People: DWF; Naimuri; Northstone; Leith; Rospen; Brabners

Kirsty Rogers

Manchester-based global law firm, DWF, has appointed five newly qualified solicitors in its Spinningfields office.

Alice Gilman, Paulina Bodzak and Raili Haslam have joined the corporate services team, Lauren Parkinson joins the dispute resolution team and Aquiel Brittain-Dissont joins the real estate team.

Meanwhile, four new trainees have just joined in Manchester to begin their two year training contracts, with another four trainees due to arrive in November.

Kirsty Rogers, office managing partner in Manchester, said: “We are thrilled to officially welcome these talented individuals to our Manchester office as newly qualified solicitors.

“We are committed to investing in the next generation of legal talent and I look forward to supporting our newly qualified solicitors and our new trainees as they embark on the next stage of their careers.”

In the spirit of nurturing young talent and early careers, DWF will launch the next programme as part of its community education initiative, ‘5 STAR Futures’, later this month in partnership with All Hallows in Salford.

The programme, run by newly qualified solicitor, Raili Haslam, with the help of legal counsel, Zena Al-Kassab, aims to empower ambitious young students to unlock their potential by developing the skills and confidence required to succeed in the workplace through a variety of workshops.


Dr Phininder (Phini) Balaghan

Naimuri’s innovation and engagement lead, Dr Phininder (Phini) Balaghan, has been appointed as the global capability area lead for artificial intelligence (AI) within Naimuri’s parent company QinetiQ, to explore how to support its defence and security customers to exploit AI.

Phini has been with Salford-based Naimuri for two years, after joining from the University of Hull. He is renowned for his understanding of the workings of the world of academia and its cutting-edge research, which led him to develop Naimuri’s highly-acclaimed tech event – Tech, Academia and Government (TAG) – which has been instrumental in enabling customers to engage with academia to explore and find solutions to real-world customer challenges.

The role will see Phini split his time, supporting the QinetiQ Group Technology and Operational Excellence (GTOE) technical capability team with the growth of its AI capability (people, IP, facilities and partner ecosystem) globally, while continuing to grow innovation and engagement at Naimuri, including the Data Intelligence Centre of Excellence (DICE).

Phini said: “AI data science and machine learning will be at the core of what we do for the coming generations. We must place ourselves at the forefront of this technological revolution. We need to ensure that we are world leaders in this field, focusing on what we have always been great at.”

Alice Spreckley, Naimuri managing director, said: “Growth of our data science and AI capabilities has been a significant focus for Naimuri over the last couple of years. We are delighted to further support this work with Phini’s new role.”

David Rosewell, Group Director Science and Technology Engagement at QinetiQ, said: “Artificial Intelligence is a technological revolution that is impacting all of our customers in defence and security across the world. We have been working in the field of AI for many years but we need to accelerate the development of our capability globally.”


Richard Holt

Eco-homebuilder, Northstone, has announced a new site management team for its Keld development in Barrowford, Lancashire.

Richard Holt has been appointed as site manager, while Steven Appleton assumes the position of assistant manager.

Richard, who has been with the company for three years, is highly-regarded and last year completed the homebuilder’s Next Generation training programme which looks to accelerate the progression of key individuals within the firm through a one-year course, combining learning modules and monthly sessions with external experts.

He joins Keld having recently completed works at Northstone’s Silkash development in Bolton where he was also site manager. Steven, meanwhile, has been working with the company for almost a year, officially becoming part of the head count in June this year.

Richard Holt said: “It’s fantastic to be on site at Keld working with our trusted contractors to see the development really start to take shape and building on the community of customers that have already moved into their homes.”

Once complete, Keld will feature 239 homes across 10 different house types, with all homes boasting a number of eco-leading features as standard such as Velfac windows and an intelligent heating system. Northstone has completed on 80 homes and is now on phase 2 with a mixture of three- and four-bed homes.


From left: Phil Evans, Jon Chapman, Troy Farnworth

Manchester-based creative agency, Leith, has bolstered its health division with the appointment of Jon Chapman as executive creative director (ECD).

Chapman will be responsible for leading the creative output of Leith’s health clients including Sanofi, Hoya Vision Care, EFPIA, IFPMA and Worldwide Cancer Research, and working with teams across the agency to develop creative strategies that produce effective creative work.

He joins Leith ECD’s, Phil Evans and Troy Farnworth at the agency and will report to Richard Marsham, group managing partner. He starts this month with the agency, which also has an Edinburgh office.

Chapman joins from BBDO New York, where he was chief creative officer (CCO) responsible for growing the agency’s health offering and was part of the North American Creative Council for the network. Prior to joining BBDO, he spent more than a decade at Havas Lynx, joining when it was a small design studio in Manchester and leaving 10 years later as CCO when it had grown into a global health agency employing 650 people.

Richard Marsham said: “We are thrilled to have someone of Jon’s calibre and pedigree joining the agency. He has extensive experience of working on large global campaigns and smaller local initiatives, across multiple issues and geographies, and culturally he’s a great fit, too. Jon joins the agency at a pivotal time as we look to raise our game again and build upon the success we have achieved over the last five years.”

Brian Coane, partner – health, Leith, said: “Over the last few years we have produced creative work that has been recognised at the top global awards. Jon’s hiring is another sign of our commitment to producing ground breaking creative work in a sector where communications that connect with people can really make a difference for patients and brands.”

Jon Chapman said: “I have always admired the spirit and ambition of the team at Leith which is reflected in the quality of work coming out of the agency. The opportunity to move back to Manchester and build upon Leith’s unfettered creativity and ambition was too good to miss.”


Grant McGeever and Tony McGeever

Lancashire manufacturing business Rospen has appointed a new managing director.

Grant McGeever has taken the helm at the Haslingden weighing and metering specialist, taking over from his father, Tony McGeever.

The 32-year-old, formerly technical director, is now planning to build on the success of the outgoing managing director, which has seen the business double in size over the past three years.

Rospen, based at Waterside Business Park, makes powder handling equipment for manufacturers in the food, fine chemical, construction and nuclear sectors among others.

The new managing director now has plans to expand the business, including growing the workforce to keep up with rapidly growing demand for its services. Longer term, Grant’s sights are firmly set on Rospen moving into a purpose-built facility from the three units it currently occupies.

He said: “I spent summers working at Rospen as a student and, since I joined full-time, I’ve had exposure to every area of the business, leaving me well placed to take us on to the next stage of our journey. We have a fantastic team around us, which has enabled us to take on a broader range of work over the last few years, and we’re growing all the time. We have big plans for Rospen and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve next.”

Tony McGeever joined the business, then Mass Measuring Systems, in 1988 as a project engineer, becoming a director and shareholder in the mid 1990s. He bought the business, at this point named Rospen Industries, jointly in 2003, becoming outright owner in 2007.

Tony, 62, who will remain involved with the business as chairman, said: “Having Grant, my daughter Stephanie and my wife, Laura, involved in the business at one stage was the proudest moment for me – Grant and Stephanie were instrumental in our smooth transition from two sites to one. We’ve expanded rapidly in the last few years, guided by Grant, and, with the strong team around him, I know I’m leaving the business in great hands.”

Peter Matley, formerly EC&I manager, takes Grant’s previous role as technical director, having spent the past four-and-a-half years at Rospen. He said: “Our aim firstly is to create stability at the level of growth we’ve been seeing, and then push for further growth.”


Nik White and Nicola Turner

Independent law firm Brabners has appointed an experienced new partner to lead its growing contentious trusts and probate team, further strengthening the firm’s litigation and private client offerings.

Nicola Turner has spent almost 20 years advising clients on litigation, with her work being solely focused on disputes relating to wills, inheritance, estates and trusts. She also advises on the financial abuse of the vulnerable, property trust cases, conducting litigation in the High Court, County Court, Probate Registry and Court of Protection.

Based primarily at Brabners’ Lancashire office, she joins the firm from Napthens, where she worked for nearly eight years, most recently as partner and head of inheritance disputes, contentious trusts and probate.

Paralegal, Victoria Bennett, also joins Brabners with Nicola to support the team.

Nik White, managing partner, Brabners, said: “We’re experiencing a period of growing demand in Lancashire across a number of services and we are expanding our Lancashire-based teams through senior appointments to support this growth. Key to our litigation specialisms is ensuring we have the best talent and Nicola’s appointment will further bolster our contentious trusts and probate offering.”

Nicola said: “As someone who lives and works in Lancashire, I have always been impressed with Brabners.”

A certified B Corp, Brabners has more than 470 colleagues working across its four offices in Liverpool, Manchester, Bamber Bridge and Leeds.