People: Vincents Solicitors; Begbies Traynor; Johnson Law Group; BGEN; Back to the Garden Childcare; First Internet

Tia Grimshaw

Vincents Solicitors commercial property lawyer Tia Grimshaw has qualified as a solicitor.

Tia, who is based in the new Poulton office, has completed her training contract with the firm and is now fully qualified to practice as a solicitor in her own right.

As part of the commercial property team under commercial property director Sophie Mercer at Poulton, Tia works with clients from across the North West purchasing, selling or leasing commercial property and land.

The 24-year old began her training contract with Vincents in 2021 after graduating with a First Class Honours Degree in Law from the University of Liverpool in summer 2020.

She completed her Masters (MSc) and Legal Practice Course both with a Distinction from the University of Law last summer, and has since completed her final Solicitors Regulation Authority modules.

Tia said: “I am really pleased to have completed the many years of training and become fully qualified as a solicitor. Qualification is a proud achievement for me and I am so grateful for the support I’ve had from Vincents and in particular my colleagues in Poulton.

“I will still have the support and guidance of the senior solicitors, and will continue to draw on their knowledge and experience, but I am definitely ready to start making a name for myself and building my own client portfolio.”

Phillip Gilmore, Vincents Solicitors managing director, said: “Tia has worked extremely hard and progressed quickly during her training contract, securing top marks at every stage. She has established a strong reputation for her tenacity, precision and knowledge, and has demonstrated a natural ability to develop trusted client relationships which will stand her in good stead throughout her career.”


Stephen Berry

Begbies Traynor has bolstered its Liverpool office with the appointment of experienced restructuring expert Stephen Berry as partner.

Berry is a licensed insolvency practitioner and former solicitor specialising in corporate recovery and insolvency. He is also the president of Merseyside Corporate Recovery Professionals.

Prior to joining Begbies Traynor, Berry launched and headed up the Opus team in Liverpool providing restructuring and insolvency services in the region.

Paul Stanley, North West regional managing partner at Begbies Traynor, welcomed Berry to the team, saying: “His extensive experience in the industry and his outstanding reputation as a restructuring professional make him an ideal fit for our firm. Stephen is experienced, well connected professionally and has a wealth of experience in our sector.”

Stephen Berry said: “I’m excited to join Begbies Traynor and looking forward to working alongside my new colleagues. I’m proud to be appointed to join the team here in my home city and I’m committed to maintaining my existing professional relationships and developing new ones as we continue to develop our business in Liverpool.”


Matt Raines

Manchester-based consumer litigation law firm, Johnson Law Group , has promoted to Matt Raines to associate.

Opening its first UK office in February 2020, for the past 30 years Johnson Law Group says it has been a leader in the US legal mass-tort market and brings a wealth of experience into the UK market, offering legal advice and assistance in a variety of practice areas of consumer law.

Matt joined Johnson Law Group in September 2021 as a Chartered Legal Executive and Advocate and has responsibility for the firm’s PCP car finance claim campaign and heading up the company’s diesel emissions group litigation actions.

Managing director, Jamie Patton, said: “We’re thrilled for Matt on becoming an associate at Johnson Law Group and it is nothing less than he deserves given his ongoing commitment to delivering commercial and consumer legal services at the highest level. His calm and collected, measured yet skilful approach to litigation is a pleasure to behold and Matt has demonstrated that he is an asset to the team.”

Matt Raines said: “It’s been fantastic to be part of a growing firm with big ambitions, trailblazing the newest claim areas in consumer and mass litigation and I’m really looking forward to the challenges ahead. Mass litigation is continuing to increase in popularity in the UK.”


Simon Clarkson

Warrington-based BGEN, a specialist, multi-discipline engineering solutions business, has promoted Simon Clarkson to the newly created position of chief digital officer (CDO). Clarkson will be tasked with driving digital transformation across the business, which will include its new sustainability offering.

Chief executive, Robin Whitehead, said: “Simon was the natural choice to become our CDO. He has proven he can drive digital change in our technology business and has a flair for identifying digital opportunities that drive business performance. In addition, more and more clients are now looking at digital, data-driven solutions, and Simon will work alongside our mechanical and electrical teams to broaden our offer.”

In his new role, Simon will be responsible for creating and leading the implementation and governance associated with the company’s technology, innovation and digitalisation strategy, as well as remaining hands-on with the development and implementation of business-critical systems. In addition, he will continue to support new services, such as the development of a new resource, eg, energy/water/material, and live carbon (CO2e) monitoring solution to support BGEN’s sustainability offering.

Simon said: “I’m really excited by this new opportunity and working with the wider senior management team to drive meaningful change. As a business, BGEN has a great opportunity to support the energy transition, and I’m looking forward to assisting from a digital perspective.”


Luke Tew

Natural nursery group Back to the Garden Childcare has appointed AA Rosette award winning chef Luke Tew to lead its commitment to great food and nutrition as it continues to expand across the North West.

Luke is responsible for delivering an exceptional early years food strategy that combines top quality, nutritionally-balanced menus packed with locally sourced, seasonal and organic ingredients to provide an all-round social and educational experience for the children learning where their food comes from.

He will also welcome the children into the kitchen to help with the preparing, cooking and serving of food as part of the nursery curriculum and a daily social task to be shared by all, including the babies who are given the opportunity to serve and feed themselves as soon as they are able.

In the past few weeks, the pre-school children have been making their own bread and fresh slow pressed juices and even planted organic pepper seeds that they took from an organic pepper that was used in a lunchtime meal.

Luke said: “I am literally obsessed with food and have been thinking and experimenting with food for as long as I can remember, so I’m delighted to take on this new challenge and consciously think about the quality and nutritional balance of the food that we deliver here at Back to the Garden. The understanding and enjoyment of great food is one of the cornerstones of a good life so our mealtimes are fun, social occasions not to be rushed with everyone coming together to taste, touch and talk about the delicious food that we are going to enjoy.”

Jeannie Pickering, founder of the Altrincham-based nursery, said: “Food is so important in the early years, laying the foundations and establishing good habits for life. With our organic, fresh food deliveries and Luke’s talent and skills in developing and serving tempting menus, we are confident that we will set new standards in great food, solid nutrition and embracing social dining in our family childcare setting.”


From left: Matthew Czok, Sufyaan Afzal, Andy McLoughlin, Jessica Homans, Matthew Gibson

Altrincham digital marketing agency First Internet has added to its client-facing and tech departments, making five new appointments to help manage growth.

Jessica Homans has joined the team as senior project manager and Andy McLoughlin has moved over from McCann to be SEO lead, while Sufyaan Afzal and Matthew Czok have both been appointed as SEO account managers. Matthew Gibson has come on board as a web designer.

Julaine Speight, director at First Internet, said: “We’ve enjoyed some new client wins recently, which are always great, but it’s especially rewarding when existing customers expand their briefs.

“We really enjoy adapting successful brands in other territories, targeting different markets while maintaining the same high standards, and generating quality results. We’re delighted to grow the team by welcoming Jessica, Sufyaan, Andy and ‘The Matts’ on board. They’ll help us continue to support our clients at the same high standard, on a larger scale.”

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...