People: Manifest; Leep Utilities; BDO; Lowry Legal; Claritas Tax; Mine Tech Services

Sarah Waddington

Independent unified creative agency, Manifest, has appointed two high profile non-executive directors to support its continued propositional and geographical expansion.

Sarah Waddington, director at Wadds Inc, and Ete Davies, chief operating officer of Dentsu Creative EMEA, add more than four decades of experience to Manifest’s senior leadership team, having held senior positions at some of the most well-respected agencies and creative institutions in the world.

Alex Myers, founder and group CEO at Manifest, which has a Manchester base, said:“More than just experienced advisors, Sarah and Ete are industry progressives who are helping drive a more diverse, inclusive, and ethical creative industry – something that makes them a perfect fit for what we’re trying to achieve at Manifest.

“The coming year will see us continue to expand in terms of geography, team, and services so these appointments are part of us building the right leadership structure to make it all happen.”

Ete Davies said: “Manifest is a new model of indy agency, and it’s an exciting challenge to help them achieve their vision of building a global unified creative operation.”

Sarah Waddington said: “I’ve followed Manifest on its journey for many years – emerging as one of the leading independent creative shops over the past decade. I’m very proud to play a part in the next chapter of the business as they continue to scale and diversify.”


Richard Long

Salford-based Leep Utilities has appointed Richard Long as director of heat. In this newly created role, Richard will lead the development of Leep’s heat business, providing customers with innovative and sustainable heat solutions.

He has also played a key role in the development of the company’s heat strategy, and the direction and recent publication of its Heat Solutions brochure.

Richard’s appointment will further support Leep’s expansion plans. In July, the last mile network utility operator secured additional investment from its majority shareholders, Ancala Partners and The Peel Group. The new investment is helping Leep to deliver its significant order book and roll-out new sites across the UK, along with further investing into its decarbonised heat initiatives.

CEO, Louise Manfredi, welcomed Richard, saying: “His experience and expertise in low carbon, urban heat projects will help us further enhance our heat proposition.”

Richard Long said: “I’m excited to be joining the team at Leep Utilities to further develop its successful heat business. I am really impressed by the potential of Leep’s existing MediaCity heat network, the breadth of its multi-utility business and the strength of the entire team.”


Danny Wilbourn

Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO has strengthened its North West team with the appointment of Danny Wilbourn.

Danny joins the audit team as partner. He brings more than 15 years’ experience to the firm, with expertise in delivering services to large and complex organisations across industry sectors.

He joins from PwC.

Stuart Wood, partner and head of audit in the North West at BDO, said: “Danny is a valuable addition to the North West audit team. His experience in guiding organisations through the complex area of audit and assurance will be vital, as we look to strengthen our footprint in the region.”

Danny said: “​BDO has established robust relationships with key regulators in the UK. These relationships allow us to have a comprehensive understanding of the codes and rules governing audits, as well as the likely impact of any future regulation – something we communicate in a transparent and timely way to audited entities.”


Michelle Uppal

Specialist North West high-net-worth divorce law firm, Lowry Legal, has appointed expert mediator and collaborative family lawyer, Michelle Uppal, who joins as partner.

Michelle’s join will shortly be followed by the launch of a dedicated London office, which will expand the firm’s coverage to encompass England’s most prestigious postcodes.

This is Lowry Legal’s second partner hire of 2023, and forms a key component of the firm’s planned expansion. Michelle brings almost 25 years’ experience assisting separating high-net-worth couples with expertise in child arrangements, post-separation finances, and cross-jurisdictional cases. Matrimonial finance partner, Lesley Smythe, also joined last month

Michelle, who joins from Miles & Partners where she headed up the matrimonial department, said: “I have known Katie for a very long time and am beyond thrilled to be joining Lowry Legal. Our values completely align and I cannot wait to help build on the firm’s reputation as a first-in-class, boutique HNW family law service.”

Managing Partner, Katie McCann, welcomed Michelle, saying: “Her stellar reputation as one of the best mediators in London and as a perceptive and pragmatic family lawyer speaks for itself.”


Siyanna Gospodinova and Kobe Thomas-Bartley

Claritas Tax has expanded its team again with the appointment of two additional team members to its expanding, full-service tax advisory firm.

With offices in Birmingham, Manchester, and Nottingham, Claritas has added Siyanna Gospodinova and Kobe Thomas-Bartley, who have taken up the positions of tax associates, working initially across all of Claritas’ specialist areas, while being supported to study for the prestigious ICAEW and Chartered Institute of Taxation qualifications.

The new recruits follow an influx of new joiners for the firm at all levels, which is part of the firm’s continual growth strategy.

Iain Wright, founding partner and head of Claritas’s Birmingham office said: “This is a very exciting time for Claritas. Our team keeps going from strength to strength. We’re continuing to grow our team and are especially proud that we’re welcoming strong, ambitious graduates to our offices.”

Matt Hodgson, partner and head of Claritas’s Manchester office said: “Siyanna and Kobe each bring with them a unique set of talent and skills which will be beneficial not only to our clients but to our wider team, ensuring that we can provide a consistent quality service across all of our service lines. Both recruits have hit the ground running and are full of enthusiasm. They are both going to be fantastic assets to our team here.”

Claritas has recruited three trainees during 2023 and will look to recruit a further three or more in 2024, with the recruitment process starting in late 2023.


Lancaster-based Mine Tech Services (MTS), specialists in mining technology solutions, has added four new members to its team.

These appointments underscore MTS’s commitment to delivering cutting-edge consultancy, training, and software solutions that help mines boost productivity, reduce emissions and minimise operating costs.

Holly Roberts joins as MTS’s chief operating officer, Shane McQuillan assumes the role of mining analytics engineer, Kristina Miroshnykova joins as product manager and Olha Kukun assumes the role of BI developer.

Joe Atkinson, director and principal consultant at MTS, said: “We’re really excited by the new additions to our dynamic team.

“MTS has seen significant growth over the past couple of years and we’re ensuring we can maintain and grow our excellent service offering.”