People: Mills & Reeve; CTI Group; Velocity Composites; Fisher German; Gateley Vinden; MHS Moore and Smalley

Christopher Noel

Mills & Reeve, the national law firm, has recruited Christopher Noel as a partner to boost its Manchester private client team.

Christopher has joined from DWF where he was head of the private capital team in Manchester. He advises ultra and high net worth individuals (U/HNW), family trusts, business owners, entrepreneurs, charities, trust companies and banks. He also has expertise in advising on domicile and residence issues and offshore trusts.

Deborah Clark, partner and private client lawyer at Mills & Reeve, said: “Christopher has an excellent reputation in the market and his experience of advising business owners and entrepreneurs, and working closely with corporate colleagues, will further develop our mid-market and family-owned business clients.

“His experience on international matters will also strengthen our offering in that increasingly important area.”

Chris Ross, head of the Manchester office, said: “It is a pleasure to welcome Christopher to the Manchester office where he’ll play a pivotal role in further growing our private client practice.”

Christopher Noel said: “Mills & Reeve has an incredibly strong and well-regarded private client practice across the UK.”


Chris Woodward

LDC and CTI Group have appointed Chris Woodward as CTI Group CEO.

Chris joins from Oliver Agency, where he most recently held the position of UK Group COO. Previously he was the UK group MD of Oliver and MD of Dare, the digital arm within the Oliver network. He is also one of Campaign’s 40 over 40.

Chris will take on the group CEO position from Nick Rhind. Nick will take on the role of ‘founder’, where he will focus on mentoring the board and driving the significant M&A activity planned for the group in 2024.

These changes come as part of a strategy to bolster the Manchester-based CTI Group leadership team as the business gears up for growth. This follows a multimillion-pound investment from private equity firm LDC.

Nick said: “Having Chris as part of the team will allow me to concentrate on our M&A activity that has become a significant focus for us as we grow capability to address broader client needs. Our goal is to consolidate our position as one of the UK’s leading and fastest growing end-to-end digital agencies.”

Chris said: “I have loved my four years at Oliver. To have played a key role in an agency that consistently sees double percentage point year-on-year organic growth is an incredible roller coaster ride. But now felt like the right time to take that experience and apply it in a different setting.

“The combination of working with private equity firm LDC and the CTI team was too good to miss. Six specialist businesses have already joined the group and further acquisitions will now follow.”


Kevin Hickey

Lancashire composites manufacturer, Velocity Composites, has strengthened its senior team with the appointment of Kevin Hickey as chief operating officer.

Kevin rejoins the team to help lead its international growth including overseeing the operation of the manufacturing facility in Alabama, US.

With sites in Burnley and Fareham in the UK, and Alabama, US, Velocity Composites is a supplier of composite material kits to aerospace and other high-performance manufacturers, reducing waste, reducing costs and improving sustainability. Customers include Airbus, Boeing, Safran and GKN Aerospace.

With more than 40 years’ experience in the aerospace industry, Kevin previously held the position of site leader at the company’s Fareham facility from January 2017 to December 2020.

Kevin said: “It’s an exciting time to be rejoining Velocity Composites as we grow the business as an international organisation offering efficiencies to our customers wherever they are.”

Jon Bridges, CEO of Velocity Composites, said: “The experience Kevin has gained throughout his career will be invaluable as we grow the business worldwide to support the recovery of the aerospace industry.”


Pippa Burchnall

North West property consultancy, Fisher German, has made two promotions following a strong period of success for the firm.

It has promoted Pippa Burchnall, based at the firm’s Liverpool office, to senior associate and Kayne Burgon, based at its Knutsford office, to associate.

Pippa joined Fisher German as part of the firm’s merger with Matthews & Goodman in 2022. As part of the commercial property management department, she specialises in residential block management, managing a portfolio of properties across the North West on behalf of freeholders and resident management companies.

Kayne Burgon

Kayne, who joined Fisher German in 2015, is part of the rural property management department and is responsible for undertaking the day-to-day management of mixed assets and advancing capital projects for the regeneration of mixed estates across Cheshire and Lancashire.

Fisher German has promoted 39 colleagues across all areas of its business following another six months of success for the firm. Senior partner, Duncan Bedhall, said: “It is always a privilege to announce colleague promotions and to reflect on their achievements as they progress through our business.”


From left: Tim Aitchison, Gayle Taylor, Gary Allen

Gateley Vinden has strengthened its North West building consultancy team with the appointment of Tim Aitchison and Gary Allen as directors at its Manchester office.

Prior to joining Gateley Vinden, Aitchison headed up the building consultancy team at Cushman & Wakefield for six years and also spent a total of 15 years in senior roles at Jones Lang LaSalle. Aitchison, a Chartered Building Surveyor, is experienced in a wide variety of building surveying instructions including category A and B fit outs and refurbishments, dilapidations, pre-acquisition surveys and technical due diligence, as well as full project management.

Allen joins from CBRE where he spent six years as a director and headed up the project and cost management team in the North. He has also held senior roles with Mace, as well as Turner & Townsend. As a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, Allen brings a wide range of experience across the healthcare, public, commercial, retail and leisure sectors. Allen will strengthen Gateley Vinden’s project management and cost consultancy offering across the North West, as well as nationally.

Gayle Taylor, director and head of building, project and cost consultancy for Gateley Vinden, said: “After an extremely successful year, it is clear that there are significant opportunities in the market and so it’s the right time to bring new senior appointments on board to drive further growth.

“Both Tim and Gary have strong pedigrees in their respective disciplines which will strengthen our full service offering. This sees us working seamlessly alongside wider group colleagues to deliver both legal and technical expertise under one roof for clients.”


From left: Graham Gordon, Natalie Taylor, Ben Harrison

Accountancy and advisory firm MHA Moore and Smalley has announced two senior promotions in the region, with Natalie Taylor and Ben Harrison both being made directors.

Natalie becomes director in the firm’s professional practices team which advises professional firms like solicitors, barristers’ chambers, architectural practices and surveying businesses, among others.

Meanwhile, Ben has been made a director within the financial planning team and will continue to advise individuals, professionals, charities, care providers and organisations that support vulnerable clients.

Graham Gordon, managing partner of MHA Moore and Smalley, said: “Their promotions are a recognition of the significant contributions and unwavering dedication they have both shown to the firm and our clients over the years.”

Natalie, who has been with the firm since leaving college, said: “I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunities and support I’ve had, from being a trainee right the way through to becoming a director.”

Ben, who also joined the firm as a trainee, said: “One of the key reasons I chose the firm was the opportunities offered to develop my knowledge and specialism as part of the firm’s excellent training programme. I’m very proud to be here 13 years on as a director, a role where I can support clients, colleagues and communities alike.”

The promotions of both Natalie and Ben now bring the number of directors within the firm to 21, with 29 partners and more than 400 members of staff in total.

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