People: Beswicks Legal; Rhino Engineering; Peak; BDO; Claritas Tax; Farleys Solicitors

Peri Mornington

Law firm, Beswicks Legal, has strengthened its dispute resolution team with the appointment of experienced disputes solicitor, Peri Mornington.

Peri has more than 10 years’ experience and specialises in commercial litigation, in particular media, defamation and sport.

Peri joins the dispute resolution team, led by partner Gareth Wilkinson, and will work across the firm’s Altrincham and Stoke-on-Trent offices.

She said: “I am looking forward to bringing my own experience and expertise to the team to assist clients in achieving their objectives.”

Beswicks Legal group director of operations, Ryan Yates, said: “We warmly welcome Peri to the Beswicks Legal team. Peri is an outstanding lawyer with a wealth of experience in dealing with all aspects of reputational management for businesses and individuals, which, coupled with her experience in sporting disputes, intellectual property disputes and general commercial disputes, makes Peri a great addition to our existing team.”


Dr Chris Norris

The board of Rhino Engineering Group has revealed that Dr Chris Norris has stepped down as a statutory director of both Rhino Systems and Rhino HySafe, and takes up a revised position within the business as he follows his plans for semi-retirement.

From August 10, Dr Norris moved to part-time working and will focus on the role of group chief engineer. Rhino has a manufacturing site at Bamber Bridge, near Preston.

He has worked within the high-performance doors and blast walls sector for more than 25 years. Since joining Rhino in 2017, Dr Norris has been instrumental in the successful delivery of a number of complex and high value projects for the group.

He said: “Since joining Rhino I’ve had the chance to explore more advanced blast protection ideas and will continue to support the team in developing and implementing relevant ideas that will positively impact our customers and a range of critical industries.”

He has also played a key role in Rhino’s evolution as a provider of bespoke solutions, developing from a manufacturer and installer of pre-engineered doors to a partner working with customers to deliver at every stage from planning to after-sales support, while also developing the geographic reach and partnership agreements.

Stuart Lawrence, group managing director of Rhino Engineering Group, said: “While Chris’s role may be changing, his top level expertise and ideas will still be helping to shape the future for us and our partners.

“The Board of Rhino Engineering Group Limited thank Chris for the service and commitment he has shown during his time as a director of the business, and look forward to his continued support in his capacity as part time group chief engineer.”


Fred Becker

Artificial Intelligence company, Peak, has appointed Fred Becker as chief financial officer.

Fred joins the executive team at Peak, reporting to CEO and co-founder, Richard Potter, and will be responsible for leading the Manchester company’s finance, legal, revenue operations and information office teams.

He joins Peak from regulatory technology firm, Suade Labs, where he held the combined position of chief financial officer and chief operating officer. Over the past 20 years, Fred has played a pivotal role in scaling technology firms across Europe and North America, including Skype and Symphony.

Fred said: “It’s clear to me that Peak has all of the ingredients for success – a fast growing market, a great product and, most importantly, a talented and driven team. I am excited to take on an important role during this next stage of growth.”

Peak’s AI platform is used by global industry leaders including Nike, Molson Coors, PepsiCo and Sika. It optimises inventories, pricing, and customer personalisation for businesses of all sizes.

Peak CEO and co-founder, Richard Potter, said: “Fred is an accomplished executive with strong experience in software as a service. His previous experience demonstrates the ability to drive sustainable growth across a business and this will be invaluable as Peak continues to scale globally.”


Hamid Ghafoor

Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO has named North West partner, Hamid Ghafoor, as its new national head of social housing.

The assurance and advisory partner, who has successfully led BDO’s Northern Social Housing team for the past decade, takes over the role from Phil Cliftlands, who has recently been appointed as regional managing partner at BDO in the South East.

In his new position, Hamid will be responsible for overseeing all regional social housing teams, monitoring and maintaining high service levels, while continuing to lead many of BDO’s largest social housing audited entities.

Since joining the firm in 2013, Hamid has built a strong reputation in social housing and has more than 25 years’ experience working in the sector. During his career he has held various roles in industry, including chair of New Charter Housing Group and is currently the chair of audit at Aspire Group. Also, he previously worked as financial controller at G15 housing group, Riverside.

Hamid said: “My aim is to continue to build BDO’s social housing portfolio across our business and maintain the service and quality levels that are core to our offering. What’s more, I’m keen to drive sector insights and provide the guidance needed to ensure our clients and audited entities are successful, while building our internal social housing community to enable us to share experiences, knowledge and specialist advice.”

BDO works alongside more than 30 registered providers of social housing across the North West, and 170 nationally.

Angela Cross, partner and head of BDO in the North West, said: “Hamid’s vast experience in the social housing sector makes him the perfect candidate to take over from Phil, who has done a wonderful job over the last 10 years.

“Social housing and the Not for Profit sector is an important market for BDO in the North West. Over the last five years, Hamid has doubled the size of our social housing portfolio. This is testament to his specialist knowledge of the sector and the expert advice and support he provides.”


Clockwise, from top left: Ses Memhi, Sam Hart, Mark Cuppello, Caroline Walton

Claritas Tax, with offices in Manchester, Birmingham, and Nottingham, has promoted four experienced tax advisors.

Ses Memhi and Sam Hart have been promoted to partner. Sam covers Birmingham, Manchester and East Midlands and Ses covers Nottingham and Birmingham.

Caroline Walton has been promoted to associate partner, while Mark Cuppello has been promoted to manager. Both are in the Manchester office.

Matt Hodgson, partner and head of Claritas’s Manchester office, said: “The beauty of being part of a rapidly growing business is the opportunities it can present to progress based on merit, which is clearly demonstrated here.”


Back, from left: Megan Billington, Finn Hubble. Front: Bob Worsley, Stevie Kelly

North West law firm, Farleys Solicitors, has welcomed its 2023 intake of trainee solicitors as the firm continues its commitment to nurturing future legal talent through its training programme.

Bob Worsley, Finn Hubble, Megan Billington, and Stevie Kelly will complete two years of training within up to four departments before qualifying as solicitors.

Alongside the new intake, Farleys is also celebrating four former trainee solicitors who have now completed their training contracts, qualified and taken up permanent roles across the firm.

Alicia Langley has taken up a permanent role within the abuse and inquests team based in Manchester. Georgia Sayer originally began her training contract with Mulderrigs, a specialist personal injury firm. Mulderrigs later joined the Farleys Solicitors family and Georgia was given the opportunity to continue her training contract within Farleys’ private client team.

Haiqa Riaz has qualified as a solicitor into Farleys’ commercial property team, predominantly based in the firm’s Preston office on Winckley Square. Haiqa joined the firm in 2020 as a litigation executive within the abuse and inquests department before securing a place on the training programme commencing in 2021.

Ross Liddle has also completed his training contract with Farleys. He will take up a permanent role within the commercial property team based in Manchester specialising in sales, purchases, and commercial property leases.

Farleys’ training principal, Nick Molyneux, said: “Firstly, I’d like to congratulate Alicia, Georgia, Haiqa and Ross on their qualification after two years of hard work across the different departments at Farleys. The work that’s put in during that time should never be underestimated and we’re proud to be able to offer them all permanent roles within the team.

“We are also pleased to welcome our latest intake of trainee solicitors. Once again, it’s great to be able to offer training opportunities to current staff members who show excellent potential and additionally to be able to welcome on board new talent from the region.”

The application window for training contracts commencing in September 2025 will open in January 2024.