People: Mitchell Charlesworth; Ringley Group; Speedy; Adlington Management Services; Butcher & Barlow; DSG

From left: Jamielee Johnston, Phil Hartley, Alison Buckley
X The Business Desk

Register for free to receive latest news stories direct to your inbox


North West accountancy firm Mitchell Charlesworth has made a series of promotions, including an audit and accounts partner and a director of tax.

Jamielee Johnston has become an audit and accounts partner in Manchester. Jamielee has more than 13 years’ practice experience and has worked her way up at Mitchell Charlesworth, joining as an assistant manager in 2016 and then progressing to manager, associate and now partner.

As part of her role, Jamielee looks after a wide range of clients, with a particular specialism in the charity and voluntary sector. Jamielee also advises many owner-managed businesses and can assist with tax planning and growth support.

Phil Hartley has been promoted to director of tax. Phil is a chartered accountant and chartered tax adviser with more than 10 years’ experience of dealing with owner-managed businesses and providing tax advice on a wide range of issues.

Phil joined Mitchell Charlesworth in 2018 and works across the firm’s four offices providing tax advice to a wide ranging portfolio of clients, particularly with regards to corporation tax and group restructuring. Phil has a specialism in R&D tax relief and has helped businesses to reclaim more than £2.1m in tax relief during 2020. He was chosen as one of the UK’s rising talents in the Accountancy Age 35 under 35 2019 ranking.

Elsewhere in the firm, Michael Griffiths (Chester), Sarah Reeves (Chester) and Nick Spruce (Liverpool) have all been promoted to the role of audit and accounts manager.

Michael Griffiths joined Mitchell Charlesworth in 1999 and now manages a varied portfolio of clients, including small to medium-sized businesses and organisations within the charity sector.

Sarah Reeves joined the practice shortly before gaining her ACA qualification in 2014. Sarah has specialist knowledge of auditing and accounting procedures across a wide range of industries, particularly in agriculture, property and corporate groups. She manages a portfolio of mostly limited companies. She also specialises in charitable companies, including several academies.

Nick Spruce graduated from university with a degree in accountancy and financial management before gaining his ACA qualification. He has more than nine years’ experience of working with a wide range of small and medium-sized businesses across a wide range of sectors. Nick joined the firm in 2017 and his promotion will see him take on larger client delivery responsibilities.

Alison Buckley, managing partner of the Manchester office at Mitchell Charlesworth, said: “These promotions are thoroughly well deserved and reflect the hard work, commitment and outstanding contribution these talented individuals make to the firm and our clients.”

Tim Adcock, Chester managing partner and head of Mitchell Charlesworth’s tax team, said: “At what is a very challenging time for businesses, we continue to find new ways to meet our clients’ evolving needs. With these promotions we have a team in place with the expertise and experience to support and service our clients effectively.”


Residential property consultancy Ringley Group has appointed a new managing director to its build-to-rent (BTR) division, as the company aims to keep growing its exposure to the rapidly expanding sector.

Ian Barber has been working within the property industry for more than 18 years across various disciplines and will help lead Life by Ringley, which advises investors and operators across the whole lifecycle of a BTR asset, from design and planning through to lease up, operations and disposal.

Prior to his time at Landmark, Ian managed Hunters’ flagship Manchester office where he received two national awards for exceeding highest income and highest conveyancing instructions across the group – also commissioned by developers on some of Manchester’s new building helping to establish schedules and viability.

Based in Ringley Group’s Manchester office, Ian will focus on growing Life by Ringley’s client base while also supporting the mobilisation and operations of mandated BTR schemes across the North of England and the Midlands.

Life by Ringley has advised major BTR investors and operators such as Curlew, Patrizia and Moda Living, and is currently instructed on BTR developments in Manchester, Stockport, and Coventry.

Ian Barber

Last year Ringley Group launched PlanetRent, an automated lettings platform designed to streamline reporting for BTR investors and operators with large, geographically dispersed portfolios.

Mary-Anne Bowring, group managing director at Ringley, said: “While house prices have grabbed all the lines, Britain’s build-to-rent sector has gone from strength to strength, with an increasing number of operational schemes and more investors looking to deploy capital.

“Ian’s deep residential expertise and strong network will help support our growth, particularly in the North of England and Midlands and I look forward to working alongside him to bolster our presence in the build-to-rent sector.”

Ian Barber said: “Ringley Group boasts a deep knowledge of all things residential and the firm has a forward thinking approach to technology and innovation that will chime with many in the build-to-rent space.

“Working out of the group’s Manchester office, I aim to drive Ringley’s continued expansion in the regions while also supporting existing clients in the launch and operations of their schemes.”


Construction equipment hire and services provider Speedy has appointed an Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) director as the business ramps up its focus on sustainability.

Amelia Woodley joins the firm from South Western Railway where she spent three years as head of sustainability. She has almost 20 years’ experience in delivering ESG strategies, with her previous roles including senior leadership positions at Network Rail, AIG Engineering and BAE Systems.

Based at the business’s headquarters in Newton-Le-Willows, Amelia will have oversight of Speedy’s long-term ESG programme, Energise. Speedy’s ambitious ESG programme will reduce the business’s environmental impact and provide more sustainable products and services for clients, along with introducing new programmes that support Speedy employees and local communities.

The move follows the firm’s recent multimillion-pound investments in sustainable products and the overhaul of its company car list which now consists almost entirely of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) .

Amelia Woodley

Speedy’s chief operations officer, Dan Evans, was recently elected to the London-based Supply Chain Sustainability School board, which is focused on helping its 100+ partner businesses meet the sustainability targets set out by UK Construction Strategy 2025.

Russell Down, Speedy chief executive, said: “Responsibility and sustainability have always been at the heart of everything we do at Speedy and we are committed to working with our people customers and suppliers to build a more sustainable future.

“Amelia has a strong track record of delivering transformation and award-winning sustainability programmes across large organisations. She brings experience that will help us continue our journey to drive down carbon emissions and enhance social value across our business and the wider supply chain.”

Amelia Woodley said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Speedy. It’s an exciting time to be part of a business that is leading the way in a sector making significant ground towards delivering a net zero built environment.”

Speedy operates from 200 sites across the UK and Ireland and employs 3,300 people.


The management arm of Adlington Retirement Living has appointed a new general manager to its development in Romiley.

Aron Sloly, who was previously a duty manager at The Cottons, an Adlington Retirement Living development in Ramsbottom, now leads a team of nine – six duty managers, two housekeepers and a maintenance technician – at The Folds in Romiley.

Having previously owned and managed a bistro and two restaurants over a period of 14 years, Aron is putting his hospitality experience to good use with Adlington Management Services.

Aron said: “Running my own hospitality businesses, I was used to providing high levels of customer service and being attentive to our clientele. Those skills transfer well to our aspirational retirement living communities. I’m thoroughly enjoying getting to know our homeowners and already have some exciting plans for The Folds.”

Aron Sloly

The Folds won the Silver Award for Best Retirement Development in the UK at the WhatHouse? Awards 2020, the UK housebuilding’s most prestigious event.

Adlington Retirement Living, which has always designed and built its own schemes, brought the management of its retirement communities in-house with the launch of Adlington Management Services in 2019.

Ed Gladman, managing director of Adlington Retirement Living, said: “Our move to manage our own developments is part of our strategy for long term growth. It ensures we can provide a consistently outstanding service to our homeowners. Our communities offer a safe, secure and happy environment with a circle of friends and a sense of belonging.”

Adlington Retirement Living develops and operates high-end, purpose built retirement communities in the North West, Yorkshire and The Midlands.


North West law firm Butcher & Barlow has announced several key promotions and new appointments in its Gadbrook Park Commercial Property department to deal with increased demand.

Rachel Martin has been promoted to partner and will also become acting head of commercial property covering Zoe Paton-Crockett’s maternity leave. Property litigation specialist, James Holton, who heads the property dispute resolution team, has been made an associate.

Butcher & Barlow has 10 offices across the North West and is one of the region’s top Legal 500 firms.

Rachel Martin said: “We’ve remained busy throughout the pandemic, but the last six months have seen huge increase in the number of new instructions.

“People were holding their breath to see what happened, but there is definitely a sense of determined optimism now – people are ready to get going again and take their plans off hold.”

James, who joined the firm in 2017, brought with him a large number of clients and has played a key role in growing the firm’s property dispute practice, in particular contributing towards the significant growth of the firm’s landlord and tenant practice. He was recognised as a ‘rising star’ in the 2021 Legal 500.

The firm has also made two new appointments with experienced solicitors Julie Honychurch and Seema McWilliam joining to bolster the already well established commercial property team.

From left: James Holton, Julie Honychurch Rachel Martin, Seema Mcwilliam

Rachel added: “We are lucky to have a large and very experienced team of commercial property specialists here at the Gadbrook Park office. Eight of the 12 solicitors in this department are partners and we are delighted to welcome Julie and Seema to the team. They bring a wealth of experience with them and will be a fantastic addition.”

Seema joins from Cheshire-based Chafes Hague Lambert and Julie joins from a specialist privately owned property development and investment company and has more than 35 years’ experience.

Julie said: “I am incredibly excited to be taking on this new role. Butcher & Barlow’s reputation goes before them, and I think my past experience will stand me in good stead.”

Butcher & Barlow has seen a large growth in demand in its commercial property division, with the market remaining buoyant despite the COVID situation.

Equity partner, Jonathan Aldersley, said: “We pride ourselves on understanding our clients’ needs and providing sound commercial advice. For that we need the right calibre of staff, and these internal promotions and new appointments do just that and are a further indication of Butcher & Barlow’s ambitions for growth and excellence.”


Liverpool-based DSG Chartered Accountants has made three significant promotions across the firm.

DSG provides independent accountancy and advisory services to a variety of small, medium and larger businesses. The firm is a member of DFK International, a global association of accounting firms, designed to support with international briefs including tax planning, overseas expansion and employment tax matters.

Mark Kearsley

Mark Kearsley, formerly corporate tax director at the firm, has been promoted to tax partner. With more than a decade’s experience working at DSG, Mark has worked closely with the firm’s larger corporate clients and owner-managed businesses, providing a range of tax advisory services.

He oversees the firm’s corporate tax advisory offering, including R&D tax advisory work and also advises on international aspects of corporate tax for both inbound and outbound international clients. Additionally, Mark has played an important role in driving DSG’s engagement within the DFK network.

Further reinforcing DSG’s tax offering, Rob Hackney has been promoted to tax manager. Since joining in February 2020, Rob’s focus has been on assisting clients with their compliance responsibilities as well as advising widely on corporate and other business taxation.

With extensive experience in working with both domestic and large multinational groups, Rob will have a key role in co-ordinating and overseeing services to DSG’s larger corporate clients and will also work closely with the corporate finance team on transaction tax matters.

Rob Hackney

David Pennant-Williams, based at DSG’s Ewloe office, has been promoted to senior corporate business manager. David’s promotion will see him adopt an enhanced role within the firm’s corporate team where he will oversee the provision of both audit and non-audit services to Liverpool and North Wales clients.

With 13 years’ experience at the firm, David has demonstrated adaptability in working with a variety of client types in providing both compliance and advisory services.

These promotions strengthen DSG’s team and service offering.

Mark Kearsley said: “I am delighted to join DSG’s team of experienced and talented partners. DSG has given me the platform and opportunities to develop not only as a tax professional, but a business adviser to our clients. As a firm providing a partner-led service, I’m looking forward to continuing to do this and supporting clients with pragmatic solutions for their business.

David Pennant-Williams

It is an exciting time to step up to partner and I am looking forward to the challenge. 2020 saw the expansion of our office space in Liverpool city centre and the addition of the Mazars Liverpool audit practice, and 2021 has been very positive with a growing demand in all areas of the firm.”

Tony Bayliss, senior partner, said: “Our tax team has remained extremely busy over the last 12 months, despite the impact of COVID-19 on the broader business community.

“Mark’s elevation to partner is, therefore, well timed and I am also delighted to announce the well earned promotions of both David and Rob. The continued investment in, and advancement of, our people is vital in ensuring we continue to provide our clients with the best advice and quality of service across all of our departments and locations and establishes a firm platform for the future.”