People: Harrison Drury; miServices; promanchester; Equity Release Supermarket; ACE

Tim Grover

North West law firm Harrison Drury has further bolstered its mergers and acquisitions expertise with the appointment of corporate lawyer Tim Grover.

Tim, who specialises in business sales and purchases, joins the firm from Vincents Solicitors where he was a senior member of its corporate team.

As well as overseeing corporate transactions, Tim also advises on commercial and consumer contracts and commercial property matters. He will be based at the firm’s Clitheroe office working with clients across the North West.

Nick Booth, head of the corporate and commercial team at Harrison Drury, said: “We continue to add talented, experienced people to our team with the aspiration of cementing our position as a legal advisor of choice in our North West locations.

“Tim is a talented and dedicated corporate solicitor who will help us add value to the work we do with business owners on corporate transactions and other commercial legal matters.”

Harrison Drury is listed in the Legal 500 as a leading firm for corporate and commercial law. In addition to its mergers and acquisitions expertise, the team advises on a wide range of business protection, intellectual property, and commercial dispute resolution matters.

Tim, who is from Manchester and now lives in Preston, said: “Harrison Drury is a firm with an excellent reputation, not only for its legal work but also the charitable and community work it carries out.”

Tim gained a law degree from University of Manchester in 2005 and completed his legal studies with BPP Law School. He trained with law firms in Manchester and Bolton having also gained experience working in the legal industry in New Zealand where he lived for a year in 2018.

This month Tim will start studying towards a Postgraduate Certificate in Organisational Development at Lancaster University Management School.


Marta Janes has joined Chester-based miServices, an inventory clerk franchise network, in the new post of director of franchising.

Marta will look after 42 franchises, all using inventory software miProgram, widely adopted and emulated across the property and proptech sectors over the past 11 years.

Her role also extends across the new Tour de Maison virtual tour franchise offer, which uses the Sceneuno app launched earlier this year.

Marta joins miServices with a background in compliance gained during her time with a work-based training provider, organising training within the framework of government legislation. More recently, she has supported a variety of public sector organisations as a translator and interpreter.

She said: “I’ll be focusing first and foremost on supporting franchisees so that they can continue to provide the best possible levels of service. We’ve developed tried and tested processes and my aim is to make it as easy as possible for franchisees to follow them consistently, particularly as we bring new franchisees on board.

Marta Janes

‘With more than 40 locations nationwide, I’m excited to be facilitating continuing high standards and sharing best practices and experiences across the network. I’ve been busy meeting franchisees via video call to put names to faces, so current restrictions aren’t slowing down introductions.”

Stuart McCormick, miServices’ co-founder, said: “Our network has reached the critical mass where there are enough franchisees to warrant their own dedicated director. Marta’s appointment takes our business to the next level, giving us more resource to develop the franchise network and new brands further.”

Co-founder William Forbes said: “Marta’s experience is a great fit for us, and we’re confident that franchisees will appreciate the extra support and advice she can provide as they grow their businesses.”


Anthony Morrow has been appointed as chair of business development organisation pro-manchester.

Mr Morrow, chief executive and founder of fintech firm OpenMoney, is currently a board member for the business following an 18-month tenure from partner at EY and Liverpool office managing partner Jenn Hazlehurst.

Anthony launched OpenMoney in 2017 with long time friend and Moneysupermarket co-founder Duncan Cameron. Prior to setting up OpenMoney he was a founding partner of Tatton Asset Management, the financial services group that listed in 2017 with a market capitalisation of £180m.

Previously, Anthony had worked as consultant at KPMG and Andersen.

Anthony Morrow

He said: “Manchester is entrepreneurial and venturous of spirit, brimming with ambitious and innovative businesses of all shapes and sizes. We also benefit from being a city with a young working population compared to other UK regions, as well as our multiculturalism and diversity of thought.

“All these ingredients create the perfect environment for commercial activity, and I’m looking forward to helping champion and support the city’s business community – as well as helping to nurture talent.”

In his year as chair, Anthony is keen to work on addressing the rebuilding needs of businesses due to COVID-19 alongside long standing issues such as inclusive employment opportunities, and feels the business community and financial sector, in particular, should play a key part in this.

Jenn Hazlehurst said: “It has been a privilege to act as chairperson for an organisation that does so much to support our region’s business community. COVID-19 has taught us that we are stronger together and that by working together, in partnership, we will pull through.”

Jenn will remain a director and continue to work closely with the pro-manchester team.


Independent equity release advisory service, Equity Release Supermarket (ERS), continues to expand its UK operations with the news that three new advisers have joined the organisation this month.

The Birchwood-based digital-tech company is adding to a growing national team that now stands at 60 advisers strong to strengthen its presence within the industry and throughout the UK. The latest appointments – Lauren Weir, Eileen Kendrick and Lokesh Singh – bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise from within the general financial services sector.

Mark Gregory,fFounder and CEO of Equity Release Supermarket, said: “Last year was undoubtedly a tough year for all, but with an upturn in the market and our positive activity, we continue to look forward to an exciting future, which our three new recruits will be part of.

“We are thrilled to welcome Lauren, Eileen and Lokesh to our expansive and well established team. Their respective expertise will help us to further strengthen our position and reach throughout the UK. It is always our aim to provide the best possible service to our customers, which is why we invest so heavily in our people, expertise and technology.

From left: Eileen Kendrick, Lokesh Singh, Lauren Weir

“We are also very proud to be creating new career opportunities at this difficult time for many people.”

Lauren Weir began her career in financial services in 2005 and during that time has worked for various high street banks, gaining experience in mortgage and insurance-related products. Having started out delivering in-house training courses for new advisers, Lauren soon realised that her real passion was dealing directly with customers. So, having spotted the potential and impact she could have on the equity release market, she subsequently went on to become an equity release adviser.

Prior to joining Equity Release Supermarket, Eileen Kendrick held many managerial positions at Legal & General, Halifax, HSBC, NFU Mutual and, most recently, Mercer Financial Planning, where she managed a team of financial and mortgage advisers. She now joins ERS as a well-qualified and experienced adviser bringing more than 30 years’ experience to the team.

The third new face to join the company, Lokesh Singh, began his financial services career in 2008 at Barclays, gaining great experience in all aspects of financial advice. Latterly, in 2017, he decided to move into later life planning, and is now a qualified equity release specialist.


Managing director of Liverpool-based civil and structural engineering firm Sutcliffe, Sean Keyes, has been appointed as the new Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) North West chair, following in the footsteps of the company’s founder, John Sutcliffe, who held the prestigious title for a number of years in the early 2000s.

Sean’s passion, experience and knowledge of the industry will see him as a natural fit for this new strategic role with ACE, which represents the companies large and small designing our built environment, both as a leading ambassador for the association and a champion for its members and the wider infrastructure and built environment sector in the North West.

Brexit, the Northern Powerhouse and levelling-up agenda, the ongoing impact of COVID-19 and sustainability will be on Sean’s list of priorities over the coming months, as he aims to build on the mission of previous chairs to create a strong and robust sector in the North West region.

He said: “It has long been an ambition of mine to work more closely with ACE and as its new chair I have lofty plans to engineer the future landscape of the North West. I’m very excited to take up the role, following in the footsteps of the late great John Sutcliffe, who founded Sutcliffe 36 years ago.”

Sean Keyes

Darrell Matthews, director of membership and business engagement at ACE, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Sean to the ACE board as our representative from the North West. The region has a huge role to play in regeneration and the levelling-up agenda, as well as delivering a Net Zero future for us all.

“Our members design, deliver and manage our infrastructure and built environment, and as such are vital to turning these aspirations into reality.

“Sean joins us at a crucial moment in time. While construction activity in the region will drive our national recovery, many companies are emerging from a period of great uncertainty. As the leader of a successful SME in Sutcliffe, Sean is ideally positioned to share his personal experiences for the benefit of the industry. I look forward to us working together.”