People on the Move: PM+M; Keller Lenker UK; Simpson Millar; mmadigital group; Reward Finance Group

From left: Julie Mason, Lorna Hargreaves Lucy O'Gorman, Ross Uttley

Blackburn and Bury-based PM+M, the chartered accountancy, business advisory and wealth management group, has made six promotions across the business as part of its ongoing growth plans.

In the payroll team Julie Mason has been promoted to director. Julie joined PM+M in 2009 and over the years she has built up a 10-strong team, which now offers a range of payroll support services to more than 450 clients operating across the UK.

The department also works closely with PM+M’s tax, pension and accounting specialists to provide an all-round service to employers. Gillian Ibbotson, Julie’s colleague in the payroll team, has been become an assistant manager.

In the accounts team Lucy O’Gorman has been promoted to director. Since arriving at the firm in 2010, Lucy has specialised in all aspects of sole trader, partnership and limited company client accounts. She has also been the line manager for team members running departmental projects. Ross Uttley has been named as the team’s newest assistant manager.

The final two promotions are Lorna Hargreaves who has been promoted to assistant manager in the cloud team, and Laura Bannan who is now a senior executive in the marketing and business development department.

PM+M works to ensure the development of its team as recently demonstrated after being shortlisted in the Gold Employer of the Year (50-249 employees) category in The Investors in People 2020 Awards.

Jane Parry, managing partner, said: “I am delighted to announce these promotions. As we continue through these challenging times we must plan for the future and ensure that we come out of this crisis in a strong position that enables us to achieve our strategy for growth.

“I am very proud of all our people at this time. They have shown an incredible level of dedication and resilience – traits that all those who have been promoted have in abundance.

“The talents of our people are what truly sets us apart so it is fantastic when we can reward their efforts and dedication in this way.”


Keller Lenker UK, which has offices in Liverpool and London, has hired Matthew Evans to its data breach team.

Joining the firm from Shipley IP, in Merseyside, Matthew brings extensive data breach and commercial expertise to the practice. He will be advising clients in current multi-party actions including against Ticketmaster, British Airways and Marriott International.

Kingsley Hayes, head of data breach, said: “Matthew is a dynamic addition to the team and shares the firm’s client centric values and commitment. He brings a wealth of expertise gained both as an inhouse legal advisor and law firm partner.

“In addition to his legal expertise, Matthew has owned, managed and grown businesses in the education, food and legal sectors. Offering a unique, and broad skillset, he will undoubtedly be invaluable to both clients and our business.”

Matthew Evans, left, and Kingsley Hayes

Matthew said: “I am delighted to be joining the team to champion consumers’ data protection rights. Keller Lenkner UK has an enviable case load with current live cases against both national and global organisations who have failed to protect customers’ private information.

“Having both run my own businesses, and advised organisations following data protection violations, I look forward to offering clients a unique mix of expertise to navigate complex matters.”

Representing thousands of clients in several multi-party data breach claims, including against Dixons Carphone, Equifax and easyJet, Keller Lenkner UK has a 30-strong team.

The practice is also currently taking action against Uber for unpaid wages and pursuing emissions claims against Volkswagen and Mercedes.


National law firm Simpson Millar has promoted Manchester-based Nicola Hardy from central management, and Melanie Varey who specialises in Court of Protection, to partners as part of its latest promotions round.

Melanie Varey

They are joined by a further three new partners at the firm, including Chris Johnson (operations and personal injury), Edward Stansfield (costs and solicitor advocate) and James Lewis (costs), taking the total number of partners within the business to 35.

A further five colleagues were appointed senior associate, including Charlotte Rankin in personal injury, Paul Rimmer in travel, Liam Goggin in abuse, Sarah Holdsworth in medical negligence, and Silvia Nicolaou Garcia in education and community care.

Three colleagues were appointed associate, including Verity Altaras and Sarah Collier in education and community care, and Lidia Foster in the childcare proceedings department.

Chief executive, Greg Cox, said: “I congratulate all those who have been named as part of our 2020 promotions round.

Nicola Hardy

“They exemplify the strengths and talents that we have within our Simpson Millar team, and they believe in what we are seeking to achieve here. They have demonstrated creativity, responsibility, helpfulness and inclusiveness in their approach, as well as no small measure of resilience.

“Their promotions are thoroughly deserved, and it is our belief that there is much more to come from them all, and that they will play an integral part in helping Simpson Millar to continue to open up the law.

“This is another sign that Simpson Millar is succeeding amidst the challenges brought about by the continuing COVID-19 restrictions, and as the legal services market continues to change and evolve, we will be at the forefront of responding.”


A Manchester-based legal lead generation specialist has grown to 60 members of staff following a recent recruitment drive.

The mmadigital group – which captures and qualifies legal enquiries before distributing them to a panel of UK firms – has welcomed 20 new staff to its Didsbury office across a range of departments, as well as making a string of internal promotions.

Hires include Sarah Firth as business support manager, Gavin Augton as financial controller, Daniel Lewins and Robbie Coppack – who will bolster the paid social team – and Gemma Maxwell Evans as claims manager.

The remaining 15 appointments are customer service advisors for mmadigital’s contact centre who will be responsible for handling enquiries from claimants across personal injury, clinical negligence, industrial disease and contested probate.

Chief executive, Dez Derry, said: “The pandemic has had a direct impact on the claims industry – particularly personal injury and clinical negligence due to lockdown restrictions and reduced routine hospital admissions.

“There’s no doubt we’ll see another drop with the second wave of COVID-19, but while others within the market are faced with well-publicised financial struggles, there still remains a requirement for these legal services.

Bethany Davies

“We’re poised to support as many claimants as possible and this starts by ensuring the right team is in place. It’s always exciting to welcome new staff, but it feels especially positive at the moment, when so many have been faced with fears over job security. I have high hopes they’ll remain with us for years to come and enjoy great success.”

In addition to the new appointments, Dez has made five promotions which will see Jonathan Corris become senior marketing manager, Amber Bithell and Iona Macrae progress to assistant team leaders and Nicola Dolan working as content writer.

Finally, Bethany Davies, who joined the business in 2019 as a customer service advisor, has quickly climbed the ranks and will now act as customer success manager where she will be responsible for managing the agency’s relationships with law firms.

She said: “Having worked within several firms previously, I have a strong understanding of business development within the legal sector. As the agency’s panel continues to grow, I’ll be working closely with clients to understand their individual challenges and plans to ensure our service continues to play a key role in their growth.”


Independent finance provider, Reward Finance Group, has appointed David Baddiel as business development manager in its Manchester office to meet demand for funding from SMEs.

David, who has a degree in Banking and Finance, joins from specialist lender, Together, where he provided finance to businesses and individuals against all property types. Prior to that he worked in the commercial and investment banking departments within the Royal Bank of Scotland.

In his new role he will be working with his current network of brokers and introducers, developing new contacts across the North West, and meeting with SMEs requiring funding.

He said: “Over the last 10 years, Reward has built an excellent reputation in the region and across the North, funding hundreds of businesses with a straightforward and commonsense approach. It is very clear that they listen to the needs of each business, as no two are the same, in order to create simple, transparent, and quickly delivered solutions.

“I have been impressed with the flexibility and speed they can turn around a deal, which is important at the best of times, but even more so in these more uncertain ones.”

Steve Noble, managing director of Reward Finance Group-North West, said: “Reward has been represented in the North West for over four years, and last year we opened a new office in Manchester city centre.

David Baddiel

“We celebrated earlier this year when we completed our 100th deal, bringing the total lending in the region to £30m. This has since been surpassed and includes the writing of our largest ever deal at just under £3.5m in late August.

“Being consistent through these uncertain times has been really important to us and our clients. That’s why there have been no changes in our approach, appetite or policy – just a continued desire to meet the funding demands of an SME market that needs support.

“David is an excellent addition to the team, reaffirming our growth plans.

“He is well known and respected in the industry amongst the introducer networks. In addition, we’ve already seen he has the personality and drive to get on well with our clients’ directors, quickly understanding how their companies operate, enabling him to discuss the right funding options with them.”