People: Pitalia Real Estate; Boohoo; Realm Recruit; Haines Watts; Irwin Mitchell; Alvarez & Marsal

David Lathwood, left, and Greg Ball
X The Business Desk

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Pitalia Real Estate has appointed Greg Ball from Urban Splash as its new development and investment director.

Regeneration specialist Ball joins former JLL North West chairman, David Lathwood, at the fast growing development and investment vehicle.

During his time at Urban Splash, where he was a senior development manager, Ball oversaw the ongoing development of its iconic Park Hill scheme in Sheffield, Europe’s largest listed building.

He joined Urban Splash following stints at some of the North West’s largest regeneration projects, including for U&I at its £1.4bn Mayfield development, and for Muse at its Cheadle Royal and Stockport Exchange schemes.

It was early on in Ball’s career at King Sturge and JLL in Manchester where his working relationship with David Lathwood was formed.

Lathwood, CEO at Pitalia Real Estate, launched the vehicle in March 2021 with the backing of entrepreneur, Anil Pitalia.

Lathwood, said: “I’m really excited about teaming up with Greg again. He brings an enormous pedigree of working on large and complex regeneration schemes, and this aligns perfectly with our vision of acquiring and developing assets that we can add value to and make best-in-class.”

Ball said: “David and Anil’s long term plans for Pitalia Real Estate are exciting and right now the market is presenting lots of opportunities for those able to move quickly and deliver transformative residential and commercial schemes. The ability to work with a small but highly experienced and specialist team, with significant backing and the autonomy to be entrepreneurial is really appealing and I look forward to help grow the business.”

Pitalia Real Estate is part of the Pitalia Group.


Boohoo has announced the appointment of Kirsty Britz to the board as non-executive director today and will become a member of the Audit and Risk Committees.

The appointment of Kirsty brings additional expertise to the board, particularly in areas of environmental, social and governance matters.

Over the last 12 months Boohoo has strengthened its board with three NED appointments, “resulting in a board that comprises a majority of independent directors.”

Kirsty is currently the Director of Sustainable Banking at NatWest Group plc and an independent member of the Professional Standards Committee at HMRC.

Mahmud Kamani, Group Executive Chairman, said: “I am delighted to welcome Kirsty to the Board and look forward to the contribution she will bring. Her extensive ESG experience will help ensure the board remains focused on making balanced and sustainable decisions that factor in the impact of our strategy on multiple stakeholder groups.”

Kirsty Britz, said: “I look forward to helping the Group develop its sustainability approach, embedding it into strategy, governance and operations, and ensuring the Board remains focused on building practices fit for a sustainable future.”


Specialist legal recruitment consultancy Realm Recruit has welcomed Sarah Glynn as its first head of marketing.

Sarah joins Realm from top 200 corporate and commercial law firm Kuits, where she had worked since 2014, most recently as marketing manager. In 2018, she won the award for Marketing Professional of the Year at Made in Manchester Awards.

With 10 years of marketing experience within professional services, CIM-qualified Sarah will be leading Realm’s five-strong in-house marketing team and will be responsible for steering the business’s marketing strategy.

Her joining comes on the back of Realm recently reaching £1m annual turnover for the first time.

Sarah Glynn

Sarah said: “I’m excited to be returning from maternity leave to a fresh challenge at a firm of Realm’s calibre, with unrivalled sector expertise, a truly talented team and an impressive client base.

“From my time at Kuits, I have developed a deep understanding of what law firms need from their talent pool and recruitment partners in order to excel in today’s market. I am looking forward to using this knowledge to further consolidate the client experience Realm works hard to provide, and bring this service to new regional markets.”

Realm’s director, Duane Cormell, said: I’m delighted to welcome Sarah to the team and I have no doubt that her joining will have a significant positive impact on the business. Hiring someone of Sarah’s calibre feels like a real signal of intent as we move closer towards our goal of becoming the leading specialist legal recruitment consultancy in the regional market, while we maintain our healthy ratio of support staff to fee-earning recruiters.”


Haines Watts has welcomed 12 new appointments in the past year to its team in Manchester to further support its growing base of clients.

This comes at a time of development for the firm as it further invests in its supportive and collaborative culture, creating a workspace for the future with a £50,000 investment in its city centre office to welcome the team back.

The new team members join at various levels from school leavers to seniors and across different departments including business services, tax and audit and assurance.

The firm is continuing to search for more great people to join its growing team.

New starters

The appoints come after Angela Chorlton was promoted to associate director last year, having also secured her Responsible Individual (RI) status.

Managing director in Manchester, David Fort, said: “We are delighted to welcome more great people to our growing team. Our new team members will play an instrumental role in meeting the ever changing needs of our clients. We are continuing to evolve and adapt to future business challenges, and we’re looking forward to welcome more team members in the months to come.”

Audit senior, Cynthia Zimele, said: “I feel I have found a culture where I finally fit in. At Haines Watts I feel as if the sky is the limit. I know that I can get support for anything I need and that the directors and managers are actively supporting my growth and development. I find the regular reviews and feedback very insightful and useful.”

Haines Watts is an advisor to owner-managed businesses in the UK. As a Top 15 firm, it delivers a wide range of services and solutions that enable aspirational business owners to achieve their goals.


Irwin Mitchell is expanding its Manchester property practice with the appointment of transactional property partner Stelios Coutsavlis from Knights.

Stelios has major experience acting for developers on projects involving renewable and mainstream energy, senior living, and for public authorities and developers on urban regeneration projects. His particular expertise in energy and healthcare fit in well with Irwin Mitchell’s sector approach and its Later Living with Care sector.

He will provide a strong boost to Irwin Mitchell’s property team in Manchester, headed by Roy Beckett and comprising Irwin Mitchell’s head of planning and environment, Claire Petricca-Riding, construction partners, Edward Davies and Richard Allan and real estate dispute associate Ben Gildea. His appointment provides further enhancement for the firm’s real estate offering in the North and around the country.

The announcement regarding Stelios coincides with the news that Ben Rogers will join Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office from DLA Piper as a transactional property partner. The appointments take the practice to 27 partners and 147 qualified lawyers.

Adrian Barlow, director of property legal services at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Following the reorganisation of the Irwin Mitchell business this year, our commercial and residential real estate teams have combined into one property division and are benefitting from a unified approach. New business enquiries and activity have increased substantially across the practice.

Stelios Coutsavlis

“We are committed to developing our national teams and these appointments in Sheffield and Manchester play an important part in that investment plan, helping us to fulfil our ambition of providing first class advice to clients in today’s fast moving property environments. Both new joiners come with a wealth of experience and superb track records and I have no doubt will be great assets to our practice.”

The latest recruits follow the firm’s announcement of a 93% retention rate of newly qualified solicitors and the adoption of a Flexible by Choice policy, allowing all colleagues to work when and where they want, subject to client requirements.

Several other new partners have also been recruited in recent months, including Christine Thornley in tax, trusts and estates, Angela Jackman in public law and human rights and Danielle Parsons and Deborah Casale in employment, together with several new senior associate hires nationwide.

The positive news on recruitment caps an 11th consecutive year of growth for the 2020-21 financial year for Irwin Mitchell, with turnover up to £275.8m.


Global professional services firm, Alvarez & Marsal (A&M), has expanded its regional restructuring practice in Manchester with the appointment of Michael Magnay as a managing director. He will strengthen the firm’s senior team at a time when businesses in the North West are battling disruption arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

A&M’s Manchester team has grown rapidly since establishing an office in the city in 2018. It now comprises 19 people, two of whom are managing directors. The firm offers regional business leaders restructuring, turnaround and insolvency support.

Recent cases for the Manchester office have included mid market advisory and insolvency work, such as PFP Energy, together with working on larger national and international cases such as Four Seasons and NMC Healthcare.

Mark Firmin, managing director and head of regional restructuring at A&M, said: “Our team across the UK has experienced significant growth in the last few years, as businesses continue to turn to A&M for our hands-on approach. We are committed to strengthening our conflict-free offering to clients across a range of sectors.

Michael Magnay

“Michael’s experience, working closely with distressed companies in and around Manchester, is invaluable and will help us further build rapidly on our commitment to the North West.”

Mr Magnay brings more than 20 years of experience supporting underperforming businesses across a wide variety of sectors, including retail, consumer business, construction and manufacturing. He specialises in helping stabilise businesses, assessing available options and implementing strategies to protect and enhance value.

During his career he has advised businesses ranging from owner-managed small and mid-size enterprises (SME) to governments, corporates and multinationals.

Prior to joining A&M he spent 20 years with Deloitte, most recently as a partner leading the restructuring services businesses in the North West and Scotland. His recent cases include overseeing the widely reported sale of national retailer Go Outdoors, rescuing Northern Irish bus builder Wrightbus, and handling the insolvency of North West manufacturer Cartwright Group.

He said: “It is hugely exciting to be joining the market leading, independent restructuring firm in the North West at a time when businesses need support to help navigate this new post-pandemic context. A&M has an established team of highly experienced restructuring professionals, and I look forward to working with Paul Flint and the team to further grow the practice, and the team, at pace.”