People: Aticus Law; Parfetts; Four Recruitment; CTS Group; Slater Heelis

Gaynor Beckett
X The Business Desk

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North West law firm Aticus Law with offices in Manchester and Wilmslow, has boosted its private client services offering with the appointment of Gaynor Beckett, a senior solicitor with 20 years’ experience in employment law.

Gaynor has previously worked across private, not for profit and public sectors with organisations including the National Union of Teachers, Leeds & Sheffield City Councils, Treasury Solicitors, Royal College of Nursing, as well as working in private practice.

Her experience and knowledge are an even split between respondent and claimant employment law work, both contentious and non-contentious. Gaynor has a particular passion for discrimination work, and, more recently, women’s rights in the workplace.

The employment law team at Aticus will continue to offer both respondent and claimant employment law advice under two distinct and separate sub departments. Both departments will comprise of solicitors and paralegal advisors specialising in either respondent or claimant employment law work.

As head of department Gaynor will also be offering her skill set towards offering training packages to businesses with and without in-house HR, towards commercial awareness of the ever developing and often complex employment law trends and hot topics. An alternative dispute resolution and insured employment law advisory services will also be rolled out to respondent clients.

The recruitment of Gaynor is a recognition by Aticus law that employment law and employee relations disputes attract disproportion costs for business owners, not only monetary but also in terms of management time and employee absence, the firm said. That recognition cross applies to distressed employees who feel they have been unfairly treated at work, which often has a substantial impact on wellbeing and mental health.

Gaynor says her professional advisory mantra is, “Open and honest communication, whilst maintaining respect for all colleagues in the workplace is absolutely key towards avoiding employee relations disputes accelerating to a disruptive level”.

Aticus Law partners, Simon, Edward, Louise and Victoria, said: “We welcome Gaynor to the team and have full confidence in her ability to maintain the high standards of advice that are integral to the professional ethos of Aticus Law. Our current clients will certainly benefit from her employment law expertise. We are confident in her vision towards achieving expansion of the department.”

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Stockport-based wholesaler Parfetts has appointed Zoe Taylor to the new role of employee voice manager. She will be responsible for supporting team members through voice groups and the company and employee trust boards.

Zoe Taylor has held several roles within Parfetts and is passionate about the benefits of employee ownership. She will lead the maintenance, communication and future development of the employee ownership culture at Parfetts.

Martin Race, chairman of the Employee Trust Board, said: “Parfetts’ continuing success is based on its people, who are all part owners of the business. Zoe’s appointment will further strengthen our employee-owned culture, structure and processes, and I wish her all the best in this important role.”

Zoe Taylor

Zoe will work alongside the voice depot groups to arrange employee activities around social and charity events and keep abreast of employee ownership developments that may benefit the company.

Employee-owned businesses are totally or significantly owned by their employees and account for four per cent of UK GDP annually. According to the Employee Ownership Association, businesses that operate this model achieve higher productivity, greater levels of innovation and are more resilient to economic turbulence. They also have more engaged, more fulfilled and less stressed workforces.

Guy Swindell, joint managing director of Parfetts, said: “Employee-ownership is part of our DNA, and we are always looking for ways to improve the experience for our team members and enhance the benefits of the model to the business. Zoe brings a real passion for Parfetts to the role.”

Parfetts was established in 1980 by the Parfetts family, a majority was sold to an Employee Trust Board in 2008, and the company became fully employee-owned in October 2018. Parfetts has grown 85% in the past five years and has more than 850 fascia stores.

Zoe Taylor said: “I’m excited to start my new role and champion employee-ownership within the business. Parfetts is growing quickly and employee-ownership is an essential part of that success.”

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Bolton-based Four Recruitment has announced its latest senior hire, Helen Jackson, who joins the company as commercial director.

Helen’s role will be to drive day to day operational success through Four’s growing team of recruiters and to further expand and develop the team.

Four Recruitment was established in 2008 by brother and sister team Phil and Claire Sofield. Helen’s appointment is the most senior at the company to date. Her role will enable Claire and Phil to identify and execute key strategic opportunities for the business.

From left: Claire Sofield, Helen Jackson, Phil Sofield

Helen was previously director at another Lancashire-based recruitment agency and joins Four with more than 12 years’ experience in the industry. She said: “It’s an incredibly exciting time to join Four, Claire and Phil have great plans for the growth of the business and I’m looking forward to being a part of this success.

“I was instantly attracted to the role at Four, because their values as a business are very much aligned to mine, delivering a long standing, value added service for clients that reinforces the great value the right recruiter can add to a business.”

Managing director, Claire Sofield, said: “The past year has been record breaking at Four. In addition to a continually growing team, new divisions and more product lines, we have also identified other areas of business growth and have a number of exciting plans for the future. Helen’s role will enable us to focus more on these projects and continue expanding the business.”

Phil Sofield said: “Helen will be a key member of the senior management team, working alongside Claire and I to continue our business growth trajectory. Her knowledge and experience will be a huge asset to our team and we’re delighted to welcome her.”

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Manchester-based CTS Group has announced the appointment of Tom Ray as CEO, who will now lead the group’s two partner companies, CTS and CloudM.

This follows the decision by incumbent CEO, James Doggart, to step into a founder director role following nearly 10 years at the helm of the two companies.

Tom’s appointment comes after a record breaking year for both businesses, with Google Cloud Platform revenue figures up 79% for CTS and 86% accelerating growth for CloudM’s SaaS platform this past financial year. Having helped grow CTS in his role as managing director, the move to group CEO will enable him to support more growth at CloudM, the group’s SaaS data management platform.

CTS’s services arm is Europe’s largest dedicated Google Cloud partner, and was recently named by Google as ​​EMEA Workspace Enterprise partner of the year and EMEA Public Sector partner of the year for GCP as they propel organisations such as Travis Perkins and Cabinet Office on their cloud journeys.

Tom Ray

The group’s software brand, CloudM, is a SaaS data management platform that enables organisations of all sizes to get the most out of Microsoft 365, Google Workspace and other SaaS apps. Recently named as Computings’ Cloud Management Solution of the year, they currently support customers including Spotify, Netflix, and Uber.

As part of the restructure, current CTS chief operating officer, Chris Bunch, will become managing director of CTS, while Gary Bennion will retain his position as managing director of CloudM.

Tom said: “I originally joined CTS as managing director to drive growth specifically in key markets including retail, financial services and public sector, working closely with James. It’s thanks to James’s dedication and expertise that the company is where it is today, and I’m delighted to be able to continue to drive the business forward as he moves into a founding director role.

“I’m really excited to start working closely with Gary at CloudM to help that side of the business to move into the next phase of growth. The opportunities for CloudM are still in relative infancy, but I strongly believe the business has the ability to become a true market leader in terms of technical innovation, being a ‘go to’ place to work and market share.”

He added: “I’ve worked with Chris for a number of years, scaling similar organisations. His focus on excellence in delivery, thought leadership and Google know how are second to none and is at the heart of what makes our customer relationships so strong. I can’t wait to see what he has planned for the next stage of CTS’ growth journey.”

In his previous role as MD at CTS, Tom took the company through a growth phase that has helped to cement its position as the Google Cloud experts. The introduction of the Think Big partnership with Google Cloud has already led to multi-year engagements with JPI Media while the Sustainability Heros initiative is already being used by customers to help them to become greener using Google’s carbon neutral cloud.

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Manchester-based law firm, Slater Heelis, has appointed associate solicitor, Alexandra Goldrein, to its ever growing family law team.

Specialising in all areas of private family law, including relationship breakdown, divorce and child contact arrangements, Alex brings a wealth of experience. Prior to being a family lawyer, Alex practiced as a pensions lawyer for four years and is able to provide effective advice in this highly complex area.

She also brings specialist expertise in Jewish divorce to the team, enabling them to provide specific support through the cultural and legal process of such separations.

Mark Heptinstall, partner and head of the family team at Slater Heels, recently recommended in the Times Top 200 Law Firms, said: “We are delighted to welcome Alexandra to the Slater Heelis team.

“She is patient, understanding and gives her clients a first class service and excellent client care. She also has significant experience acting for clients with international and religious elements, including both Islamic and Jewish divorce which will be an invaluable asset to the team.”

Alexandra Goldrein

Recognised in the Legal 500, Alex is described as an individual who can “really fight for her clients, no matter how difficult the case is. She is passionate and energetic and you definitely want her in your corner. Alexandra Goldrein is tenacious. She is deeply compassionate and committed to her clients.”

Alex, who has recently trained as a family mediator, said: “The reputation Slater Heelis holds really attracted me to the position and I am delighted to be working with Mark and the family law team who all share my ethos and values when it comes to providing committed client care.

“My experience of working with high net worth divorces involving complicated financial issues, including business ownership and pensions is complex and often acrimonious, and this is an area of family law I am keen to maintain and offer as part of the Slater Heelis team.”

Regularly published in family law publications, Alex is also a member of Resolution, and its associated committees.

Also joining the team is assistant solicitor Chloe Huggins and paralegal Imogen Hill, who will be supporting the team of family law specialists.

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