People: SAS Daniels; Tyler Grange; RVA Surveyors; Carden Group; Df Bank; Blume

Helen Kelly

North West law firm, SAS Daniels, has appointed partner, Helen Kelly, as joint head of the Stockport office.

Helen, who is also head of the trusts team, joined the business as a trainee solicitor in 2003. She will join partner and head of employment, Katie Hodson, at the helm of the Greek Street office, working to accelerate the growth of SAS Daniels, while overseeing and leading local business development.

Helen is STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) qualified and a committee member of the STEP Cheshire branch.

Chief executive, Jeremy Orrell, said: “Both Helen and Katie have been valued members of the firm for 20 years now and I am, therefore, confident that our Stockport practice will be in good hands. The office has significant growth potential and the duo will be able to provide renewed impetus, as we strive to cement and establish new relationships within the thriving local business community in Stockport and surrounding areas.”

The Cheshire-based law firm has offices in Stockport, Chester, Macclesfield and Congleton.


Jon Berry

Manchester-based B Corp four-day week firm environmental consultancy, Tyler Grange, has appointed Jon Berry as Managing Director. He supercedes Simon Ursell, who becomes Chair of the firm.

Both proven and innovative business leaders co-founded Deansgate’s Tyler Grange – specialising in arboriculture, ecology and landscape planning – 14 years ago.

As Managing Director, Jon Berry, previously Sales Director/Director of People, Places & Purpose, is now responsible for developing the consultancy’s commercial, people and ESG strategies and leading its 100+ strong nationwide team.

Simon Ursell becomes Chair as he further develops his non-executive portfolio. A pioneer and believer of the four-day working week, he’ll work with Tyler Grange two days each week, and the other two with other SMEs.

The firm’s third co-founder, Julian Arthur, retains his role of Technical Director.

Simon Ursell

Jon Berry said: “Becoming Managing Director is a challenge that I welcome. It’s pushing me out of my comfort zone to lead Tyler Grange into the next phase of our journey. Simon, Julian and I co-founded the business and we’ve worked very closely together, and supported each other, ever since. I have no doubt that this will continue and we’re all very much looking forward to the new roles and dynamics that our restructure brings.”

Simon Ursell said: “I’ve been Managing Director of Tyler Grange for over 14 years, and it’s been the most phenomenal journey that the three of us have shared. I’m very much looking forward to having a different role and focus, whilst taking what I’ve learnt – from our successes, the mistakes we’ve made and the challenges we’ve overcome – to help other business leaders to discover what they can also achieve.”

Tyler Grange employs more than 100 people across its seven-strong UK office network.


Anthony Hughes

Business rates reduction specialists, RVA Surveyors has rung in the year with two key promotions.

Managing director, Anthony Hughes, said: “We have to start the new year in the right way and what better way than recognising the hard work and dedication of our team.”

Long-standing team leaders, Kirsty Morgan and Cara Wilkinson, have been promoted to Surveyor Operations Manager, and Onboarding and Gateway Manager, respectively within the Manchester-based business. With all barring one of their leadership team having been promoted from within, Morgan and Wilkinson are the latest to join the ranks at RVA Surveyors.

Cara Wilkinson said: “2023 was a really big learning opportunity for us as a team, and now as we move forward into a new stage, I’m really looking forward to how my new role will drive RVA Surveyor’s plans even further.”

Kirsty Morgan said: “The way we operate, not only individually but interdepartmentally, really strengthened last year. I’m excited to keep guiding that as we continue.”


Andrew Taylor

Strategic land business Carden Group has appointed Andrew Taylor as planning manager.

The 28-year-old, from Blackburn, is relishing the challenges of his new role, saying: “The focus is on finding new development opportunities and assessing the potential of new sites to help grow the portfolio.”

The business is privately owned and managed by Steve Morgan, founder and former chairman of Redrow and Will Heath, former group development director at Redrow.

Andrew added: “The senior team at Carden Group are vastly experienced in the housebuilding industry. I don’t think there’s a better team I could learn from. Their expertise, along with the buying power, puts Carden Group in a strong position when dealing with landowners who are likely to be approached by lots of land promoters.”

Carden Group has offices in Cheshire and Buckinghamshire and operates UK-wide.

Its focus is on buying freehold land with future development potential for larger residential-led projects requiring substantial capital investment and expertise, whether it be draft or allocated sites, or land with longer term prospects.


Sean Thomson

DF Capital, the Manchester-based specialist bank providing inventory finance solutions to dealers and manufacturers, has appointed Sean Thomson as managing director of business development, to support the bank’s growth aspirations.

Reporting to Garry Frew, DF Capital’s chief commercial officer, Sean will provide strategic direction, planning and execution of business development activity, focusing on introducing the bank’s existing commercial lending products within new market sectors.

Sean Thomson said: “I am excited to join DF Capital – it has a strong reputation as a leader in the inventory finance space. I look forward to working with the team to help advance the strategic vision and help grow the business.”

Prior to joining DF Capital, Sean built the Investec Capital Solutions business in the North West. He also spent time at Aldermore and Bibby in various sales and business development roles.

Garry Frew, DF Capital’s chief commercial officer, said: “To support our ambitious growth plans, we are thrilled to have Sean join and lead our efforts in developing new market opportunities. He brings a wealth of corporate and commercial finance experience, and a consultative approach. I am confident that his expertise, particularly in product management and strategy, will play a crucial role in helping us meet our goals.”


Alex Kenny

Blume, a customer acquisition specialists for the legal sector, will be opening a new office in South Manchester this spring to accommodate continuing growth in employee numbers and client demand. The announcement comes as Blume also unveils a restructured executive leadership team, led by new Chief Executive Alex Kenny.

The move will see the business take 10,500 sq ft, modern office space at Egerton House in Towers Business Park, Didsbury, more than doubling current capacity to help meet future operational requirements. The office, which will open its doors in April, will be home to up to 150 employees currently based in West Didsbury and Manchester city centre.

New CEO Kenny, who was previously Chief Marketing Officer for Fletchers Group, has more than 20 years’ experience in the legal sector, much of which has been spent leading marketing and call centre operations. He is also the founder of Patient Claim Line, launched in 2014 and now the most recognised Clinical Negligence consumer brand in the country.

He will be joined by Chief Commercial Officer and experienced Clinical Negligence lawyer, Zoe Holland, who will be leading business development and client relations, Lisa Emsley as Chief Operating Officer and Joe Morgan as Finance Director.

Former CEO, Dez Derry, will continue to be a shareholder in Blume but will no longer be part of Blume’s day-to-day operations.

Kenny said: “I am both excited and humbled to take on the leadership of Blume going forward – it’s a great place to work with an amazing team, fantastic clients, and, crucially, a quality product at its core. The new team and I are focused on continuing to deliver high quality work that allows our law firm clients to ‘Blume’, all supported by exceptional client care.”

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