People: Harrison Drury; MSP Global; Cityheart; UKCM; Scanlans; Airship Interactive
North West law firm Harrison Drury has appointed experienced commercial solicitor Natalie Spedding to support its clients in Kendal and the surrounding area.
Natalie joins as an associate solicitor and will be based at the firm’s Kendal office at Bridge Mills.
She specialises in helping SMEs and owner-managed businesses to avoid and resolve a wide range of legal disputes and has extensive experience in employment law matters.
Natalie comes from an agricultural background, meaning she is perfectly placed to help agricultural clients with their legal needs, supporting farmers, landowners and other rural businesses.
Nick Booth, head of the firm’s corporate and commercial division, said: “With her legal experience and local connections Natalie is well positioned to provide the right professional advice to both our agricultural clients and other local businesses who we know value close working relationships with lawyers close at hand who they can trust to look after their interests.”
Natalie lives on the family farm near Carlisle where she has her own flock of sheep including Dutch Spotted Texels and North of England Mules. She is also a parish councillor.
She said: “This is an exciting new role with a forward thinking and progressive law firm. Coming from a local farming family I have a great affiliation with Kendal and the South Lakes region.”
Production, AV and events specialist MSP Global has recruited four new team members in response to a surge in client growth.
Among those is highly experienced events production specialist Cerys Butcher, who joins the firm as project co-ordinator, responsible for the management of projects from inception to completion. Her background includes delivering radio frequency planning of multi-venue events and working as artist liaison for large festivals, concerts and clients such as the BBC. She has also completed extensive training in high level audio equipment such as NEXO, CODA and L’Acoustics.
Emily Hardy joins the Aintree-based firm from Liverpool Chamber, while Phil Coumbe and Gareth Lewis have been appointed as warehouse manager and lighting engineer, respectively. The firm has also made two senior promotions in recent months, with Lewis Nolan becoming a senior production engineer and Alister Harding being promoted to project co-ordinator.
The raft of appointments follows a wave of new client instructions, with Matalan, Speedy Hire, Everton FC and Monster Energy among the firm’s growing client roster. MSP Global provides AV, lighting, production and live event support to clients and recently invested more than £500,000 in a new state-of-the-art broadcast studio at its Liverpool headquarters.
Colin Reader, founder and managing director, said: “We have been pleased to expand our client portfolio in the past 12 months, with businesses from a range of sectors seeking new and innovative ways to communicate with their audiences.
“Our latest recruits and promotions strengthen our service offer to clients and allow us to provide a more holistic view and even greater technical expertise to project delivery.”
Cityheart, the North West-based property investment and development company, has appointed Jeff Gillbanks as its group legal director.
Jeff was previously a partner at Brabners in Liverpool for 21 years where, for a number of years, he was the regional head of property. Before that, he was a partner at Berrymans Lace Mawer for five years.
Jeff said: “I have worked with the Cityheart team since its earliest days in 2005, acting on their behalf on almost all of their development projects and have a huge amount of respect and admiration for the business that Mark and the team have created. I was honoured when Mark offered me the chance to join them – especially having seen first-hand the scope of incredible projects that they have in the pipeline – and was keen to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.
“I am privileged and excited to be able to contribute to the ongoing success of such an ambitious business.”
Mark McNamee, Cityheart managing director, said: “Having Jeff join our team is a real coup for us. We have significantly expanded our scope of operations and felt the time was right for us to have our own in-house legal counsel to ensure that we have the appropriate level of governance and to assist us in delivering projects in a timely and efficient manner.
“Jeff was the natural choice – a very commercial and astute lawyer who has worked with Cityheart since its incorporation and who understands the needs and drivers of the business intimately.”
Cityheart currently operates from its offices in Chester and Wilmslow, with teams also located on sites across Gloucester, Hereford and Hertfordshire and a development pipeline in excess of £500m.
Following the success of recently launched products and services, container repair and refurbishment company UK Container Maintenance (UKCM), has bolstered its team with two new recruits.
Vittorio Iuorio joins the Winsford-based firm as sales manager, utilising his extensive business development experience and proven track record across several industries to drive new business and develop existing client relationships. Passionate about providing a best-in-class service, Vittorio most recently held a sales team leader role where he managed a team of nine sales executives to ensure that individual and team KPIs and revenue targets were achieved on a monthly basis.
Jamie-Lee Ross has been appointed to the position of purchasing and production planner, focusing on raising factory orders and inputting them into the system, scheduling production, monitoring stock levels and purchasing stock against budgets. Jamie-Lee will also work to source new suppliers while building relationships with existing ones, support transport planning, assigning deliveries/collections to drivers, sourcing and routing back loads, and working with sub-contractors.
A versatile and approachable supervisor with a wide range of commercial skills acquired across various demanding roles, Jamie-Lee brings a wealth of experience in administration and customer service. Significantly, Jamie-Lee has a strong background in transport and logistics management, developed over several years working with major North West-based manufacturers and retailers.
Emma Elston, UKCM’s CEO, said: “We have recently brought to market several new products and services for which we have seen substantial success so far – to ensure that the high level of customer service that we are well known for remains at the forefront of the business we have been on a recruitment drive. It is a pleasure to welcome Jay and Vittorio to the team, who will both be an invaluable addition to the company with their passion, experience and extensive skill set.”
Established in 1998, UKCM is dedicated to the refurbishment of all types of waste and recycling containers. It works across the country offering waste companies and local authorities mobile repairs, as well as factory-based services at its head office located in Winsford.
The process brings old waste containers back to life instead of them going to scrap. The business model – refurbishment over replacement – is simple and for a third of the price of replacing a container, UKCM can restore the unit to full working order.
Property management and surveying practice, Scanlans, has welcomed back an experienced property manager who has retrained as a fire risk assessor, bolstering the firm’s specialist team in line with growing demand for its services.
Paul Christopher initially joined Scanlans in 2005 and remained with the firm until 2016. He returned a year later and stayed as a property manager until early 2022. He has now re-joined again, this time in a new role as part of the building surveying team led by Tony Mancini.
Paul is based in Scanlans’ Manchester office and is working across the North West as the firm expands its fire risk assessment service beyond its own portfolio of managed apartment blocks to cover commercial buildings, including shops, offices and warehouses, and residential sites such as sheltered accommodation, houses in multiple occupation, local authority and housing association properties.
He has been accepted as an associate of the Institute of Fire Safety Managers and is already an associate member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a member of the Institute of Residential Property Management and a member of the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management.
Scanlans’ partner, Ian Magenis, said: “Paul spent many years as a senior property manager and built a reputation as a well-respected practitioner in the North West market providing the highest standard of service. He’s always enjoyed working at Scanlans and appreciates that we are a supportive organisation which offers exciting and fulfilling career development opportunities.
“Paul was seeking a new challenge and so we sponsored him through his training to enable him to become a fully accredited fire risk assessor.”
Paul said: “After 17 years in property management, I decided to change direction and take on a new challenge. I saw an opportunity at Scanlans to move into fire risk assessment and I’m extremely grateful to the partners for supporting me with the required training to achieve the necessary accreditation. I’m excited to embark on this new phase of my career with the firm.”
Lytham-based game art studio, Airship Interactive, which has clients across the globe, has appointed a new chief strategy officer (CSO) to bolster the expertise and diversity in its C-suite team.
Viki Freeman has been promoted from workplace strategy director to CSO at the game art studio and will help formulate and facilitate the company’s key strategic business initiatives and future development goals.
Freeman has more than 15 years of experience in the gaming industry and an extensive background in recruitment, talent management, employee relations, and strategic HR.
Airship Interactive founder and CEO, Joe Harford, said: “We are thrilled to welcome aboard Viki to Airship’s C-Suite. She is an inspiring leader and has enriched our company with her brilliant business acumen.
“Viki’s promotion demonstrates the importance of her leadership and vision here at Airship and we hope, that with her excellent strategic direction, we can continue to develop Airship into the world’s number one game art codeveloper studio.”
Ms Freeman said: “I believe in every single value, venture, and ambition that the company has set itself. With the new move to our state-of-the-art studio in South Manchester, and some major projects in the pipeline, it’s truly an inspiring and exciting place to be and I cannot wait to get stuck into the position.”
The new appointment comes at a time of great strategic growth for the company after it received £450,000 of investment to expand its service delivery, supercharge recruitment, and grow its global footprint. This year alone, the company has expanded by 70% and has invested in a new, state-of-the-art headquarters in South Manchester which will bring with it more than 200 new jobs.