People: VM Family Law; Autism Together; JLL; Together; Pannone Corporate; Crimson Panda

Mandy Rimmer

Family law specialist solicitor, Mandy Rimmer, has left Bolton firm Stephensons to join burgeoning local business VM Family Law.

Mandy has spent almost all her 30-year career with Stephensons, latterly as a partner managing the divorce and financial resettlement team.

She said her contribution saw it rise in the Legal 500 rankings to become a recognised North-West Tier 1 family team.

Bolton-based VM Family Law was founded two years ago by another specialist solicitor, Victoria Melling, and has grown each year to four solicitors, two paralegals and a legal secretary.

Victoria said: “There is definitely a need for high quality specialist family law advice from a niche firm of solicitors which shows in the number of inquiries and the people we are now able to help.

“There is no reason why this team will not continue to grow given the great start so far in such a short period of time.”


Wirral charity, Autism Together, has appointed Richard Whitby as its new chief executive.

Richard replaces Sue Stubbs, who retired having led the charity since 2019.

From its base in Bromborough, Autism Together supports autistic people of all ages, with around 800 staff providing residential, supported living and day services to more than 400 autistic adults, and support to many more families across Merseyside and Cheshire.

Richard joins the organisation after three years as CEO of Nazareth Care Charitable Trust.

Wirral born and bred, Richard brings with him more than 15 years of experience in the health, social care and charity sectors.

Richard Whitby

Along with Nazareth Care, Richard has worked in senior leadership roles for some of the largest care providers in the UK charity sector, including Aspirations and Community Integrated Care.

A former support worker himself, Richard has worked through various levels of social care management to achieve success at CEO level, and so brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the charity.

Richard said: “Under my leadership, Autism Together will continue to be a modern, inclusive charity, working positively for the people we support and our dedicated staff teams. I am proud to be returning to my Wirral roots and look forward to leading this wonderful charity into an exciting future.”

Iain Cadman, chair of Autism Together’s board of trustees, said: “Richard has been appointed at an important time for our charity as we look to expand our services and grow as a care provider across Merseyside and Cheshire.

“Under Richard’s leadership, we believe we will strengthen our position as an employer of choice in the care sector, while becoming an increasingly influential voice within the charity sector and alongside the autistic community across the UK.”


JLL has appointed Kath Cope to join its project management team in the Manchester office.

In her new role, Kath will be responsible for working on a variety of project types including new build developments and occupier fit-outs.

Kath joins from Colliers, where she previously delivered a number of high profile instructions including collaborating with two global technology development companies and overseeing their office fit-outs.

Kath Cope

Kath previously also worked with Siemens on several projects, bolstering their refurbishments and repairs within both office spaces and industrial units.

She said: “As the construction industry looks to move towards a more sustainable future, I’m looking forward to working for a company that is pioneering this trend.
“It will be exciting to see how innovation and research towards sustainable solutions becomes the norm within the built environment.”

Nick Currie, head of project and cost management-Manchester at JLL, said: “Kath is an excellent addition to the team and we’re looking forward to her bringing experience and expertise to an already dynamic team.

“Her appointment will certainly help bolster our project management offering to clients within the North West.”


Cheadle-based specialist lender Together has made three promotions to its executive team in Sarah Nield, Ryan Etchells and Julie Twynholm.

Julie Twynholm

Sarah Nield will take on the role of group chief compliance officer. Her key focus will centre on delivering the group’s strategy to become an exemplar in the specialist lending market.

Sarah joined Together three years ago and has held two roles in risk, enabling her to support the business in navigating the ever-changing regulatory environment for Together’s customers and regulators.

Sarah Nield

Ryan Etchells has been appointed as chief commercial officer. His remit will be to drive the business’s commercial plan, developing strategies to ensure Together delivers value for all of its stakeholders in a sustainable way.

Ryan started his career at Together on the graduate scheme which provided the foundations to develop and progress. Ryan left Together to grow his knowledge and experience in banking and during this time, he gained a Master’s Degree in Banking. In 2021, he returned to the lender to lead the product team.

Ryan Etchells

Julie Twynholm has been promoted to group chief risk officer. Julie’s role will centre on keeping the business safe, collaborating across the business to navigate Together safely through the challenging macroeconomic environment and its transformation and modernisation.

Julie joined Together 18 months ago, after supporting the business as a consultant. Her previous roles have taken her across the globe, spending time in Bermuda and Hong Kong. Julie brings a wealth of experience in financial services risk management.

Gerald Grimes, group CEO designate, welcomed the promotions, saying: “I want to take this opportunity to wish them well in their new roles and welcome them to the executive team.

“It is a great demonstration that Together provides colleagues with the opportunity to progress internally and these appointments will bring greater diversity to the current team.”


North West law firm, Pannone Corporate, has promoted two longstanding members of the team to partner.

Effective from February 3, Jonny Scholes has been promoted to partner in the firm’s dispute resolution team. Jonny has been with Pannone since its inception in 2014, having previously worked at Pannone LLP joining in 2005.

Jonny has built up a strong reputation in his field, particularly in the area of contentious trusts and probate – a top tier practice area for the firm in the Legal 500 rankings.

He is joined as partner by Daniel Clarke, who leads the corporate recovery and insolvency practice at Pannone. Like Jonny, Daniel joined Pannone LLP nearly 20 years ago and qualified in 2006. Daniel advises on all aspects of corporate and personal insolvency, including administration, bankruptcy, CVAs/IVAs, and restructuring and re-organisation.

Dan Clarke, left, and Jonny Scholes

Dan said: “The investment we make in talent is integral to our ongoing success – not just for the corporate recovery and insolvency team, but for the firm as a whole.”

Jonny said: “I’m very proud to have been promoted to partner and I look forward to helping Pannone continue to flourish alongside a group of wonderful and hard-working people.”

The promotions follow a number of recent appointments, as the firm continues to invest in future talent.

As part of the recruitment drive, Joshua Dolan joins the firm as a solicitor in the dispute resolution team, Will Newman has been appointed as a solicitor in the real estate team, Ciara Scanlon joins in the employment team as a solicitor, Natasha Mafunga has been appointed as a solicitor in the dispute resolution team, Jack Taylor further strengthens the dispute resolution team, also joining as a solicitor, with Renée Neophytou completing the raft of appointments, joining the corporate team as a solicitor.

Paul Jonson, senior partner at Pannone, said: “Each promotion and appointment represents Pannone’s commitment to investing in our people and the future of our business.

“The partner promotions are thoroughly well deserved. Jonny and Dan have both demonstrated true commitment, dedication and passion to the firm, acting as a real example to those rising through the ranks, and they should be incredibly proud of their achievements.”


Bespoke outsourcing and HR specialist, Crimson Panda, has appointed Daniel Eckersley as chief commercial officer. He will formally join the company today (March 1), and report to the company founders.

Eckersley brings significant business development insight to the role, with more than 20 years of experience supporting tech start-ups/scale-ups globally.

He joins from Towergate Health & Protection, where he most recently served as principal health and wellbeing consultant. Prior to that, Eckersley spent 10 years in various roles at Bupa.

Daniel Eckersley

He will be instrumental in increasing Isle of Man-based Crimson Panda’s presence both on the island and globally within the gaming and technology industry. In addition, he will be identifying emerging trends within the workplace and creating strategic partnerships with suppliers who can offer unique solutions to Crimson Panada to support its clients moving forward, allowing them to be ‘employers of choice’ in an increasingly competitive market.

Terri Wilcox, co-founder, said: “We can’t wait for Danny to join the Crimson Panda Team. We believe in surrounding ourselves with people who have the same values, approach to customers and work ethic and Danny aligns perfectly so he’ll be a great fit. We are excited to continue to amplify, grow and unleash the Crimson Panda brand.”

Eckersley said: “Making the choice to move to Crimson Panda was honestly one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made – I’ve known and worked with the company founders for almost 15 years. So, when the opportunity to work with them came along I didn’t hesitate.”

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