People: Cassidy + Ashton; Tilia Homes Northern; MHA Moore and Smalley; Simpson Millar; Truman

From left: Jordan Balazs, Ben Thornley, Alban Cassidy, Claire Parker

Architectural, planning and building surveying practice, Cassidy + Ashton has promoted three of its planning team.

Ben Thornley and Claire Parker take on roles as senior town planners, with Jordan Balazs progressing into a role as a town planner.

Ben joined Cassidy + Ashton in 2018 and is based at the practice’s Chester office. He has a wide range of experience and specialises in obtaining planning permission for developments in green belt areas. He works on commercial development projects across the North West and North Wales and is also currently working on several residential schemes in the London Boroughs.

Based in the practice’s Preston office, Claire began her career at Cassidy + Ashton as a student on work experience in the summer of 2012. After graduating with a Master’s in Civic Design at the University of Liverpool, she accepted a permanent role at the practice. In her new senior town planning role, Claire is managing larger, more significant planning applications and is becoming involved in the practice’s strategic development.

Having joined Cassidy + Ashton as a graduate in 2018, Jordan continued her studies part time towards a Master’s Degree in Town and Regional Planning. She graduated with distinction in December 2020 and now plans to work towards obtaining her chartership.

Working alongside Claire in the Preston office, Jordan has taken on a lead role in planning projects since promotion, managing residential, educational and commercial schemes of all sizes.

Alban Cassidy, a director and chartered town planner at Cassidy + Ashton, said: “We pride ourselves on the talented team we have and believe it is important to provide opportunities to help progress each and every employee through their chosen career.

“Claire and Ben have both taken on much more responsibility over the last year which has enabled them to take charge of larger and more complex projects. This promotion is well deserved for them both and reflects the growing contribution they make to Cassidy + Ashton.

“Since being awarded her Master’s degree in 2020, Jordan has demonstrated a real understanding of planning that has enabled her to progress rapidly with her career. She has become a key part of the team and already has many successful applications behind her.”

Cassidy + Ashton’s planning team works from the practice’s North West offices delivering services across the UK.

As town planning and environmental consultancy specialists, the team has also developed strong and collaborative relationships with local authorities and key stakeholder organisations and manages all types of planning applications for a diverse range of commercial and residential developments.


Tilia Homes Northern, based in Warrington, has strengthened its team with the appointment of construction and SHE (Safety, Health and Environment) director, John Mooney.

After completing a City & Guilds Joinery qualification at Manchester Building College, John began his career in construction as an apprentice joiner. He then progressed to roles on site with Redrow, Taylor Wimpey and Galliford Try. Most recently, John worked for Gleeson Homes as operations director where he was responsible for the running of the company’s Manchester region.

In his new role at Tilia Homes, John will oversee the entire construction process on the housebuilder’s developments across the northern region. John’s main responsibility will be to support the team in building new homes to high standards and with customer focus at the forefront. Undertaking a dual role, as a SHE director, John will also be responsible for ensuring and maintaining health, safety and compliance on site.

John Mooney

John said: “I’m thrilled to have joined Tilia at such a pivotal time for the business, with significant investment in the northern region as it embarks on ambitious expansion plans. Being on board early on will mean I can have maximum involvement from land acquisitions through to customer handover.

“I’m looking forward to fully integrating into Tilia Homes and having an impact on improving and growing the business, building a stable team of professional people and inspiring future generations of construction professionals. I hope to look back in a few years and be proud of what we’ve achieved at Tilia Northern.”

Rick Long, managing director at Tilia Homes Northern, said: “We’re delighted to welcome John to Tilia Northern. His appointment comes at an exciting time for the business as we begin to broaden our investment in the north and seek out new development opportunities. He brings with him a wealth of experience in the construction industry and will be a great role model to new and younger members of our team who are just starting out in their careers on site.”


Accountancy and business advisory firm MHA Moore and Smalley has appointed a new tax manager to support the continued growth of its Manchester office.

Scott Booth has joined the company from DTE Business Advisers where he worked for eight years, most recently as tax manager.

He will work across a range of sectors, advising clients on a wide range of tax advisory issues.

Colin Abrahams, tax partner at MHA Moore and Smalley’s Manchester office, said: “We continue to strengthen our tax expertise in Manchester to support the continued and sustained growth in demand for our tax advisory services since opening the Manchester office in late 2019.

Scott Booth and Colin Abrahams

“I am delighted that Scott has joined us and with his experience and knowledge over a wide range of corporate and personal tax areas which complements our existing expertise. We are well placed to continue to provide a high quality advisory service for our clients as we keep pace with our growth.”

Scott is originally from Middleton, Manchester, and lives in Bury. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and the Chartered Institute of Taxation.

He said: “I’m proud to have joined a company with MHA Moore and Smalley’s reputation. I’m looking forward to working collaboratively as part of a close knit tax team in Manchester and advising our clients while developing my technical skills as a tax adviser.”

MHA Moore and Smalley’s Manchester office opened in October 2019 and is situated on Mosley Street.


A total of 19 people have been named as part of law firm Simpson Millar’s 2021 promotions round, to include nine colleagues who sit within the firm’s award winning public law team.

Manchester-based abuse law expert Liam Goggin is one of two new Partners at the firm. Overseeing a team of 12 and specialising in child abuse claims against public bodies he is joined by three new senior associates from within the public law department, including Caroline Hurst (Court of Protection), Emma Davis (education) and Sarah Collier (human rights).

The public law team has also welcomed five new associates, including Hannah Morris (care homes); Nicola Duff, Jamie Gordon and Aimee Last (Court of Protection); and Esther Salter (education).

Personal injury lawyer, Manchester-based Caroline Fox, who specialises in serious injury claims including brain damage and spinal cord injuries and who has been recognised as a Rising Star in the Legal 500 2021 for the second year running, has also been made a partner at the firm.

Greg Cox

Greg Cox, Simpson Millar CEO, said: “Following what has been a very challenging but rewarding year for many of our colleagues, I am particularly pleased to be able to congratulate all those who have been named as part of our 2021 promotions round.

“All of our promotions are awarded on merit, and because those successful candidates have worked tirelessly to ensure our clients receive the very best level of legal service available.

“Each and every one of them play a vital role in the success of the firm, and they exemplify the strengths and talents that we have within our team. Our people enable us to succeed and we will continue to promote the best talent from within and to recruit the best talent from the market. As ever, with those we promote from across the business, their recognition is thoroughly deserved, and it is our belief that there is much more to come from them all as they continue to play an integral part in helping Simpson Millar to continue to open up the law.”


Lostock-based construction company, Truman, has appointed industry stalwart, Will Prew, as operations director.

Will will oversee all Truman’s projects including Urban Hub, a 425-student apartment in Preston for developer, Pillars, Bridge St, an 18-bed boutique hotel in Chester with accompanying restaurant and spa for the Wildes Group, and the new 257-bed Molo Hotel in heart of Liverpool centre.

Will Prew

With more than 35 years’ experience in construction, Will has occupied senior roles at numerous respected contractors, delivering in excess of 2,000-beds in the student and hotel sectors along with various prestigious heritage projects such as Wilton’s Music Hall, Westminster Abbey and Dunham Massey.

As new operations director, Will, will put his wealth of experience to good use for the Truman team, particularly his work delivering complex restoration projects and high volume developments.

Will said: “I have always thrived on job satisfaction and ensuring the team around me have the tools to succeed. Collaborative working with all stakeholders of any project are key to success and this new role is a great opportunity to elevate Truman’s unique, industry leading ways of working.

“I really admire Truman’s approach to working with clients and colleagues and I can bring my experience and expertise to further galvanise this level of trust to help deliver game changing projects.”