People: Merrick; Fourth Wall Building Consultancy; Trevor Dawson; DJH Mitten Clarke; First Bus; SM Group

Mollie Souter

Manchester-based family law firm Merrick has promoted Molly Souter to Associate Solicitor.

Molly recently completed her two years’ PQE (post-qualified experience) with Merrick who she re-joined in 2021 after starting her post graduate career with the company in 2016. She has experience in a wide range of family matters including divorce, finances, applications for non-molestation and occupation orders, and children disputes.

Molly has a key role in delivering the firm’s #AccessUs service, which is designed to meet the demise of legal aid in family law cases and provide advice where a client has limited resources.

She said: “I decided early on that family law would be my chosen area and I am excited for the next stage in my career as a family lawyer.’’

Principal, Amanda Merrick, said: “We are really pleased to see Molly take her career to the next level. She delivers practical and empathetic advice and understands how stressful family breakdowns can be. She is committed and ensures that clients feel supported every step of the way.”


Liam Piercy

Chartered Building Surveyors, Fourth Wall Building Consultancy, has further strengthened its team with the appointment of Chartered Surveyor Liam Piercy to its Manchester office.

This comes following the appointment of three new starters in October 2023, which saw the business quadruple its headcount since its inauguration in 2020.

Piercy brings exceptional experience from some the UK’s leading companies and institutions, including Buckingham Palace and Eton College where he worked as an in-house Building Surveyor for the prestigious estates, and Hollis Global where he advised clients across the UK and Europe on multi-disciplinary service lines, with a focus on landlord and tenant advice, both pre and post tenancy.

Liam said: “I am excited to contribute to the continued growth of this young and ambitious business.

“I am incredibly fortunate to have worked on some of the most iconic buildings in the UK, and with some of the most prestigious client, and I will be bringing that experience, along with my passion for Heritage and commercial professional services to the team, to provide industry leading standards and expertise in the personal, dynamic Fourth Wall way. “

Piercy has joined the existing team as a Director and will be working alongside lead Director, Joshua Weston, to further strengthen the Heritage and Dilapidations arms of the business. Joshua Weston said: “It is incredibly exciting to welcome Liam to the Fourth Wall team.

“Liam’s expertise will add further depth to the Fourth Wall team, and will further enhance our offering, particularly within dilapidations matters, conservation and heritage, and project services going forward.”


Ian Rawcliffe

Trevor Dawson, Commercial Property Consultants, has expanded its Building Consultancy team with the appointment of Ian Rawcliffe as an Associate Director.

Ian will be based at the Blackburn headquarters but will work across all three offices – Blackburn, Burnley and Bolton.

Ian has previously run his own building consultancy business and more recently spent seven years at Manchester Design & Build where he was responsible for the delivery of a number of new-build, conversion and refurbishment developments in his role as Projects Director.

Managing director, Caroline James, said: “The directors are very pleased to welcome Ian to the team, with his extensive experience in all aspects of building surveying.”

Ian said: “I look forward to developing strong client relationships, achieving shared success and future growth with the incredible team here.”


New promotions

Accounrancy firm, DJH Mitten Clarke, has announced a record number of 13 senior promotions, developing the leadership pipeline across its Manchester, Walsall and Stoke-on-Trent offices.

The top 50 accountancy firm’s raft of promotions comes after a year of continued growth, with eight acquisitions in the past 12 months.

James Beardmore, Chief Operating Officer, said: “I am thrilled to see so many of the team from across different departments continue to develop and grow their career. At DJH Mitten Clarke, we encourage ambition, and it is essential that opportunities are created for both learning and progression.”

The Manchester promotions are Harry Dooley, Semi-Senior Auditor, and Josh Bennett, Senior Accountant.


From left: Mike McGowan, Iain Malone, Kevin Mullin

First Bus in Manchester has strengthened the management team for its Rochdale depot as it prepares to join the Bee Network in March.

Kevin Mullin has been appointed Social Value Manager, a new role in First Bus. He joins from Kier Construction, where he spent two years as CSR Manager for the North West region leading on social value input to public sector contracts valued at more than £300m.

He said: “This is a really exciting opportunity to help educate colleagues and raise awareness of the important role they play in creating social impact in our communities. People might not know what social value means but when its explained many realise that it’s something they have been involved with. This is part of the induction with new drivers, too, and there is a lot of interest in understanding how they can contribute to our support for the community.”

The new Engineering Manager for the depot is Iain Malone, who trained in the Army in the REME, Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers and served for 15 years. Following his military career he first worked in the waste and recycling industry, managing teams dealing with plant and equipment repairs. Iain joins from WEC Group, a specialist fabrication and engineering supplier to key industries.

He said: “We’re focused on delivering a public service to the community and encouraging more people to use the bus. The new engineering facilities planned at the depot will create an excellent environment for the team to support this.”

Mike McGowan is the third member of the management support team. He originally joined First Bus 20 years ago as a driver and returned to the company in 2009, developing through supervisor roles to become a staff manager at the Oldham depot. He has now been promoted to Operations Manager at Rochdale.

He said: “This is an amazing time for me to be part of a new future with First Manchester. To be involved from the start in getting the depot ready for the latest phase in the Bee Network is a great challenge and we’ll be ready to deliver for customers.”


Kerri McKenna and Mark Ellis

North West electrical, fire and security and renewable energy company, SM Group, has strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of Kerri McKenna as Associate Director in its SM Installations (NW) division.

Mark Ellis, SM Group Managing Director, said: “Kerri has a wealth of experience and her passion and knowledge will have a positive impact on our growing team and meeting the demands of our expanding customer base. As well as a significant track record in commercial property, Kerri brings a fresh perspective having expertise in both driving business growth and working with large commercial clients.”

Kerri said: “I am looking forward to applying my experience and knowhow to deliver the company’s vision. It’s an exciting opportunity for me to help grow the SM Installations electrical and energy division by providing the best possible outcomes for existing and future clients.”

SM Group is made up of SM Installations (NW), established in 2018 and which provides electrical, fire, and security installations for commercial, domestic, and industrial clients, and SM Smart Energy, which was established in September 2022 and provides renewable energy solutions to its customers.

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...