People: BDO; Steven Hunt & Associates; Aaron & Partners; Pearson Solicitors; Thermatic Technical FM; Baltic Creative CIC

Daniel Bower and Richard Hogg

Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO has promoted 145 people across its team in the North West, including two promotions to partner.

Effective from November 1, Daniel Bower has been promoted to partner in the firm’s digital and risk advisory services (DRAS) team. He is joined as partner by Richard Hogg, who has been promoted in the VAT and indirect taxes practice.

Since joining the firm in 2016, Daniel has established a strong reputation in internal audit, assurance and consultancy and works across the firm’s offices in Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds. With ambitious plans to expand the risk advisory business in the North over the next 12 months, capitalising on significant client and considerable market opportunity, Daniel will be instrumental in driving growth in the region in 2023.

Having joined the firm in 2018, Richard currently leads the indirect tax team in the North West, with a growing client base across property development, retail and industrial markets. The team has experienced considerable growth in the past 12 months.

Ed Dwan, head of BDO in the North West, said: “Richard’s promotion supports our national growth strategy and ensures we are well positioned to capitalise on opportunities, particularly given the competitive landscape locally. The development of a partner-led, full-service tax offering is key to the North West’s future plans.

“Equally, Dan will play a key part in our ambitions to achieve substantial levels of growth in DRAS over the coming years. Investment in our team is vital to drive regional growth and Dan and Richard should be incredibly proud of their achievements.”

In the North West, BDO has promoted 95 people in Manchester, with 50 people promoted in Liverpool.

Dwan added: “Every promotion represents BDO’s commitment to investing in our people and the future of our business in the region and nationwide, and we’re delighted to reward those people who have demonstrated true commitment, dedication and passion in their chosen specialisms.”


Liverpool City Region-based mechanical and electrical engineering firm Steven Hunt & Associates has welcomed two new faces to its team, taking its headcount to 21, with experienced intermediate mechanical engineer Gabriel Becerra and graduate mechanical engineer Michael Malone joining.

With almost two decades in the industry, working as a mechanical designer, Gabriel Becerra has worked throughout Europe and will now work closely alongside the senior project managers in the HQ team.

Joining Gabriel, Liverpool John Moores university graduate Michael Malone is highly skilled in AutoCAD, Revit and project management, with his previous experience coming at Manchester-based construction engineering company Hoare Lea.

Michael Malone, left, and Gabriel Becerra

Having completed 151 high profile projects throughout the past 12 months, with four of its notable wins representing more than £190m-worth of construction value, the award winning family business’s new appointments, will see them have scope to work on more projects in 2023.

Founder and managing director, Steven Hunt, said: “When skilled, motivated and professional engineers like Gabriel and Michael become available, it is simply a no brainer not to take them on, with their experience and willingness to grow and learn further, set to aid our work on existing and new projects throughout the North West and beyond.

“Both acquisitions are another sign that we are looking to build on the strong financial figures reported a few months ago and I am now looking forward to seeing the impact that both Gabriel and Michael will have on our team and the company in the upcoming weeks and months.”

Gabriel Becerra said: “Steven Hunt & Associates has a long and proud history and a reputation that is unmatched in the Liverpool City Region. Having worked within the sector for a long time now, I am really looking forward to cutting my teeth in this new environment and have no doubt the company will continue to go from strength to strength.”


Chester legal firm Aaron & Partners has appointed a new senior associate as the business’s growth continues.

Costas Nicolaou has joined the Top 200 law firm’s dispute resolution team, having previously worked at Escalate Disputes.

Costas, who said it was an “exciting time” to join the business, had previously been a senior associate at DWF, where he spent more than 13 years.

Costas Nicolaou

He said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Aaron & Partners – a top firm with an impressive calibre of lawyers and clients, with a very strong regional reputation.

“I hope to add to Aaron’s enormous wealth of expertise and help grow and further broaden our client base.”

A litigation solicitor and qualified mediator who works closely with both individuals and businesses, Costas specialises in disputes including commercial matters, contracts, professional negligence, and property transactions.

As a Wirral resident, he has extensive knowledge of the local area and will play a key role in the firm’s growth at its Birkenhead office, in addition to providing expert legal advice at its head office in Chester.

Costas added: “I’m proud to be a part of this fantastic team and helping clients secure the right solution. There are some very exciting plans for expansion and development, and that was one of the key factors in my decision to join the firm at this time.”

His hire comes as Aaron & Partners’ growth continues following a string of high profile appointments and promotions in recent weeks, including Mark Turner, who has been hired as a partner in the planning, environmental, energy and regulatory department.


A commercial litigation lawyer with more than 18 years’ experience has joined the expanding litigation department at Oldham-based Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers.

Leigh Sunter, a Chartered Legal Executive, has a wealth of experience in city centre and regional law firms.

She is an expert in all aspects of commercial debt recovery from sending Pre-Action Protocol letters, issuing proceedings, obtaining judgment and enforcement proceedings. Leigh will also be working with clients in respect of bankruptcy proceedings and winding-up proceedings.

She also specialises in advising landlords and tenants on commercial property matters and residential landlords pursing possession claims.

Christopher Burke and Leigh Sunter

Leigh will be working closely with the wider commercial team at Pearson but specialising in litigation, especially commercial debt recovery where she is well known for her calmness, her ability to guide clients through difficult issues and her pragmatism.

The appointment is part of a wider recruitment drive as the firm continues to expand its teams and its offices across North Manchester. With 75 staff across all legal disciplines the firm has flexible working and is looking to attract more staff into its wider commercial roles and other positions within the firm.

Director, Christopher Burke, said: “Leigh is a very welcome addition to our growing litigation department of nine staff members. She is very highly regarded and brings with her great client care, experience and pragmatism.

“Her appointment enables us to specialise more in specific areas of the law and I look forward to introducing her to our clients and helping her develop her career at Pearson.”

Leigh said: “I’m really looking forward to being part of the firm’s ongoing success. I enjoy the challenge that the role brings and I’m looking forward to working with the clients as part of the Pearson team.”


Manchester-based Thermatic Technical FM, a provider of Hard FM services in the UK, has appointed Jack Prady as its new managing director.

Jack brings a wealth of experience to Thermatic, having previously held the position of operations director for Vinci Facilities. Prior to that Jack was the account director working with Shell Retail UK. His breadth of knowledge and experience spans more than 15 years in a variety of other senior level roles within the facilities sector, playing an important role in contract management and integrated facilities management within the private and public sectors.

He will be working closely with Thermatic’s senior management team. He said: “I’m incredibly delighted to join Thermatic and proud to be at the helm of such an exciting privately owned business that has been operating across the UK for over 50 years.

Jack Prady

“In terms of the history, Thermatic have continued to retain a reputation of providing a true technical service offering, carrying vast self-delivery capabilities with over 100+ engineers and a very customer-centric focused delivery model.”

He added: “I see something unique, the opportunity to add my expertise and leadership style to what is already a well-established business with strong foundations presents an incredible opportunity. The future of Thermatic is extremely exciting.

“My overarching aim for Thermatic is to realise its full potential, there is a long list that sits below the phrase ‘potential’ but in its simplest form, we want to develop our people, ensure Thermatic is recognised as a great place to work and ensure we over-deliver for our customers, everything else broadly will be a biproduct of achieving the magic three.”

Chairman, Colin Tennent, said: “Jack has a formidable track record in the FM industry and is joining the company at a very exciting time. We look forward to benefiting from his experience and vision as we continue our rapid growth in the field of technical FM and energy services.”


Baltic Creative CIC has appointed Lynn Haime as its new chief executive. Lynn joins at a pivotal moment, as the community interest company builds on its support and growth of Liverpool’s creative and digital sector.

Lynn has a wealth of experience, with 28 years spent working in commercial property. Previously, she was partner and head of the Liverpool office at Matthews & Goodman. Lynn also has a track record of supporting creative and digital businesses, having spent eight years as asset manager at MediaCity in Salford.

She will oversee the management and development of Baltic Creative, including its 118,000 sq ft of space in the Baltic Triangle area.

Lynn Haime

With Lynn’s aspiration for sector growth and knowledge of the North West property market, Baltic Creative will look to expand its portfolio and create new opportunities for collaboration and connections that will benefit the existing community.

Dr Fiona Armstrong-Gibbs, chair of the Baltic Creative board, welcomed Lynn, saying: “Her passion for people and enthusiasm for Baltic’s potential give us confidence that she will deliver the board’s strategic vision. Lynn joins a great team who, through their work, create places and spaces that bring people together and boost confidence in our sector.

“It’s an exciting time for us as we focus on our purpose to enrich our tenants, sector and the wider region.”

Lynn said: “I’m really excited to join the team at Baltic Creative. We have some great projects and partnerships under way that will help us expand to the next level and stay at the forefront of cutting edge creative spaces.

“I look forward to supporting and evolving Baltic Creative’s community with the board and management team.”