People: Vision One; Squire Patton Boggs; Spicers; Zerum; Bibby Financial Services; Tilia Homes Northern

Dr Hannah Roberts

Liverpool-based full service market research company, Vision One, has appointed Dr Hannah Roberts as a Market Research Manager.

Hannah brings a wealth of expertise as a neuroscientist specialising in EEG, eye-tracking and decision-making research. Following her role as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate for Unilever, Hannah brings a breadth and depth of knowledge across multiple disciplines.

Her skills include consumer science, neuroscientific projects, clinical trials, and qualitative research, which will further expand the firm’s advanced research services.

Tony Lewis, managing director, said: “We recognise the importance of embracing the growing area of neuroscience and understanding consumer behaviour.

“Hannah’s appointment will extend our expertise in this area and brings a new dimension to our business, further enriching our unique offering to our clients.”


Squire Patton Boggs has hired partners Lee Norman and Ben Johnson into its Litigation Practice.

They join the firm from DWF, where Mr Norman was head of its commercial litigation team in Manchester. Mr Norman and Mr Johnson follow partners Lucy Webster and Christian Toms, who joined the firm’s London Litigation team in recent months.

UK head of Litigation, Stephen Sampson, said: “Lee and Ben form part of our strategy to broaden and diversify our practice. Market conditions have led to an uptick in demand for contentious and regulatory services, and the expansion of our Corporate and Financial Services teams has also created new opportunities to grow our disputes offering.

“Lee and Ben are important additions, complementing our recent London hires and helping us to further develop our services in this field.”

Rob Elvin flanked by Ben Johnson, left, and Lee Norman, right

Mr Norman advises on complex heavyweight disputes and advisory work across the full range of corporate and commercial litigation. His areas of specialism include disputes arising from M&A and private equity deals, shareholdings and partnerships. He also advises on complex professional negligence claims and emergency disputes against employees, directors and competitors arising from breaches of employment contracts and fiduciary duties, team moves and the theft of confidential information.

Mr Johnson provides contentious and regulatory advice to clients in the banking and finance sector. A specialist in the areas of fraud, payment systems and fintech, he acts for clearing banks, payment service providers, asset based lenders and asset finance businesses on a range of issues, including payments regulation, payment processing contracts, and security rules. He has also advised on high profile data privacy matters resulting from data breaches and criminal hacks.

Rob Elvin, managing partner of Squire Patton Boggs in Manchester, said: “Lee and Ben are market leading litigators, recognised for their drive, technical expertise and depth of relationships with businesses in the region and beyond.

“We are excited that they have chosen to join us – Lee’s litigation experience in M&A and private equity sits well alongside the work of our top-tier Corporate practice, whilst Ben’s banking and finance specialism together with his expertise in large scale data privacy matters are areas of particular focus for us.”


Wholesale business supplies specialist Spicers has strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of business development director Adrian Reid.

The strategic hire is the latest chapter in the firm’s bid to achieve 70% turnover growth in 2023, by helping dealers to thrive and be more profitable.

Under his new remit, Adrian will develop a pipeline of new business opportunities for the Ashton-under-Lyne headquartered brand – expansion which is expected to lead to further appointments in the future.

Adrian joins Spicers – which provides dealers across the UK and Ireland with office products and workplace supplies – from his previous position as sales director at Nectere. There, Adrian was instrumental in doubling the size of the company’s turnover in three years – earning it a place on the FT 1000: ‘Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies’ and London Stock Exchange’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ lists.

Adrian Reid

He said: “Spicers has been through a significant period of transition in order to ensure it’s a fit-for-the-future organisation – and one which is ideally-placed to become the industry’s wholesaler of choice.”

Sales director, Steve Morley, said: “Adrian brings a wealth of relevant experience to our team, having held previous leadership posts as well as a proven reputation for winning new business and growing existing customer accounts. He is passionate about helping dealers thrive in a fast-paced changing landscape, delving into customers’ nuances, and providing quality customer service in order to drive sustainable growth – something which is central to Spicers’ commercial strategy for the next three years.”

The Spicers brand, which has received a sizable investment to evolve its dealer provision from parent company, Paragon Group, kick-started its growth strategy in late 2022, with the appointment of group operations director Martin Weedall, and the launch of a dedicated trade counter service which serves all dealers in the Greater Manchester district and surrounding areas.


Manchester and Leeds-based planning, project management and cost management consultancy, Zerum, has promoted Pete Gleave to director within the Planning Team.

Pete is a Chartered Town Planner with moe than 12 years’ experience with an emphasis in the Yorkshire property market. Pete has acted for a range of clients on city centre developments both in the residential and commercial markets.

Tom Cook, director at Zerum, said: “After a successful year, it is great to announce Pete’s well earned promotion to director. Pete has become an integral member of the team, not only in respect of how he supports members of staff within the planning team, but also across our many divisions.

Peter Gleave

“Pete has, and continues to deliver, the planning role on significant schemes across the North of England, including Thorpe Park, Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park and Middlewood Locks, to name a few, achieving much success in the last three and a half years, and we look forward to sharing his further successes in the coming years.”

Pete joined Zerum’s Leeds office in September 2019, and currently works on major mixed use projects across Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester and the North of England.

He said: “I look forward to helping continue to grow the business over the next 12 months with a number of exciting projects in the pipeline.”


International SME financier, Bibby Financial Services (BFS), has appointed Paul Ratcliffe as managing director for its new Marine Finance business set to launch this year.

With 40 years’ experience in the maritime and asset finance sectors, Paul began his career at BFS’s parent company, Liverpool-based Bibby Line Group, in 1980 when he joined his first ship, MV Dorsetshire.

After gaining more than four-years’ sea-time, including as Third and Second Officer on a variety of Bibby vessels, Paul joined Bank of Scotland in 1987.

In 2002, he set up the bank’s Asset Finance Marine business, as well as the Small Commercial Vessel division. In 2013 he joined Shawbrook Bank where he set up its Marine Finance business.

Paul Ratcliffe

Derek Ryan, managing director of Bibby Financial Services UK, said: “Paul’s deep-rooted and extensive knowledge of the marine sector gained over four decades is unrivalled, and we look forward to launching and growing the business with him at the helm.”

Paul Ratcliffe said: “Having spent the first part of my career at Bibby after joining over 40 years ago, this feels like coming home.

“With global shipping costs high and the move towards decarbonation, businesses in the sector have a series of challenges to overcome. Combining BFS’s financing specialism along with the group’s shipping heritage will enable us to support those operating within the sector and help them to access the funding they need to grow and thrive.”

To support the development of BFS Marine Finance, Richard Hargraves, former Head of Risk at Siemens Financial Services, joins BFS as Head of Portfolio Risk. Experienced shipping sector solicitor advocate, Howard Quinlivan, has been appointed as Senior In-house Legal Counsel.

Derek Ryan said: “A key part of our 4.0 strategy is expanding our product range so we can support a greater number of businesses. BFS Marine Finance does just this, and complements our existing support across invoice finance, asset finance and FX.

“Paul’s return 40 years after he first joined the group reflects our ethos of embracing our past to shape our future. Along with the appointments of Howard and Richard, we are now recruiting for other roles within BFS Marine Finance and look forward to successfully launching the business over the coming months.”


Warrington-based Tilia Homes Northern has appointed David Morris as Land and Planning Director as it seeks to meet ambitious plans for key land acquisition projects over the coming 18 months.

David joins Tilia Homes Northern with 30 years’ experience in housebuilding for the country’s leading developers, including holding director positions at Miller Homes and Persimmon Homes. He also co-founded the strategic land group and affordable housing developer, Bowsall, leading both for almost a decade.

Stuart Craig, Regional Managing Director for Tilia Homes Northern, said: “David is an invaluable asset to our team here in the North and I’m thrilled he chose to progress his already impressive career in property and construction here at Tilia Homes.

David Morris

“Having dedicated his career to the progression of the housebuilding industry, his knowledge and experience is unrivalled and brings with him the knowledge and experience in land acquisition and planning processes. With ambitious expansion plans, I’ve no doubt David will be pivotal in taking Tilia Homes on the next exciting chapter in our journey.”

Tilia Homes is actively seeking new land opportunities for sites of between 75 and 330 units across the M6 and M62 corridors, specifically targeting areas around Preston, Clitheroe, Liverpool and Manchester. Further land opportunities are also being sought in the Yorkshire area.

David Morris said: “I’m very much looking forward to working with a close-knit team on the delivery of some landmark acquisition deals across the North, in sought-after locations for house hunters and being a part of a growing, talented team committed to making Tilia Homes one of the top five national homebuilders in just a few short years to come.”

The announcement is the latest in a series of business milestones over the past 18 months. The homebuilder was acquired by investment house Terra Firm in June 2021, before opening a new office in Birchwood Business Park, home to more than 90 people.

Tilia Homes was created in June 2021 following the acquisition of Kier Living by private equity firm Terra Firma. Its Eastern region operates across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire, and delivered 450 homes in its last financial year.

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