People: Vincents Solicitors; Roxtec UK; Watsons Solicitors; RSM; Mitchell Charlesworth; Redrow

Erica Fielding and Fahrat Unnisa

Vincents Solicitors has expanded its specialist family and child care team once again with two new appointments at its Preston office. Family law solicitor Fahrat Unnisa and experienced paralegal Erica Fielding will focus on helping victims of domestic violence with urgent and ongoing support.

Fahrat Unnisa joins from Farnworth Shaw in Nelson, prior to which she was at Watson Ramsbottom in Blackburn where she worked with Val Shaw, head of child care department at Vincents. Fahrat has spent most of her 22-year career working with victims of domestic abuse in East Lancashire. She is also a member of the Family Law Advanced Panel for domestic violence and children.

As an Urdu and Punjabi speaker, Fahrat is able to offer tailored support for families who may be struggling with a language barrier in domestic abuse or other child care matters. She can work with families who are involved with social services from the moment they are issued with pre-proceedings and throughout any subsequent child care hearings.

Her arrival comes soon after that of child care solicitor Nina Ellement, formerly head of legal for Cumbria County Council, and further strengthens Vincents’ dedicated child care team.

Fahrat said: “I’m keen to focus exclusively on child care and domestic violence cases and to work as part of a really strong team. I was impressed with Vincents’ experience within the family law department, and the child care team in particular. Both Val Shaw and Nina Ellement are very well respected in this field and being able to work with Val once again was another huge draw for me.”

Paralegal, Erica Fielding, is also a specialist in child care and domestic violence cases, having worked in this area for 18 years and provided direct support through regular refuge clinics. She joins the firm from Watson Ramsbottom in Blackburn, prior to which she was at Roebucks where she secured her Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX ) Level 3 qualification. Erica will continue her CILEX training to Level 6 with the support of Vincents’ in-house programme.

Child care department head, Val Shaw, said: “Domestic violence and survivor support is a very sensitive area of work which requires the utmost professionalism and empathy, something which both Fahrat and Erica share. Their arrival complements the team’s existing strengths and provides our clients with access to highly skilled practitioners in all aspects of child care and private family law.”


Bury-based safety seal manufacturer Roxtec UK has recruited a new infrastructure manager as it looks to further benefit from strong growth in the rail industry.

Phil Jones has joined the company as market manager for rail infrastructure. He takes up his post as Roxtec seeks out further opportunities in the sector.

With a strong background in sales, Phil brings with him a wealth of experience in compliance and technical standards gained in previous roles, including fire protection specialist at an international insulation supplier to the building industry.

Phil Jones

His role at Roxtec will involve finding new business and then guiding a project through the design stage, right through purchase and installation.

Roxtec has been involved in several UK major projects as investment in rail infrastructure continues to develop. Phil said: “I’m really looking forward to my new role and having the opportunity to play my part in the continuing growth of the business. Central to that will be building on Roxtec’s existing strong relationships in the rail sector and developing new ones as we look to seek out new opportunities.”

He added: “I was attracted to the job by the ambition of the business and its innovation. Also, the fact the role is not just purely about sales, it is also about providing technical solutions to customers, working closely with them throughout their project to see how to successfully fulfil their needs.”

Roxtec UK managing director, Clive Sharp, welcomed Phil to the team and said: “We’re looking forward to him playing a key role as we look for further opportunities in the rail sector, utilising all our industry experience and knowledge.”


Sophia Liu is excited to deliver on an increasingly busy and varied workload after joining Watsons Solicitors as an employment law solicitor.

Watsons has added Sophia to its team to help manage a demanding period for the sector, which has led to an increase in new employment law clients for the Warrington-based law firm.

Arriving in the busy team, Sophia will be assisting clients in all aspects of employment law, in both contentious and non-contentious matters, including day-to-day employment issues such as redundancies, long term absences, grievances and disciplinaries, as well as representing clients in employment tribunal proceedings.

Sophia Liu

Sophia said: “It is definitely an interesting time. There has been no two years like it before in the employment law sector, with the pandemic and furlough. The guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme seemed to change week by week and that meant keeping on top of the changing regulations and rethinking the legal issues to help employers and employees.

“There was an increasing number of employers and employees asking for much-needed assistance on employment law issues, and it was great to be able to help clients by providing practical and legal advice to guide them through.”

After graduating from her business degree at Manchester Metropolitan University, Sophia studied a Law Conversion Course (GDL) followed by a Legal Practice Course (LPC) at Liverpool’s BPP University Law School.

Sophia joins Watsons Solicitors after three years with a Manchester-based company, where her love of employment law began in earnest.

Latham Parry, managing partner and employment law specialist at Watsons, said: “We are always looking to bring in the region’s most talented legal professionals and Sophia fits the bill, so naturally, we are thrilled with her appointment.”

Watsons Solicitors, which has been established for more than 60 years, specialises in family law, employment law, wills and probate, and conveyancing.


Audit, tax and consulting firm RSM UK has appointed a new director to strengthen its national and regional financial reporting advisory practice in the North West.

Amelia MacPherson has been appointed financial reporting advisory director in the firm’s Manchester office, working as part of the accounting and financial reporting team. Amelia joined RSM as an associate director in February 2019, after working in various accounting roles for Marks and Spencer, BDO and ITV.

Amelia MacPherson and Kevin Duffy

She has more than 12 years’ experience in audit and financial reporting and is an ICAEW chartered accountant, specialising in advising on financial reporting issues, accounting for transactions and corporate reorganisations and supporting with the preparation of financial statements.

Amelia’s promotion follows four North West partner appointments earlier this month, reflecting investment across RSM’’s audit, tax, corporate finance, risk assurance, technology and legal services practices.

Amelia said: “I’m thrilled to be promoted to director and have the opportunity to contribute to the growth of not only our financial reporting advisory offering, but also the wider North West region.”

Kevin Duffy, RSM UK’s regional managing partner in the North West, said: “At RSM, we are committed to supporting our people to grow, and have invested in developing a culture which empowers our people to shape their own careers, with the right training and support in place to help them succeed.

“Amelia’s promotion is testament to her talent and work ethic, and she brings with her a wealth of experience which will strengthen our regional and national financial advisory offering to middle market businesses, while also supporting our ambitious growth plans.”


North West accountancy firm Mitchell Charlesworth has promoted Louise Casey to partner.

Louise graduated with a degree in business and marketing, and then worked for an international bank prior to training for her ACA qualifications at a top 20 firm. She joined Mitchell Charlesworth in 2012 and progressed to associate before being appointed head of audit for the practice in 2020.

Based in the firm’s Liverpool office, Louise works with a variety of owner-managed businesses and large corporate entities. She plays a key role in the firm’s audit offering, and leads the audit services for a number of complex groups, including supporting the financial reporting compliance for both IFRS and FRS clients.

Louise Casey and Richard Johnson

Louise also heads the firm’s social housing team and has gained particular experience in the not-for-profit sector, including charities and academies.

Her direct experience of working in both commercial and not-for-profit sectors includes audit compliance, year end accounts and advisory services, management accounts, strategy and planning, and systems and controls reviews and implementation support.

As head of audit, Louise supports the delivery of audit training, design and implementation of audit procedures and development and monitoring of quality control processes. She regularly writes audit updates and hosts webinars for clients as part of Mitchell Charlesworth’s added-value service.

Louise Casey said: “The last 10 years at Mitchell Charlesworth have been thoroughly enjoyable, with the variety of work, opportunities that have been created, and the wide-ranging client base I have been fortunate enough to work with. I am looking forward to being a part of the Mitchell Charlesworth leadership team, helping to drive the future vision, navigate the modern accountancy world, and in particular develop our audit services.”

Richard Johnson, managing partner at Mitchell Charlesworth’s Liverpool office, said: “Since joining us in 2012, Louise has made a significant contribution to the growth and development of the business, and we are proud to recognise her hard work and commitment with this well earned promotion and wish her continued success. As a firm we place strong emphasis on supporting and investing in the development of our people so we can continue to deliver the highest quality of service to our clients.”


Former Redrow Lancashire apprentice Shaun Phoenix has been appointed head of construction for the North Wesdt homebuilder as Keith Collard retires as construction director after almost four decades.

Shaun, 44, started life at Redrow’s Chorley-based Lancashire division as an apprentice joiner aged 16. His rise has seen him take on the roles of site manager, project manager and area construction manager, all with Redrow Lancashire, over his own 28-year career with the company.

Keith Collard, left, and Shaun Pheonix

Keith said: “It will certainly be big boots to fill. Keith has been my mentor for such a long time and I look forward continuing to instil the core values he maintained of quality and teamwork.”

He added: “I’ve never been afraid to roll my sleeves up and get stuck in so I’m looking forward to the challenge my new role will bring.”

Keith Collard, 58, said: “It’s been a privilege to work with some great people over the years and build some long standing relationships with our suppliers and sub-contractors as well as giving new people opportunities to grow their career or, in the case of local subcontractors, their businesses. Redrow is like a family and loyalty always goes two ways.”

Claire Jarvis, managing director for Redrow Lancashire, said: “It’s with sadness we say farewell to Keith, one of Redrow’s most highly respected colleagues, who has served the Lancashire division for almost 40 years. Fortunately, we have Shaun, an experienced and talented member of the team, to head up the department and I am confident he will meet every challenge head on.”