People: Gorvins Solicitors; Grant Thornton; Slerp; Metis Real Estate; MCS; Cowgills

Ainsley Pritchard

Stockport-based Gorvins Solicitors has appointed a new senior associate solicitor to the firm’s family team.

Ainsley Pritchard has specialised in family and children law since she qualified in 1998 and her areas of expertise include financial settlements, child arrangements and disputes, divorce and unmarried couples disputes.

With vast experience spanning more than two decades, Ainsley brings a wealth of knowledge and proficiency to the practice amassed across various head of family department roles across the North West.

Having trained as a family mediator, she is also a member of Resolution, the organisation of family law professionals who work with families and individuals to resolve disputes constructively.

Ainsley Pritchard said: “I’m proud to have joined one of the North West’s leading law firms and look forward to helping families with their respective requirements.”

Mark Deverell, managing partner, said: “Ainsley is a seasoned professional at family law and a highly complementary addition to the existing team.”


Carl Williams

Business and financial adviser, Grant Thornton UK, is set to welcome a record 213 school leavers onto its apprenticeship programme this year. This is a 13% increase compared with 2022 (188) and the highest number ever welcomed by the firm in one intake.

This year, for the first time, the ratio of school leavers and graduates joining the firm’s audit department – which hires the largest number of trainees in the business – reached more than a 50:50 split, with more school leavers than graduates joining the function.

Grant Thornton is also set to welcome a record number of new joiners to its overall trainee intake, with 496 school leavers and graduates joining the firm this year combined.

As well as welcoming its new trainee intake, the firm, which is a founding member of Access Accountancy, is set to offer 218 work experience placements to sixth form students through the scheme this year – a significant increase compared with 2022 (131).

Carl Williams, managing partner at Grant Thornton UK in the North West, said: “The fight for talent in the accountancy profession is fierce and, at Grant Thornton, we’ve been evolving our approach to identifying talent for several years now, with much more of a focus on future potential and strengths, as opposed to past achievements and academic profile. Our focus on increasing our school leaver intake has allowed us to access a new, diverse talent pool that we would previously have been missing.”


Holly Anderson

Slerp, a direct-to-consumer online ordering tech solution for the hospitality industry in the UK, has announced its expansion into the North West region.

It has welcomed Liverpool-based Holly Anderson as a senior sales manager. With an extensive background in the hospitality industry, including her previous roles at Mr Yum, Sprout, and Quandoo, Anderson brings a wealth of experience to oversee sales for Slerp in the region.

Holly said: “I’m over the moon to join Slerp at such an exciting period of growth for the business. We have so many amazing restaurants in the region that will benefit from Slerp’s expertise in ordering and delivery.”

Slerp already works with a number of UK-wide partners in the North West including Pasta Evangelists, Chopstix and Chicken Cottage and in recent weeks it has partnered with several popular local restaurants including Amalia in Liverpool and the Greater Manchester restaurants Casa Mexica and Chilli Banana.


From left: Luke Nicholson, Charley Foster, Luke Nicholson, Luc Hogan

Metis Real Estate, the North West-based retail and leisure leasing and commercial investment agency, has expanded its team following continual company growth, hiring three graduates and creating a new director role.

Is has welcomed three graduates to the company, providing additional support as it looks to continue its strong growth. Narrowing the search from 80 applicants, the successful candidates, Max Woolstencroft, Charley Foster and Luc Hogan, underwent a vigorous interview process and are now supporting the wider Metis team across retail and leisure leasing, as well as commercial investment.

Metis has also promoted Luke Nicholson to director, working across both retail and leisure. Luke will continue to support the company’s in-house lease advisory offer, providing strategic counsel across Metis’s growing client base, which includes Liverpool One and The Trafford Centre, as well as Metis’s significant role in a number of city centre destinations, such as Heart of the City II and The Moor in Sheffield, and the Arndale, Royal Exchange, Printworks, Corn Exchange, Spinningfields and Great Northern in Manchester.

Dan Davies, leisure director and co-owner, said: “The retail and leisure industry continue to change at pace, but for Metis, this has proven to be an exciting time of opportunity and growth for both client and talent acquisition. We are delighted to welcome Max, Charley and Luc, all of whom bring exciting, fresh perspectives and new ideas to Metis.

“Together with Luke’s well deserved promotion to director, our team has the right blend of perspectives, experience and leadership to enable us to meet growing demand for Metis among the leading clients and destinations in the industry.”


Stephen Knight and Martyn Raine

Daresbury-based MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme), the standards organisation for small-scale domestic renewable energy and technology across the UK, has appointed Martyn Raine and Stephen Knight as sector skills managers.

Their arrival comes as MCS begins to take a larger role in developing skills and competence within the sector, following on from a six-week scheme consultation that took place this summer. This includes expanding its remit to encompass the recognition and approval of training courses for low-carbon energy and heating installers across the UK, which will be led by the two new sector skills managers at MCS.

Both Martyn and Stephen bring a wealth of experience to the organisation from their background in training and educational standards in the sector, having developed training courses for the likes of British Gas, SSE, SNIPEF, local authorities and education trusts.

Ian Rippin, CEO of MCS, said: “They bring a breadth of knowledge and will give us full coverage of the UK. They’ve hit the ground running since their appointment last month and are already meeting industry bodies to talk about their training needs to upskill and cross-skill the installer base of tomorrow. MCS wants to remove barriers and help contribute to increasing the number of skilled, qualified contractors in our sector and these appointments signal our commitment to this.”


Cowgills apprentices

North West accountancy and business advisory firm, Cowgills has taken on 11 new apprentices as part of its annual scheme.

The graduates will be split across the firm’s Greater Manchester and Liverpool offices. Working across the audit and tax practices, the apprentices will gain a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of an advisory career.

Managing partner, Paul Stringer, said: “Graduates and apprentices are at the core of our business, so I’m pleased to be welcoming the latest cohort to our Bolton and Liverpool offices.

“Our recruits are the future of Cowgills, and we don’t say that lightly – we have several partners who started as trainees and are now helping to run the business. The progression opportunities here are second to none, and we look forward to seeing our latest cohorts’ journeys.”

As part of their training, Cowgills graduates will join the Cowgills Academy, launched in 2022, which allows trainees to learn all aspects of accounting, and to rotate around the business, working with clients across all sectors, and allowing them to choose the service area most suited to their skills.

Lisa Kershaw, head of people, said: “We were overwhelmed with the amount of applications we received for this year’s programme.”

Cowgills celebrates 40 years in business this year, with 25 partners and 170 staff across five offices.