People: Harrison Drury; Butcher & Barlow; WeDo Business Services; Deloitte; RSM; APDO

John Chesworth and Alexander Mansfield

North West law firm Harrison Drury has appointed a new finance director to support the firm’s ongoing growth and development.

Alexander Mansfield will act as a strategic advisor to the firm’s board while taking overall responsibility for the firm’s financial functions.

He takes over as FD from Rob Salter who is retiring after 13 years in the role, a period in which the firm has grown to have more than 130 staff and six North West offices.

Alexander has extensive experience in leading financial management within professional services firms having spent almost 15 years as FD at Merseyside-based law firm Jackson Lees and later FD of its parent company MAPD, helping guide it through a series of mergers and acquisitions. Before this he worked as an audit manager for big four accountancy firms EY and Grant Thornton.

John Chesworth, executive chairman of Harrison Drury, said: “Alexander is a hugely experienced FD whose technical knowledge and leadership will be invaluable in helping us achieve our strategic goals.

“He will help us to continue achieving the highest levels of financial health and stability, something that’s vital in helping to look after our clients and people. We’re excited to have Alexander picking up the reins from Rob Salter who has done an amazing job during his tenure as FD.”

Alexander said: “I wanted to use my skills and expertise to join a thriving, growing law firm which puts people first and I have found the perfect fit with Harrison Drury.”

As well as his Harrison Drury role, Alexander will continue as chair of the audit and risk committee for Career Connect, a large charity that helps young people and adults achieve their potential by providing professional career, employment and training services.

Originally from Ireland, Alexander is a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.


North West law firm Butcher & Barlow has announced 11 new appointments and four promotions in the last half of 2022.

The Legal 500 firm, which has 10 offices across the North West, has seen an increase in demand for its services across all departments in 2022. They have made six fee-earner appointments, three trainee solicitors and two paralegal appointments since August. Four paralegals have been promoted to trainee solicitors.

Associate solicitor, Tom Newman, who joined the corporate and commercial team in October after two years at his previous firm, said: “Having worked alongside Butcher & Barlow on a number of deals in my previous role, I was aware of the quality of their work and jumped at the opportunity of joining them.”

Helen Chadderton, a private client solicitor who joined in September, said: “We’re often dealing with very personal, private and sometimes painful information in this area of law and it’s important that clients feel they can trust us. We need to become part of their trusted inner circle as quickly as possible and the collaborative way of working and decision making that Butcher & Barlow employ suits this extremely well.”

Tom Newman

Butcher & Barlow also places great emphasis on developing and nurturing young talent and has a successful Young Lawyers’ programme which has led to the recent recruitment of six paralegals.

Senior partner, Jonathan Aldersley, said: “We place great emphasis on attracting and keeping the best staff, at every level. We pride ourselves on understanding our clients’ needs and providing sound commercial advice and for that we need the right calibre of staff.

“These new appointments do just that and are a further indication of Butcher & Barlow’s ambitions for growth and excellence.”

The new appointments are: Zoe Olander, associate, residential property; Tom Newman, associate, corporate dept; Helen Chadderton, solicitor, wills trusts and probate dept; Maariyah Jamil, solicitor, family dept; Diane Penlington, licenced conveyancer; Trish Lyon, conveyancing assistant, residential property; Emelia Forde, trainee solicitor, family dept; George Flanders, trainee solicitor, commercial property dept; Tom Travis, trainee solicitor, corporate dept; Emily Lowe, paralegal, private client dept; Matilda Jones, paralegal, commercial property dept;

Promotions are: Sophie Nicholson, Grant Redburn, Remi Kelly, Paige Lester.


A new role of head of finance has been created at a fast-growing business services group. Oliver Varnam has joined WeDo Business Services in the post and has been appointed to the board of the Oldham-headquartered group.

He has moved from chartered accountancy practice Hewson & Howson, based in Sheffield. WeDo is a client of the firm.

Oliver has worked with WeDo since its inception in 2019, providing year-end and management accounts in his role as a senior accountant at Hewson & Howson. In addition to its Oldham HQ, the WeDo group has offices at MediaCity in Salford, Sheffield, Swindon and Colchester.

Oliver Varnam

Founded in 2019 by Mark Lindsay and Chris Robinson with just four staff, the group has grown organically and through acquisitions and now employs nearly 100 people. Its range of services to SMEs includes invoice and trade finance, start-up funding, HR support, back office, digital and IT services.

Mark said: “The business is expanding across each division and, due to this growth, it has been necessary to recruit a full-time head of finance. Oliver has worked with us since the start and has impressed us with his energy and ideas. He has all the technical knowledge required for the role, and his customer-centric approach fits so well with how we operate that we see Oliver adding huge value, not just to WeDo but also to our clients.”

Further recruitment to the WeDo group’s finance team is planned during the course of 2023.

Oliver said: “Having been involved with WeDo from the very start of its journey, it’s been fantastic to see it flourish and it’s an exciting time to become involved with the business on a full time basis as head of finance.

“I’ve gained great accounting experience at Hewson & Howson on the practice side and it is the perfect time to move into industry, and at a company I know well. I’m thrilled about my new role – it’s a fantastic time to jump on board at WeDo.”


Global professional services firm, Deloitte, has expanded its North West team with three new partner appointments. The appointments across the audit and assurance, risk advisory and financial advisory teams strengthen the firm’s expertise in the region.

With extensive experience working on large and complex clients on high risk engagements at Deloitte, Katie Harrison has been promoted to partner in audit and assurance. In her new role, she will be responsible for advocating for the complimentary nature of audit and assurance.

After 14 years working across both the Manchester and London offices, Iain White has re-joined the firm as a partner in the financial advisory team with responsibility for leading Equity Capital Markets activity in the regions. With a wealth of experience as a transaction services practitioner, Iain will work alongside IPO candidates on their path to flotation.

From left: Melissa Geldenhuys, Iain White, Katie Harrison

Joining Deloitte’s Manchester office from South Africa, Marisa Geldenhuys makes up the trio of new partner appointments. Having previously worked as a senior executive in consulting for more than 10 years in South Africa, Marisa brings added expertise to the region’s risk advisory, SAP S4 and digital controls team. Marisa’s primary industry specialism lies in consumer industries.

The new partner appointments come as Deloitte eyes continued expansion in Manchester, reaffirming its commitment to the development of regional talent and investing in the resilient regional economy. North West headcount grew by more than 300 in 2022, and similar growth is expected this year ahead of the firm’s move in 2024 to its new office at 100 Embankment.

Andy Westbrook, practice senior partner for Deloitte in the North West, said: “We are thrilled to welcome our newest partners, Katie, Iain and Marisa, to the Manchester office. The experience and skillsets they bring to their new roles will be a great asset to the firm and the services we provide to our regional clients.

“These latest appointments highlight how Manchester remains an incredibly attractive place for top talent, as well as Deloitte’s commitment to investing into the region. I’m looking forward to the year ahead, continuing our work in supporting the development and growth of both our North West people and businesses.”


Audit, tax and consulting firm, RSM, has appointed a new partner to strengthen its national and regional tax practice in the North West.

Andy Beavers has been appointed as VAT partner and will be based at RSM in Manchester, acting for clients in the North West and leading the firm’s regional team.

Andy, a qualified Chartered Tax Advisor, operates across a broad range of sectors but specialises in supporting consumer orientated businesses such as those operating in retail, hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism. He has experience in a number of areas in which RSM is looking to invest in over the coming years including dispute resolution and transactions. He also brings with him significant expertise in the travel sector.

He joins RSM from Deloitte, where he spent more than 20 years working for clients primarily in the middle market. In his most recent position as director, he was responsible for leading the firm’s North West VAT team.

Andy Beavers

Andy said: “I’m really excited to be joining and leading a vibrant and growing indirect tax team operating within RSM’s thriving North West business. I’m looking forward to getting involved with clients in the local market and beyond whilst helping the team develop and progress individually in their careers at RSM.”

Rowena Clifton, RSM’s head of indirect tax in the North, said: “In the last five years, our VAT team in the North has seen significant expansion. Andy’s appointment as partner and VAT lead in the North West reflects how far we’ve come and the extent of the opportunity available in the middle market, while strengthening our offering to clients in the region. I look forward to working with Andy and seeing how VAT continues to grow under his leadership.”

Kevin Duffy, RSM’s regional managing partner in the North West, said: “Andy’s appointment as partner and lead for the region reflects our investment in the North West to provide a premium and expert service to our clients. I am delighted to welcome Andy to RSM – his knowledge and experience working across a number of sectors will bolster our current regional and national VAT offering, supporting our ambitious growth plans.”


APDO, the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers, has appointed Lancashire-based Amanda Biggs as its new membership director to manage the national association’s growing membership body.

Amanda, who runs her business Professionally Organised from Chorley, will be supporting APDO’s members, representing their views and fostering increased collaboration among peers to drive the industry forward. Amanda will also be working with the board to grow the association’s membership, and raise awareness of decluttering and organising as a profession.

Amanda Biggs

Also joining the board, after almost two years as professional development administrator for APDO, is Jaime Frow of Buckinghamshire-based Thoughtfully Organised Homes, who is now stepping into the role of professional development director to lead the team providing education, training and support to help members start and grow their businesses. The role will see Jaime overseeing the expansion of APDO’s training portfolio over the coming year, offering further opportunities for established professional organisers as well as those who are new to the industry and seeking a career change.

Siân Pelleschi, president of APDO, said: “These two new appointments reflect our continuing commitment to the professional development and growth of each of our individual members, our expanding association and our wider international community.

“The board and I are delighted to welcome Jaime and Amanda, who we are confident will be instrumental in furthering our aims and objectives as an association.”

Founded in 2004, APDO is a non-profit organisation and belongs to a global community of professional organising associations which foster collaboration to advance the industry through sharing information and ideas.