People: Eden Planning; East Lancs Chamber; Jackson Lees; Serotonin; MSB Solicitors; Bentley Motors

Mandy Lewis

Altrincham-based planning consultancy, Eden Planning, has appointed a new director, Mandy Lewis, to join the 12-strong team.

The former head of planning at Flintshire County Council and director of economic development at Rossendale Borough Council, Mandy brings a wealth of experience and expertise to Eden.

Before Flintshire County Council, Mandy spent 12 years at Sefton Council, five of these as development manager. Having also worked as a planning inspector for the Planning Inspectorate, Mandy is well versed in handling complex planning applications, appeals and developments.

Donna Barber, director at Eden, said: “Mandy is very well respected across the planning industry, and a great asset to both our team and our growth strategy over the next few years. Having experience of the planning process from both sides of the fence is invaluable, in providing expert insight and solutions for our clients.”

Mandy Lewis said: “Eden has an enviable track record and an exciting and diverse range of clients. I am really looking forward to contributing to the continued growth of the business and additional value to our clients’ future developments.”


East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce has unveiled four new members of its team, with Mark Greenhalgh joining as training business development manager, Jemma Chadwick as marketing executive, Stephen Lane as membership recruitment executive and Maisy Hargreaves as low carbon energy and environment advisor apprentice.

Mark Greenhalgh

Christine Lambe, business and training director, said: “The chamber’s training portfolio has grown significantly over the last couple of years, and in wanting to develop our training offering even further we required a highly experienced dynamic training business development manager.

“Welcome Mark Greenhalgh, a perfect fit for our high performing training and CIPS team. Mark is already making a big impact, and we are looking forward to developing our vision of a chamber Training Academy together over the next five years.”

Jemma Chadwick

Jemma Chadwick also joins the chamber as marketing executive following the promotion of Evie Johnson to marketing manager. Evie said: “On behalf of the whole chamber communications team, we’re excited to welcome Jemma and her skillset aboard as we grow our service offering in 2023.”

Stephen Lane joins the chamber in a new post which has been created to meet increased demand for membership. Membership manager, Sarah Dean, said: “I am very excited about the support we can deliver to even more East Lancashire businesses in 2023 through the creation of this position.”

Stephen Lane

Maisy Hargreaves will work alongside the team on the low carbon programme as well as working on the chamber’s own net zero and sustainability programmes. Stephen Sykes, director of sustainability at the chamber, said: “We have gone down the apprenticeship route as an opportunity to ‘grow our own’ and give a local young person an opportunity to get a good start in their sustainability career gaining hands-on practical experience as part of a professional team, gaining the theory along the way, as going down the university route does not suit everyone.”

Maisy said: “I’m excited to join the chamber as I think it will be a huge learning opportunity and new experience being in a professional working office. I am also looking forward to seeing where this apprenticeship will take me in the future.”

Chief executive, Miranda Barker, said: “It’s wonderful to see the arrival of our new extremely enthusiastic members of staff, growing our offer across so many departments and enhancing our high quality offer for our members and all of our business customers.”


North West law firm Jackson Lees has appointed a new head of Court of Protection as the department continues to grow.

Joanne McNally has stepped into the role, taking the helm from Jane MacGregor who set up the department in 2007.

Joanne started her legal career more than 20 years ago as a secretary at Lees and Partners, which would later become Jackson Lees. She did this while studying for her law degree and later qualified as a solicitor, practising as a commercial and residential property solicitor before moving into Court of Protection in 2010.

Danielle Carter

As the new head of Court of Protection, Joanne heads up a team of 21 including solicitors, executives, trainees and paralegals across the firm’s Liverpool office.

In addition to her new role, Joanne is a director of the Jackson Lees Trust Corporation, which is a body set up to ensure continuity, availability and professionalism for those accessing the firm’s Court of Protection services. Launched in 2019, the Trust Corporation can act as executor, attorney, trustee or property and financial affairs deputy.

Having the Jackson Lees Trust Corporation as deputy means that the Court of Protection team can support clients with an increasingly streamlined and more flexible service moving away from the previous reliance on the practice of former head of department, Jane MacGregor, holding deputyship appointments in her personal name.

Joanne, who has been deputy head since 2019, said: “I first became passionate about Court of Protection work during my time in property law when I was instructed to purchase properties on behalf of Court of Protection clients. Learning about the work undertaken by the Court of Protection department made me want to be part of a team that could make such a positive difference to people’s lives.

“So, to now be taking on the role as head of Court of Protection is incredibly exciting and I’m thrilled to be leading such a dedicated, hard working team who are passionate about what we do. Having worked closely with Jane since joining the department, I’ve been able to develop the skills I need to not only take the department through to its next chapter, but also help our incredible team to grow their talent and fulfil their own potential.”

Joanne McNally

Joanne will be joined by Danielle Carter as deputy head of department. Joanne said: “I am extremely excited to be supported in my role by Danielle Carter, who has years of specialist knowledge of Court of Protection work.”

Managing director, Esther Leach, said: “We’re extremely grateful to, and proud of, Jane for building our Court of Protection department from scratch and paving the way for the creation of the Trust Corporation, which has led to a much more efficient and streamlined service for our clients.

“Now, we are looking forward to Joanne taking the reins and developing the team even further. Together with Danielle as deputy head, I am confident that the department is in very good hands and will continue to go from strength to strength.”


Serotonin, the creative and digital agency based in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, is ramping up for 2023 with three senior hires.

Ben Topliss joins as head of creative, previously at Rise at Seven, and before that, design director at IMA-Home working on Reebok and Adidas accounts in the UK and New York. Topliss brings a wealth of experience creating global campaigns and visual identities for brands including Red Bull and Johnnie Walker.

In addition, Jack Jarvis, previously paid search account director at More2, joins as head of search, and Dan Wilson joins the team from Myprotein THG as head of email and CRM.

From left: Jack Jarvis, Dan Wilson, Ben Topliss

The trio will work across Serotonin’s portfolio of B2B and B2C clients in ecommerce, hospitality, property and leisure.

Topliss said: “Serotonin is at a really exciting stage, and I can see huge potential for the growth of the creative team, working shoulder to shoulder with the performance side of the agency. Serotonin has a unique proposition and it is fantastic to be part of the journey.”

Co-founder, Clair Heaviside, said: “With Ben, Jack and Dan joining the team we have a really strong start to 2023. Each of them brings the expertise and energy to help the agency and our clients achieve great things. These hires take Serotonin to a new level, and I couldn’t be more excited for what’s to come.”


North West law firm, MSB Solicitors, has announced the return of John Owens, as partner to its family team this month.

John spent more than two years at MSB as a senior associate solicitor from 2019 until he left to pursue a role as head of family Manchester, with national law firm Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.

Already well established in the North West’s legal sector, John joins the leadership team at the fast-growing firm’s No 4 St Paul’s Square headquarters.

While his background was initially in litigation, after completing his training as a solicitor with PMC, John took then took the decision to specialise in family law. He has since developed specific expertise in dealing with mid to high-net-worth financial cases, those involving an international element and private Children Act cases.

From left: Pauline McNamara, Pippa Tudor, John Owens, Emma Carey, Dr Emma Palmer

John has developed a reputation for being commercial and proactive in his approach to cases, with experience of complex cases often involving businesses, overseas assets, complicated pension or trust arrangements and inherited assets.

He said: “I’m thrilled to be moving back to MSB with its continued growth over recent years, increasing strength in the market, and commitment to staying ahead of the curve.”

Managing partner, Emma Carey, said: “During his time at MSB, John became a well known and respected family lawyer in the region and, among other things, became instructed by high profile business owners, sports and TV personalities and their spouses, property developers, and professionals, including many from the legal community.

“He has gained additional valuable experience in the last year which strengthens not only our family team, but MSB’s overall offering for the future.”


Bentley Motors has appointed Tobias Sühlmann as the new director of design, commencing February 1, 2023. He succeeds Andreas Mindt who moves to the head of design role at Volkswagen Passenger Cars.

Sühlmann has been promoted from his position as head of exterior design at Crewe-based Bentley, having joined the luxury marque in October 2021. With a 20-year career in automotive design, Sühlmann has held senior design positions at McLaren, Aston Martin, Bugatti and Volkswagen’s Potsdam Design Centre which he joined in 2005 before moving to Volkswagen Design in Wolfsburg in 2007. Here he worked on the Passat, Arteon and Touareg as well as different Showcars.

He was instrumental in the design of the Bentley Batur, working under the direction of Andreas Mindt. Batur embodies the start of a design revolution at Bentley, showcasing a new design DNA that will ultimately guide the design of Bentley’s future range of battery electric vehicles.

Tobias Sühlmann

Sühlmann will report directly to Dr Matthias Rabe, Bentley’s board member for research and development. Rabe said: “Tobias has made a very significant, positive impression since joining us in 2021 in what was, and still is, a critical, yet exciting time for the business as we accelerate our journey to full electrification by 2030.

“His previous experiences from luxury automotive, combined with a strong understanding of the Bentley brand and the Volkswagen Group, means he is perfectly positioned to enable us to achieve our future ambitions as the leader in sustainable luxury mobility. We would like to thank Andreas for his significant impact on the future product design during his time at Bentley, and wish both him and Tobias every success in their new roles.”

Sühlmann will lead a team of approximately 50 design experts with responsibility for the exterior, interior and colour and trim design for the full current and future Bentley product portfolio, concept and showcars. He said: “We are currently reimagining our design language at Bentley and so, having the responsibility to lead this, working closely with all my colleagues, is a privilege. Together, we look forward to taking Bentley to a new direction and making sure modern day Bentley’s are potent, inspirational and harmonious.”

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