People: Price Slater Gawne; Detectronic; Great Places Housing Group; CMAC Group; Squad; CBRE

Ainsley Pritchard and Nick Clough

In a key senior hire for North West law firm Price Slater Gawne, Ainsley Pritchard has joined the family law team as solicitor.

She brings to the role a wealth of experience, having previously held the position of head of family law at Dootsons Solicitors for the past decade, prior to this role she was head of the family department with Branton Bridge Solicitors and before that with Maidments Solicitors in Salford.

After graduating from Bolton College in history and completing her LPC with the College of Law, York, she has always specialised in the field of family and children law. Known for her discretion, she is much sought after by high net worth individuals, and is vastly experienced in unmarried and/or cohabitee disputes concerning property and provision for children.

Price Slater Gawne’s family team is led by Nick Clough, a highly experienced family lawyer of more than 30 years who is also a trained collaborative lawyer, a member of Resolution and an effective family law mediator.

Ainsley Pritchard is an acknowledged expert in children law proceedings. She said: “This is a very exciting move for me, as the firm continues its rapid growth and seeks to build its family law offering in the region and beyond. Nick’s reputation as a family lawyer is outstanding, and I really wanted to work with him and his team as they develop something very special in the industry.

“I have a particular interest in children’s matters, having worked extensively in this area, and will be seeking to build up our offering further.”

Founded by directors Victoria Price and Mark Slater in 2010, later joined by Christopher Gawne, Price Slater Gawne is based in Altrincham but has a national reach and offers legal expertise in the fields of clinical negligence, serious injury, Court of Protection, wills, trusts and probate and Lasting Power of Attorney, and family law.

The firm has grown significantly over the past two years, recruiting at all levels up to and including partner. In the past two years revenue has grown by 64% and headcount has doubled to 70.

Nick Clough said: “Ainsley is highly regarded throughout the North West for her family law expertise, and her particular skill set complements our already extensive family law offering which covers not just the region but attracts clients on a national and international basis. This is a significant hire for the business, and I am confident she will play a major role in the team’s continued development.”


Gavin Wagstaff has joined Colne-based wastewater monitoring specialist, Detectronic, as the company’s new head of research and development.

Gavin brings expertise gained over 30 years in a variety of different technology roles within consumer, retail, healthcare and more recently smart city/connected devices.

He said: “As the new head of R&D here at Detectronic my plan is to introduce modern planning and processes that will streamline and concentrate on unrivalled product development, but also ensure that the fantastic ideas the business and my colleagues have are made into a reality.”

Gavin succeeds existing head of R&D, Nick Bennett, who plans to retire after a career building the talent and capabilities that have made Detectronic an innovative leader in wastewater monitoring, the firm said. Nick will remain with Detectronic coordinating hardware design.

Gavin Wagstaff

Managing director, Neil Butler, said: “Since joining Detectronic, Gavin has shown the business mindset and leadership qualities to shape the future of innovation at Detectronic. I am confident Gavin will discover, develop and deliver an exciting pipeline of new products and continuous innovations across our portfolio.”

Over the last few years, Gavin has managed teams of engineers to provide 24-hour cover for a five-line production facility, developed global production test solutions, supported the creation of ‘smart’ thermostats for soft drinks coolers and project managed the development of a tele-healthcare product that is enabling elderly people to be independent as long as possible.

Prior to joining Detectronic, he was recruited to project manage and develop a connected street lighting system and smart city ecosystem which involved identifying and engaging with industry leading collaborators. He also helped to grow the team from four to 15 engineers focusing on hardware, firmware, cloud development, mechanical and validation IBM, Google and Amazon Web Service (AWS) systems that manage more than 600,000 devices.


Helen Spencer has been promoted to the role of executive director of growth at Manchester-based Great Places Housing Group.

She will be responsible for the delivery of Great Places’ £1bn affordable housing development programme and the management of key stakeholder relationships like the recently announced Homes England Strategic Partnership.

Helen will also be responsible for leading Great Places’ Plumlife sales team, will oversee the £750m Innovation Chain North construction framework and the growth of Great Places’ recently launched in-house building contractor, Terra Nova Developments.

Helen Spencer

Helen joined Great Places in 2004 as an assistant development officer and became director of development in 2016, delivering more than 4,000 homes in that role. She has led on a number of high profile projects and bids, most recently running the successful Victoria North bid in Manchester. In addition, Helen has provided inspirational leadership for Great Places’ successful affordable homes Plumlife sales team.

She said: “I’m really excited about taking on the new challenge as part of the executive team, helping Great Places realise its ambitious development plans. I look forward to continuing to deliver a high volume of quality new affordable homes, progressing the excellent work with our Plumlife sales service and working with sector peers to champion the work we do.”

Matthew Harrison, chief executive, said: “Great Places has a £1bn development programme over the next six years and will be working hard with all our key stakeholders to deliver our ambition. Helen’s appointment reflects the importance of the role and size of the challenge. We are pleased to continue to promote talent from within our organisation where appropriate and I am confident Helen, who is currently director of development, will make an excellent addition to the executive team.”


CMAC Group, the managed ground transport company, has appointed three new sales consultants to its UK sales team, bolstering the company’s expansion and facilitating its continued growth.

Ivor Hughes and Joseph Guy join Accrington-based CMAC as business development managers, working to accelerate the company’s growth in key markets in the UK, Europe and beyond, amidst continued high demand for its solutions and a record breaking financial year.

Additionally, Siobhan Ferguson has joined the business as account manager, supporting the continued development of its successful commercial partnerships channel.

As a result, the team now harnesses industry knowledge gained from some of the leading travel technology companies, boasting more than 80 years of experience in business travel and will support the growth of CMAC’s new customer base across markets including the private and public sector, travel and leisure.

Ivor Hughes joins from SABS Travel Technologies, bringing industry experience in client relationship management and sales roles across the sector. His experience primarily lies in sales for travel technology companies such as Dolphin Dynamics, developing relationships with and selling corporate travel booking systems into TMC’s and travel agents in the UK and Ireland.

From left: Joe Guy, Siobhan Ferguson, Leanne Riley, Ivor Hughes

Joseph Guy brings several years of experience in ground transport and the wider travel industry, following roles with Llew Jones International and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, while Siobhan Ferguson has enjoyed 25 years of experience in the business travel industry, working with both corporate and public sector customers, supporting them to control costs and protect the welfare of their people while travelling.

The expanded sales team will be led by Leanne Riley, who moved into the head of corporate sales role in December 2021.

Peter Slater, CMAC Group CEO, said: “The new agents are joining CMAC Group at an exciting time following a company rebrand, new partnerships and innovative product launches. Their skills and experience will not only help us to maintain our position as the leading managed ground transport specialists, but also help us to capitalise on these solid foundations and grow the business nationally and globally.”

CMAC is responsible for safely moving almost two million travellers annually across the UK and abroad, on behalf of clients such as the Home Office, Northern and G4S.

In addition to its appointments to the sales team, travel industry veteran Paul Wait has also joined CMAC on a consultancy basis, assisting in the global expansion of the group by enabling airlines and corporate customers to utilise a single platform for all their transport and accommodation requirements across the world. Paul previously held senior positions at American Express, Virgin Atlantic and Southall Travel.

The group is also actively searching to expand its European service provision with a recruitment drive in Spain. The recruits, based in Barcelona, will manage existing demand as well as building the organisation’s global presence.


Manchester brand-building firm Squad has appointed Tony Perry as associate creative director.

Formerly head of design at Cheetham Bell, where he worked for more than 24 years, Perry further strengthens Squad’s leadership team, supporting creative partner David Barraclough in the continued development of the agency’s creative department.

The appointment follows sustained business growth at the agency, with new and existing clients including Brand Architekts, Bristan, Bruntwood, Duerr’s, Eurocamp, JW Lees and Palatine.

Tony Perry

Barraclough said: “Tony and I worked together for almost a decade at Cheetham Bell. We have a great understanding. I’m thrilled to be pitting that against the big creative challenges once again. Tony isn’t just talented, he is always super positive, with a can-do spirit that’s infectious to be around.”

Perry said: “The opportunity to join Squad was one I jumped at. Squad is an exciting business with a fantastic reputation for its creative and strategic work, and it has some brilliant opportunities ahead. I’m looking forward to working alongside David to help push the business forward, particularly as we look to expand the creative team with ambitious, young talent.”

Perry will be responsible for nurturing the agency’s talent while further pushing Squad’s creative standards. He will also support in driving the continued expansion of the agency’s creative disciplines from branding and communications to products and culture.

Tony was most recently head of design at Cheetham Bell who he joined in 1996. He was later a founding member of the design department set up within the agency by David Barraclough. Over his career Tony has worked on clients including Berghaus, Umbro, Magnet, Siemans, National Railway Museum, Tussauds, Whitbread, Vimto and John West.


CBRE has bolstered its engineering expertise with a key hire and a promotion. Paul McEwan has been appointed as director of engineering consultancy for the North, responsible for all building services engineering projects across the Northern super region and will be based in the Liverpool and Manchester offices.

Paul McEwan

Paul Feely moves up to head CBRE’s national engineering design service.

Paul McEwan joins from Wates Construction’s M&E division Shepherd Engineering, where he spent six years leading on major projects across a range of sectors, including laboratories and healthcare, as well as delivering some of the most sustainable auditoria and office projects in the UK.

His new role with CBRE will see McEwan succeed Paul Feely, who has been appointed as CBRE’s head of engineering design for the UK and Ireland.

Feely joined CBRE in 2019 and has been appointed to drive the company’s national engineering design service, delivering strategic engineering advice and sustainable engineering as well as net zero carbon consultancy.

Paul Feely

CBRE’s building services engineering consultancy team currently employs 45 staff across the UK and sits within the company’s project management division which incorporates project management, cost consultancy, technical due diligence and specialist services.

Oliver Thomas, head of CBRE’s Northern project management and building consultancy teams, said: “Paul McEwan’s appointment forms part of our growth strategy, which will also see Paul Feely move into a national role to develop our design services offer across the UK and Ireland.

“We are on the lookout for engineers who want a new challenge and the opportunity to be part of the world’s largest real estate business and a multi disciplinary project management and building consultancy team.

“Paul McEwan will be key to that overall strategy, building on the great work that has already been achieved and leading our Northern engineering consultancy services.”