People: Sandstone Legal; Dandara Living; Shawton Energy; Fabulosa; Harrison Drury; Simpson Millar

Safia Iftikhar

Specialist consumer and business services law firm, Sandstone Legal, has appointed Senior Solicitor Safia Iftikhar as its new Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate.

Joining the firm with immediate effect, and based out of Manchester, Safia brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously worked at several nationally accredited firms where she managed teams across the North West.

A specialist in private client legal services including Wills, Lasting Power of Attorney and Probate, her appointment follows a period of rapid growth for Sandstone which recently launched Willfully, an innovative online platform that allows individuals to create a Will at a time and place to suit them.

Safia will also oversee the wider team, which advises on matters relating to emergency Will drafting, challenging a Will, executors and trustees, Lasting Power of Attorney, and contentious probate.

Safia said: “End of life planning is a difficult topic for many people, but Sandstone’s continued investment in new products and technology, such as Willfully, makes it far easier and less stressful for our clients to access the legal services they need, when they need it.”

Legal Director, Mohammed Esa, said: “Safia is a highly experienced and passionate solicitor who places the wellbeing of her clients and her team at the heart of everything she does. Her skill set will further enhance the expertise of her colleagues in the Wills, Trusts and Probate division, and we are delighted to be welcoming her to the firm.”

Sandstone Legal has offices in Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester.


Sam Smith

Altrincham-based Dandara Living has welcomed Sam Smith back to its senior leadership team, as Operations Director, with responsibility for the company’s current portfolio of almost 3,000 units under management.

Sam joins following an extremely busy last 12 months for the business. This included the completion and launch of Dandara Living’s second Build to Rent development in Birmingham, and the forward sale and funding of the 391-unit Renshaw’s Yard development in Staines, to Greystar Real Estate Partners.

The company, which has a growing portfolio of almost 8,000 home and student beds across the UK, also recently secured a five-year renewal instruction from ECE Real Estate Partners to continue to manage their BtR portfolio in the UK.

Sam Smith said: “In spite of the challenging economic and regulatory environment, Dandara Living has ambitious plans for the future.”

In addition to heading up Dandara Living Management, Sam will also work with Dandara Living’s business development unit to explore opportunities to expand the management arm of the company through offering services to other development partners.

CEO, Jim Davies, said: “This is a pivotal time for the business as we continue to develop our pipeline and opportunities to further evolve our operational management platform and offering. Sam has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the sector, and I am very pleased to have him on board.”


Martyn Sheridan

Prominent renewable technology provider Shawton Energy has appointed Martyn Sheridan as Sales and Marketing Director.

Martyn joins the fast-growing business bringing with him more than 25 years’ experience, including 14 years in senior leadership roles within the energy sector. He has previously worked for E.ON, eEnergy and most recently was Sales Director at Ylem Energy.

Newton-le-Willows-based Shawton Energy aims to deliver more than £65m-worth of investment into high quality solar energy projects over the next three years. Martyn’s appointment is part of a wider plan to significantly accelerate its industrial and commercial solar offering.

He said: “I can’t wait to get started and work with the team at Shawton Energy to continue to develop and drive our funded solar proposition to the industrial and commercial market.”

CEO, Jamie Shaw, said: “Our time is now, and this is an exciting step for Shawton Energy. Appointing key figures from Lazard Asset Management and Martyn will help us execute our group strategy to strengthen renewable technology solutions to industrial and commercial clients across the UK. Bringing together this accomplished group benefits all of our stakeholders and is a testament to the strength of Shawton Energy and the future growth potential our business.”


Thomas Mitten, left, and Charles Du Pré

Nantwich-based fragrance-led home and lifestyle brand, Fabulosa, has strengthened its senior management team with two new appointments across marketing and finance.

Bringing more than 20 years of expertise in the marketing and communications sector, Charles Du Pré joins as Head of Marketing. Charles has a strong retail background, with a proven track record of leading strategic marketing campaigns for several major retailers. He will be responsible for implementing seamless and unique omnichannel experiences to support the next phase of Fabulosa’s ongoing development.

Chartered accountant Tom Mitten, who is taking up the new post of Group Finance Director, has accrued a wealth of experience working in various senior roles in finance for other companies across several sectors. Tom has been brought on board to oversee and optimise all financial aspects of the firm’s operations.

In other key developments, Adam Burnett has been promoted from Group Marketing Director to Global Brand Director, spearheading the firm’s overseas expansion and developing a brand with international appeal.

Other recent hires include the appointment of Harriet Turner as National Account Manager, bolstering the commercial team and supporting the firm’s objective of building a solid network of new partners.

James Sharpe, co-founder and Managing Director at Fabulosa, said: “The skills, experience, and commitment of our team members are the cornerstone of our success, and we are delighted to welcome Charles, Tom, and Harriet to Fabulosa. We are confident that with their expertise they will each add huge value to their respective departments and will be instrumental in driving the brand’s continued growth.”


From left: Luke Holden, Ros Monk and Colin Fenny

North West law firm Harrison Drury has expanded its property litigation team with two new appointments.

The firm has appointed Ros Monk as partner, while Luke Holden joins as associate solicitor.

Ros joins following more than 12 years at Mishcon de Reya and six years at Pinsent Masons before that. Ros will be managing the team in Kendal and Lancaster. She specialises in real estate disputes and has extensive experience of acting for a range of clients, from multinational companies and retail businesses to high-net-worth individuals and land owners.

Luke is experienced in landlord and tenant matters within the private and public sectors, advising on issues such as lease renewals, non-payment of rent and service charge, forfeiture and the enforceability of positive and restrictive covenants. He also has experience of securing injunctions for landowners against trespassers and persons unknown.

Luke will be based at the firm’s Preston and Clitheroe offices and will be responsible for general property litigation matters, with a focus on landlord and tenant work within the hospitality and retail sectors.

Colin Fenny, head of the property litigation team at Harrison Drury, said: “Luke and Ros join at a period of significant demand from our client’s for all manner of property litigation services from landlord and tenant issues to real estate and property contract disputes.

“Their expertise and professional contacts will further improve the team’s ability to provide the outstanding support and assistance our clients require as well as allowing us to expand the firm’s property litigation practice in the northern offices.”

Ros said: “Harrison Drury is a great firm with values that very much align with my own. Its reputation within the property sector speaks for itself. I’m looking forward to heading up a team that prides itself on its accessibility, excellent customer service and a proactive approach.”

Luke said: “I’m excited to be joining such a well established firm that is known for providing such a high quality service. I feel there is a real opportunity to be a part of further growth within the property litigation team as we support our clients’ to overcome challenges and achieve their goals.”


Sadaf Indrees-Raza and Colm Bourke

Law firm Simpson Millar has again expanded its national Court of Protection (CoP) team in response to increased demand for its services, with experienced Lawyer Sadaf Indrees-Raza joining in Manchester, and Solicitor Colm Bourke joining in London.

With more than seven years’ experience managing of Court of Protection deputyship cases Sadaf specialises in managing the financial, health, and personal welfare aspects for clients of different ages and backgrounds who can’t manage their own affairs due to mental incapacity.

Drawn specifically to the Court of Protection because of her desire to help clients who have suffered serious injuries, she is also skilled in handling Lasting Powers of Attorney, Personal Injury Trusts, and Trust Administration.

Multilingual, and fluent in English, Danish, Urdu, and Punjabi, she is able to communicate effectively with a diverse client base, using her legal expertise and caring approach to provide effective and tailored support.

Welcoming the pair to the team Simpson Millar’s Head of CoP, Melanie Varey, who is also Co-Chair of the Executive Committee of the Court of Protection Practitioners Association (CoPPA), said: “Our team is made up of some of the leading experts within this specialist practice area, and we are proud to be known for going above and beyond for our own clients, as well as many others through our involvement with various panels.

“I am confident Sadaf and Colm will be a real asset to the team and will prove invaluable in providing our clients, many of whom are very vulnerable, with sensitive, empathetic, transparent and forward-thinking legal solutions. It is a real privilege to have them on board.”

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