People: Forbes Solicitors; Price Slater Gawne; TP Matrix; Voicescape; Pimberly; Gorvins

From left: Gemma Duxberry, Craig MacKenzie, Jenny Burke, Nick Hodgson

Forbes Solicitors has announced the promotion of four new partners as part of 18 promotions across the firm.

Jenny Burke and Nick Hodgson become the firm’s third and fourth partners in Forbes’ 13-strong corporate and restructuring team, while Gemma Duxbury in the governance, procurement and information team, and Craig MacKenzie in the crime team, have also become partners.

The four promotions see Forbes Solicitors’ partnership grow to 57 partners across the North of England and follow a series of successes across the firm’s specialisms during the past 12 months.

Jenny Burke has played a key role in the development of the firm’s Greater Manchester strategy, while maintaining an impressive cohort of clients and introducers, as well as leading some of the team’s largest transactions.

Nick Hodgson’s promotion to partner follows his strong management of a portfolio of clients, leadership on significant deals and a lead role in the development and training of all corporate team members.

The corporate and restructuring team have completed deals totalling more than £170m in the past 12 months, which continues to be a key factor in the growth and development of the team.

Gemma Duxbury has been instrumental in helping public sector organisations to address changing procurement regulations, supporting local authority schools to navigate the process of academisation and managing public contracts, as well as working closely with private sector businesses to manage data protection and governance structures amidst growing remote working trends.

In addition to becoming a partner, Craig MacKenzie has also been made head of the crime department’s high-profile and private crime division. Craig, a specialist in regulatory crime, is a Higher Court Advocate with rights of audience in all criminal courts and will draw on his experience and network of national connections to expand the division going forwards.

Other promotions have seen seven professionals become associates at Forbes Solicitors and another seven move up to senior associates.

Associate promotions include Chris Threlkeld and Louise Goss in the insurance team, Samantha Robinson and Lyndsay Baxter in housing regeneration, Joanne Higham in the commercial property team, family law specialist Adrienne Baker and commercial lawyer Daniel Fletcher.

Insurance team members Louise Alasirt and Natalie Argent, Mohassan Mehmood from commercial property, accredited data protection practitioner Bethany Paliga, corporate lawyer Rebecca McCann, Lauren Fisher in the housing regeneration team and wills, tax and probate lawyer, Elizabeth Whitaker, have all been promoted to senior associates.

Managing director, Pauline Rigby, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many promotions across many of our different specialisms. Each promotion marks a well deserved personal achievement underpinned by a vast amount of effort, time and commitment. The promotions also represent the success of our people working collaboratively across teams and working together with clients to understand and realise their goals.”

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Specialist law firm Price Slater Gawne has made 13 promotions, including a record three promotions to partner level, in a move which reflects the North West-based firm’s programme of strategic growth.

Promoted to partner are Tom Young, head of Court of Protection, Laura Bywater, head of wealth protection, and Andrew Harrison, a key member of the firm’s nationally renowned clinical negligence team.

From left: Mairin Costello, Tom Young, Gail Galloway, Chris Gawne, Laura Bywater, Victoria Price, Matt Tomaszewski, Andrew Harrison, Mark Slater, Sarah Ratcliffe, Laura Zander, Clare Tinker, Sophie Fox, Niall Costello, Jack Fitzsimons

Promoted to senior associate are Jonathan Grundy, member of the serious injury team, Matt Tomaszewski, the firm’s HR manager, and Laura Zander, Niall Costello and Sophie Fox, all of whom are clinical negligence legal specialists.

Promoted to associate are Gail Galloway of the wealth protection team, three members of the clinical negligence team, Clare Tinker, Mairin Costello and Sarah Ratcliffe, and Jack Fitzsimons of the accounts team, who joined the firm some years ago as an apprentice.

Led by directors Victoria Price, Mark Slater and Christopher Gawne, the Altrincham-based firm was founded in 2010 and offers specialist legal expertise in the fields of clinical negligence, serious injury, Court of Protection, family law and wealth protection. The firm has grown significantly over the past three years, with an increase in revenue of 89% and number of team members increasing by 65%.

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Rail electronics specialist TP Matrix has appointed a new managing director with a wealth of sector experience.

Liam McDonnell takes over following a three month interim period as technical director at the Oldham-based company, which provides electronics testing, repair and overhaul solutions for the rail sector.

Previous managing director, Chris Morris, who founded the business in 1987, will continue to be involved in a consultancy capacity.

Chris said: “With his engineering background and knowledge of the rail industry, Liam is the ideal person to enable TP Matrix to build on the successes of the last 35 years.

Chris Morris, left, and Liam McDonnell

“His rolling stock background will further improve our understanding of rail customers’ needs and the regulatory constraints they are under, enabling us to provide an even better service.”

Liam previously held engineering roles at Alstom and Stadler Rail. He worked to improve reliability, obsolescence management and fleet improvements on the West Coast Mainline with Alstom and across several European fleets with Stadler. He also completed an electronic engineering apprenticeship and engineering degree during a 22-year career in the British Army.

In his new role, Liam will work closely with TP Matrix’s owners, Amcomri Group, who took over the 30-employee company last year. Amcomri specialises in acquiring and developing quality British engineering and manufacturing businesses.

Liam said: “This is a fantastic opportunity. I have been amazed by the professionalism, the technical ability of the engineers and proactive attitudes of everyone here and it’s great that we will continue to benefit from Chris’s involvement.

“Having come from a rolling stock maintenance and reliability background, I understand the problems within the industry with respect to electronic obsolescence and UK-based skilled electronic repair.”

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Voicescape, a software business that provides tenant engagement solutions for social landlords and local authorities, has appointed a new head of account management.

Nicola Brown joins the Manchester-based business to help strengthen its position in both the social housing and government sectors.

Nicola Brown

Formerly sales director at ROCC Housing Technology Solutions, Nicola brings more than 25 years’ housing experience in sales and strategic account management. In her role at Voicescape, Nicola will be responsible for working with the account management team and the customer base to maximise the value which the Voicescape engagement solutions provide.

Bill Williams, chief revenue officer at Voicescape, said: “We’re delighted to welcome someone of Nicola’s experience and expertise to the team. With an in-depth knowledge of the unique challenges facing both the public and private sector, and strong reputation for working in synergy with organisations to deliver tangible results, we’re confident she will help us to meet our shared ambition of helping organisations connect with communities through digital transformation.”

Nicola is a director at Women in Social Housing and is currently North West Chair at the organisation. She said: “The sector is experiencing real change, both in terms of building safety and compliance, and the new tenant satisfaction measures. Voicescape provides award winning technology that’s proven to help organisations address these sector challenges effectively and support residents more holistically. I believe it’s a pivotal time to be joining such a highly skilled team.”

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An international retail and e-commerce specialist who has held chief executive roles at Claire’s Accessories and Etam Group has joined the board of technology company Pimberly to help drive its US and European expansion.

Beatrice Lafon, who has vast senior experience with blue chip companies across Europe and the US, has joined Pimberly as a non-executive director. Pimberly is also aiming to utilise her expertise to help fuel its growth in the fashion and apparel sector.

During her executive career, Beatrice has held senior roles at Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, River Island, BSkyB, TJ Hughes and B&Q owner Kingfisher, as well as Claire’s Accessories, Dutch fashion group Etam and French omni-channel retailer Pimkie.

Beatrice Lafon

Her appointment to Pimberly’s board comes as the Manchester-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) company rolls out ambitious expansion plans following a £6.5m investment boost from existing and new institutional investors and the opening of its first US office in New York.

Martin Balaam, founder and CEO, said: “Beatrice has an enormous amount of retail experience in the UK and the United States and she will be an invaluable asset to the company as we push our expansion in those territories and across the EU.

“Specifically, she brings a wealth of insight into multi-brand, multinational enterprise retailers and brands. She is a welcome addition to our non-executive advisory team as we execute our growth plans and enhance our product offering to the fashion and apparel sector, a key target market for Pimberly.”

Pimberly has seen consistent and rapid development, and its fast expanding customer base includes high profile companies such as Ellis Brigham, JD Sports, Monsoon, FGH, Exertis and Card Factory.

Beatrice said: “Pimberly offers robust, agile and easy-to-use solutions to enable e-commerce players to develop winning strategies by intelligently managing listings, digital assets and pricing across territories, e-commerce platforms and marketplaces – definitively a must-have tech solution for any ambitious e-commerce business.”

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Amanda Porter has been made a partner at Greater Manchester-based solicitors, Gorvins.

Amanda Porter

A solicitor with a vast experience in commercial property law, Amanda has developed a solid reputation for her work in property management and her work with tenants and landlords.

She joined Gorvins in December 2019, after almost two decades of working as an in-house property solicitor for Thomas Cook.

Amanda said: “I’m very pleased and proud to become a partner at Gorvins and to be a part of their commercial property team. The team undertakes work for a variety of clients for whom we are highly motivated to achieve the best outcomes possible.”

Mark Deverell managing partner, said: “Amanda has become a huge part of the Gorvins team since she joined us in 2019.

“Not only does she bring a wealth of experience, but her client-focused attitude means she’s perfectly suited to help Gorvins set the standard for commercial property legal services both locally and nationally.”

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