People on the Move: Brabners; K7 Media; Weightmans; The Good Board; Co-op Power

Nik White and Jennie Jones

Independent law firm Brabners has appointed another new partner to its fast-growing real estate practice as it continues to support high profile property development across the UK.

Construction specialist Jennie Jones joins Brabners from Freeths and brings significant additional dispute resolution and transactional construction experience to the firm’s 95-strong real estate practice.

Jennie specialises in advising contractors, developers, design consultants and funders on both contentious and non-contentious issues, including contested accounts.

Jennie’s appointment to the construction team, which has added 10 new lawyers in the past two years, further strengthens Brabners’ support for clients operating in the construction sector, with significant challenges anticipated throughout the supply chain as projects continue to be affected by the economic effects of COVID-19.

Operating across Brabners’ Manchester, Liverpool and Preston offices, Jennie will work alongside the firm’s construction lead, Barry Goodall, and real estate sector lead Andrew Waugh.

The appointment comes as Brabners’ real estate team targets further growth having increased its practice revenue by 10% in the past year.

Managing partner, Nik White, said: “The real estate sector has long been a strategic area of growth for us, particularly as the North West continues to deliver some of the UK’s most important infrastructure projects.

“The growth we’ve delivered to date is testament to the ambition of the region’s developers and contractors, but it’s clear they face new challenges in light of the ongoing pandemic.

“Jennie’s additional experience will prove vital at a time when our portfolio of construction clients is expanding in response to these unique pressures, as we look to ensure that the construction industry is best-placed to play its part in the economic recovery.”

Jennie Jones said: “While recent activity levels appear encouraging, a significant number of construction projects are being cancelled or delayed due to unreliable supply chains, workforce management challenges, and financial reserves being stretched to their limit.

“The construction team at Brabners has vast experience in advising clients on how to navigate through these testing times to emerge in a position of strength.

“The culture of the team and the wider firm means that it attracts lawyers who put clients at the heart of everything they do. It’s a privilege to be joining such an exceptional team and I look forward to providing guidance and support to our clients during what is an uncertain time for many.”

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Global media consultancy, K7 Media, has bolstered its factual expertise with specialist media consultant, Niki Page joining the business.

Named K7 Media’s factual consultant, Page will use her extensive knowledge of non-scripted programming to help develop the business’s factual offering and contribute to highly sought-after industry resources.

With more than 20 years’ industry experience, Page has held roles within Channel 4, Fremantle, and spent six years as head of factual and factual entertainment acquisitions at Sky Vision. Most recently, she was VP of factual acquisitions at Red Arrow Studios and managed non-scripted acquisitions outside of North America.

Keri Lewis Brown, founder and CEO of K7 Media, said: “It has been interesting to watch producers of non-scripted programmes find creative and affordable ways of producing whilst following the COVID-19 health and safety rules.

Niki Page

“Since March we have experienced an uptake in interest surrounding factual programming and felt it provided the perfect opportunity to expand K7’s expertise in the genre.

“Throughout her career, Niki has played an active role in shaping the non-scripted programming we see today.

“We believe having such an accomplished consultant on board will help us grow our factual offering and provide additional insight for clients across the globe.”

Niki Page said: “This year has reinforced the importance of factual programming and I’ve been delighted to see the genre gaining more attention than ever before. I am so pleased to be working closely with Keri and the team at K7 Media to share insights and research surrounding the genre.”

K7 Media offers bespoke research and media consulting services to broadcasters, streaming platforms, distributors and production companies. It continues to expand its current range of client services, while maintaining the delivery of highly sought-after media reports.

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Liverpool-based national law firm Weightmans has announced that senior partner David Lewis has been re-elected for a second three-year term.

David was first elected senior partner in 2018.

After joining Weightmans as an articled clerk in 1985, David moved through the ranks to become partner in 1992. He is best known for his work defending organisations and individuals facing investigation and prosecution for regulatory offences, founding the firm’s dedicated regulatory services unit in 2004. His second term as senior partner will commence in May 2021.

David Lewis

Managing partner, John Schorah, said: “I am pleased that David has been re-elected by equity partners for a second three-year term as senior partner of the firm. On behalf of the partnership I would like to congratulate David and we look forward to working with him for another three years.”

David said: “Weightmans has been at the heart of my career for over three decades.

“I have watched as we have transformed into a full service, national offering, always maintaining a deep commitment to the success of our clients and people.

“I am delighted to have been re-elected to serve as senior partner until 2024 and look forward to working with the board and all of our staff to evolve further in the coming years.”

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The Good Board, a pioneering executive search and leadership consultancy firm based in Wrexham, has appointed five new team members, with a combined 50+ years of professional experience.

This expansion is in response to renewed demand from boards and senior leadership teams to find, develop and connect the inclusive and purpose-led leaders they need to create a successful and sustainable future.

Chief executive Louise Gatenby said: “The world is changing at an unprecedented rate and there are significant pressures on boards and leaders to adapt. The Good Board was founded on the belief that every business has the potential to create positive change and, more significantly, that every business is going to have to change, to develop a more inclusive and sustainable approach, in order to survive.

Louise Gatenby

“Embracing these challenging and exciting times, I am thrilled to say that we have taken the decision to expand our team so we can more effectively meet the needs of our clients.

“We are supporting listed, private and not-for-profit organisations on the appointment and development of boards and senior leadership teams who have the courage and resolve to challenge the status quo and create a future which brings the needs of our environment, societies, people and profit into balance.”

Three new directors join the team. Jo Sands is director of interim and executive search. Jo brings an impressive 20-year track record of successfully placing senior professionals across a range of industries around the world. She is looking forward to providing strategic counsel to organisations seeking outstanding leaders during periods of transformation and change

Lexie Sims is director of search and diversity, equity and inclusion. An experienced HR professional, Lexie has worked in the retail, public and third sector in senior HR, DE&I and talent roles as well as in executive search. She is a coach, course facilitator, a trustee for the National Scout Association and advocate for social mobility based on opportunity and education.

Veronica Linares is director of leadership development. Veronica is a qualified coach and has spent her career to date within blue chip organisations like Mondelez, PwC and Coty in senior finance, transformation and HR roles. She combines leadership experience with a passion for enabling organisations to evolve by developing self-awareness, connecting with their values and purpose and leading from a higher level of consciousness.

Shivani Patel joins the team as a research manager, working closely across executive and non-executive assignments as well as managing a not-for-profit mentoring scheme, The Good Mentor.

Sian Gatenby joins the team as project manager, leading the launch of the ‘What is a Good Board’ podcast engaging with purpose-led and inclusive leaders on next generation board members.

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As the pressure continues for organisations to respond to the climate emergency, despite the risks of COVID, the Co-op has appointed a new managing director to lead green energy specialist Co-op Power and its first ever corporate member recruitment drive.

David Roberts has been with the Manchester-based Co-op for more than 20 years, originally overseeing stores across the South and, later, the integration of retailer Somerfield into the group.

In 2010, David was appointed property director, taking accountability for all properties across Co-op Food and Funeralcare, the group’s investment estate and the residential estate.

Now, David will be committing his entire focus to the energy and utilities procurement aspect of property in a new, bespoke role, managing director of Co-op Power.

Building on the group’s solid foundation and existing momentum, his first action is to lead the recruitment of new members.

He said: “The Co-op has been buying its own green energy since 2003 and, needless to say, we’ve gotten really good at it. Like-minded organisations have approached us over time, without prompt, to work co-operatively and we now procure energy and utilities for many others.

David Roberts

“The need for businesses to reduce their carbon emissions is well known, but finding a route to green energy at a fair price from a trusted supplier isn’t always easy, but is even more critical as COVID affects so many businesses.

“That’s the beauty of a co-operative model and the reassurance of working with a supplier who shares the same energy source and the same value. We want to be the most trusted provider in the market.”

Unlike traditional energy brokers, Co-op Power is, uniquely, dependent on the same electricity supply as its clients, meaning it is in the buying group with its customers, has aligned values and negotiate a fair deal in everyone’s best interests.

The group counts Roadchef, Nationwide Building Society and The Royal National Lifeboat Institution amongst its newest members, joining other long-standing names such as National Trust, PA Media Group and Emirates Airlines.

£100m in energy costs have been saved by Power’s corporate members so far and the Co-op alone saved more than 165,000 tonnes of carbon in 2019, through Co-op Power.

Jo Whitfield, chief executive of Co-op Food, responsible for Co-op Power, said: “Climate change throws up some very difficult issues for all businesses, many of which are yet to be solved. As the pandemic continues, but green targets remain, it’s important to us to keep momentum with Co-op Power, for the benefit of all.

“Co-op Power is a clear example of how co-operation can create a fairer and more sustainable world. By drawing upon our expertise in managing carbon reduction, we can help small, medium and large businesses alike significantly improve their carbon footprint in a cost-effective and transparent way.”

In addition to sourcing and sharing renewable electricity, gas and water, Co-op Power has extensive expertise in the sector and offers business members support services including risk strategy, invoice validation and payment services, metering, compliance and smart reporting. Co-op Power can also improve energy efficiency, carbon reduction and demand management.

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