have Luke back in my team and bringing his considerable talents to support the requirements of our clients.”

Luke joins the firm from Blackhurst Budd in Blackpool. A Fylde Coast native, Luke will be based at the firm’s Lytham office in Jubilee House. His arrival forms part of the growth strategy for the area, serving homeowners, investors and developers across the local market.

Craig added: “Having built up the commercial and residential property team at our head office in Preston, we’re now focusing on creating similar growth in terms of staff and clients at our commercial branch in Lytham.

“Luke’s arrival adds strength to the Lytham offering, working alongside me to provide that all-important local expertise to residential clients and to complement the services already being offered by the corporate team in place under Matt Scott.”

Luke said: “It’s great to be working with Craig once again and I’m looking forward to developing relationships across the Fylde Coast and growing my own client base.

“Vincents is a very progressive law firm, where ambition and talent are nurtured, and I appreciate the opportunity they have given me to develop my skills and expertise as part of an exceptional team of experienced property practitioners.”


Liverpool-based construction company, Crossfield Group, has promoted three senior managers to its board of directors to help drive forward the growth of the business’s specialist living and construction divisions.

Michael Macaulay is now director of the company’s construction arm and David Dobson has been appointed director of Crossfield Living, while Lucy O’Connor will be a director of the overall group, working across both divisions.

David Dobson

Speke-based Crossfield Group will surpass a £30m turnover in 2020 and has built up a team of more than 65 people.

Company founders, David Cain and John Paul Cassidy, have made the appointments to continue the growth of the company’s specialist areas in key sectors, including education, health, commercial, senior living and residential across both the public and private sectors.

Michael Macaulay

Current and recent clients include Hugh Baird College, Cardinal Newman College, Onward Homes, Torus, Regenda, Great Places, City of Liverpool College, and For Housing, among others.

David Cain said: “Crossfield has grown significantly since John Paul and I founded the business in 2012, and this is testament to the commitment and dedication of our people.


Lucy O’Connor

“Lucy, David and Michael have been a key part of this success and we are delighted to have appointed them as directors of the business.

“This not only further supports our ambitious growth targets over the coming years, but it gives the business wider leadership as we continue to expand our team.”

Like many members of Crossfield’s senior team, the new directors, who have each held senior management roles within the company before their move to the board, bring expertise from previous roles at major contractors, including Wates and Willmott Dixon.


A work placement played a key role in a University of Chester student landing a position with a global localisation and translation company.

Cieron McAllister, who studied international business management at Chester Business School, made such a good impression while on placement with Welocalize Life Sciences in Barcelona he was kept on during his final year by its Chester-based UK Office.

He has also been chosen as a NASES (National Association of Student Employment Services) Student Employee of the Year winner at regional level in the Commercial Impact – Off Campus category for his work with Welocalize and is now in the national finals.

The bi-lingual 24-year-old, originally from Ipswich, grew up in Spain and was delighted to undertake a placement which not only allowed him to use his second language, but also to enhance the skills he gained during his studies.

Cieron, whose initial placement was as a sales and marketing assistant, said: “My role in such a large international company really helped add context to the topics and subjects that were being taught in my course, which I believe greatly enhanced my ability to understand the theory I studied.

Cieron McAllister

“My managers were genuinely over the moon with the work I put in, which proved that if I apply myself correctly I can achieve whatever I put my mind to – something which I think was instrumental in pushing me to achieve a first-class grade.”

Cieron is still working for the company, which enables global brands to drive multilingual content strategies in more than 250 languages and he is due to return to the Barcelona office in January, as a member of the global sales and marketing team.

He added: “I believe my internship and consequent experience in a managerial role with the company has greatly increased my employability.

“I am incredibly grateful to the university for the opportunity to be introduced to the company, as well as the wide business environment-related knowledge I have obtained during my time there. I feel it’s given me a good foundation to work and be successful in the international business world.”

Ian Shotton, senior lecturer in enterprise, leadership and management at Chester Business School, said: “Cieron has applied himself well to his studies and demonstrates how this can translate into success. Having provided the introduction to his placement, Cieron has stepped up and made a real contribution to the company and been able to usefully apply his knowledge and skills.

“In addition to his placement providing an amazing opportunity, it has spurred him on to achieving an outstanding degree result.”


Niche commercial firm Taylors Solicitors has appointed Sarah Williams to head its employment law team.

Sarah has previously worked at highly-regarded national law firms Thompsons and Weightmans and has established her name as one of the region’s leading employment lawyers.

She is also one of relatively few GDPR specialists in the North West.

Sarah Williams

The new partner brings a high degree of business savvy. She has more than 20 years’ experience both in practice and on the client-side in business and works closely with business owners and senior leaders on a range of matters including employee relations, workforce changes and disputes resolution.

Sarah said: “Taylors’ sole focus is on commercial law, which is what first attracted me. The firm also has a reputation for providing the highest quality service because it has a real understanding of its clients’ needs, business priorities and specific requirements.”

Elaine Hurn, managing and commercial partner at Taylors, said: “Sarah’s appointment is not simply a major coup for Taylors but is great news for our clients. She is a senior appointment with extensive expertise which means she can assess our clients’ needs quickly.”

With offices in Manchester and Blackburn, Taylors is purely focused on commercial law.