People: Network Space Investments; PKF; Primas Law; Mandela8; Butcher & Barlow; Vincents Solicitors

Helen Gordon

Martin Mellor, Managing Director of industrial property specialists, Network Space Investments (NSI) is to retire at the end of March, following 28 years with the company.

Mellor joined the North West-based business, part of Network Space Holdings, in 1996 as Development Manager. During his time with the company he has led each of its development, asset management and investment divisions.

Martin Mellor

Mellor will move to a non-executive Director role for NSI. Investment Director, Tom Dawson will take over as Managing Director, having joined Network Space in 2021. Property Director, Helen Gordon, who has been with the company for 20 years, has also been promoted to Board Director.

Since joining the company, Dawson has been implementing NSI’s acquisition strategy which is focused on value-add industrial investment property across the North of England. In the past two years, targeting well located, single and multi-let opportunities, the team has acquired assets with a combined value in excess of £25m. This includes Europa Way in Trafford Park, a Threadneedle portfolio and a number of sale and leaseback transactions.

Helen Gordon will continue to drive the rental and capital value of the NSI portfolio across its operating regions through pro-active asset management. The current portfolio has witnessed substantial rental growth in recent years and strong occupier demand will continue to offer further opportunities for NSI to enhance value.

Martin Mellor said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work at Network Space for so many years and be part of its growth into what is now a nationally recognised and respected property company. Tom will lead a talented team who are very committed to the business and have vast industry experience.”

Tom Dawson said: “We wish Martin the very best for his well earned retirement, and I am sure we will continue to benefit from his expertise in his new role as non-executive Director.”


Philip King

The restructuring and insolvency arm of PKF has appointed the former Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM), Philip King, as an advisor as the business looks to further expand its business operations.

Philip, who also served on the Joint Insolvency Committee between 2011-2020 and was the JIC’s first ever Lay Chair, has worked in the credit industry for more than 40 years. This includes 26 years in front-line credit management and 14 years as the CICM CEO. Most recently he was the interim Small Business Commissioner sharing his experience with all sizes of business about the importance of managing cashflow and getting paid.

Philip said: “I hope to be able to bring my specialist knowledge and expertise of the credit industry and insolvency coupled with direct experience of the challenges faces by businesses both large and small to help PKF further extend the capabilities and reach of the services it offers.”

Brendan Clarkson, a Director with the Business Advisory Team of PKF, said: “Philip is one of the best known faces in the credit industry and his expertise is hugely respected among his peers. I have no doubt that Philip will fit in well here and be valued by both colleagues and clients.”


John Hartley

Corporate law firm, Primas Law, has launched a new Business Crime and Regulation department. The firm has recruited John Hartley as a Partner and to head up the new service offering, further expand its scope of service offerings and better support its growing client roster.

John, who has more than 20 years of experience working in business and financial crime, has represented both companies and high net worth individuals across a range of legal matters relating to fraud, bribery and corruption, proceeds of crime, sanctions, financial services-related investigations and alleged regulatory breaches.

Having joined from Shoosmiths, where John was most recently Partner in the financial and regulatory team, he can provide expert legal advice and guidance on how businesses can protect themselves in a constantly evolving regulatory and compliance framework.

John Hartley said: “I am thrilled to be joining the Primas team. I have always relished new challenges, and the opportunity to establish and grow an entirely new service offering at such a fast growing firm is one I couldn’t turn down. I’m looking forward to collaborating with the other departments and expanding the range of services available to our clients.”

Managing Partner, Adam Kerr, said: “Welcoming John to the Primas team is another significant milestone for the firm as we continue to realise our big ambitions for growth. I’m looking forward to drawing on John’s years of experience to help launch this new service and am confident that his expertise will add a lot of value to both our existing clients as well as any prospects, allowing us to advise across an ever broader spectrum of legal matters.”

Primas Law is a specialist corporate and commercial law firm specialising in employment, real estate and construction, insolvency, litigation and corporate and commercial, with offices in Manchester, Cheshire, Liverpool and London.


David Brown and Sonia Bassey

Mandela8, a Liverpool-based Charitable Incorporated Organisation with a mission to celebrate, commemorate and pursue the legacy of Nelson Mandela’s achievements for humanity, has appointed David Brown as a trustee.

David, a Director at Pine Court Housing Association, has had an impressive career in the housing sector spanning more than 35 years. He has also held several non-executive director roles in black-led organisations and community projects, working to promote cultural tolerance and cohesion across the Liverpool City Region and beyond.

Chair of Mandela8, Sonia Bassey, said: “David is committed to anti-racism and inclusion and comes from a family of local activists. His leadership, mentoring and management experience will make him a valued member of our team as we enter a new era for the charity.”

David Brown said: “I come from a family of activists so when I had the opportunity to come on board as a trustee I jumped at the chance. My role as a trustee will support Mandela8’s aim to leave a lasting legacy of Nelson Mandela’s outstanding achievements across our communities and will support Pine Court’s commitment to cultural tolerance and cohesion by addressing inequality and championing change.”


From left: Paige Lester, Emelia Forde, Sophie Nicholson, Grant Redburn

North West law firm Butcher & Barlow has announced its latest batch of newly qualified solicitors following successful training periods.

Paige Lester, Emelia Forde, Sophie Nicholson and Grant Redburn have all recently qualified and will work across various teams and offices for the firm.

All four have undergone their training contracts with Butcher & Barlow, which has 11 offices across the North West and is regularly listed in the Legal 500 as one of the region’s top law firms.

Emelia studied law at University of Law, Leeds, and went onto complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC) at the University of Law, Chester, before graduating in 2022. Emelia said: “Being able to say I am a qualified solicitor fills me with immense pride, reflecting the hard work I dedicated to my studies and training contract.”

Grant Redburn, who will be specialising in dispute resolution, entered the profession via a slightly different route, after studying law with criminology at Edge Hill University where he graduated in 2013. Grant then worked within various law firms for several years before completing his LPC at the University of Law in Manchester while he was working.

He said: “Completing my training contract and finally becoming a solicitor provides me with some catharsis after many years of building my way up from an office junior to a Paralegal, after graduating from university.”

Each of the trainees will be continuing their careers with the firm. Sophie will be working in Wills, Trusts and Estates Team at the Leigh office. Paige will be based at Gadbrook Park and Bramhall offices working across Commercial Property and the Commercial Property Dispute Resolution Team. Emelia and Grant will be based at the office in Sutton Weaver, with Emelia working in the Commercial Property Team and Grant in the Dispute Resolution Team.

Managing Partner and Notary Public, Anthony Higham, said: “We prioritise providing our trainees with a diverse and comprehensive caseload, urging them to assume responsibility early on, all while ensuring unwavering support.”


Oliver Banks with Nicola Hayes and Abigail Cuffe

Vincents Solicitors is expanding its Court of Protection (CoP) team just over a year on from appointing a new head of department. Oliver Banks.

It has nowrecruited CoP and welfare specialist Abigail Cuffe and experienced paralegal Nicola Hayes to help support the firm’s most vulnerable clients.

Abigail and Nicola will be based in Vincents’ Garstang office alongside Oliver and Lisa Lodge, Vincents’ director of Private Client Services and former head of the CoP department.

Both Oliver and Lisa are Professional Deputies, appointed by the Court of Protection to manage financial, legal, health and welfare matters for people who have lost capacity through illness or accident. Once appointed, they are the client’s advocate for life. Abigail and Nicola will work closely with clients to help support the Deputies.

Lisa said: “Oliver is extremely well known within CoP circles as an outstanding advocate for his clients, and his referral rate is quite exceptional. We are extremely fortunate to have now also attracted both Abigail and Nicola to join the team to join Oliver and support our Court of Protection work. I am confident their dedication to CoP clients will allow them to further the firm’s strong reputation in this area.”

Abigail Cuffe joins Vincents from JMW Solicitors in Manchester, prior to which she has worked at Potter Rees Dolan, Slater + Gordon, Pannone, and the Department for Work and Pensions where she undertook an apprenticeship after school.

Nicola Hayes was formerly a solicitor with Keogh’s in Bolton and Bannister Bates in Morecambe, before she moved to Australia where she managed a regional branch for national practice Shine Lawyers. Since returning to the UK she has volunteered for Witness Support and is working with the Coroner’s Court within Lancashire, a role she will continue.

She said: “Court of Protection clients are probably the most vulnerable people that lawyers work with. It means a lot to me that I can bring my legal knowledge experience to making sure they are looked after properly and their best interests protected.”

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