People: Hydrock; 18 John Street Chambers; Addleshaw Goddard; Studio LWD; BECBC; CTI Digital

Victoria Checkley

Hydrock, an engineering design, energy and sustainability consultancy, has appointed Victoria Checkley as its new director of civil and structural engineering in the North West.

Victoria will be looking to capitalise on Hydrock’s existing market position across Greater Manchester, and building trust and strong relationships that’ll pave the way for client growth in relatively unexplored markets for Hydrock, such as Cumbria, Lancashire and Merseyside.

Regional director North West, Danny Hope, said: “Adding Victoria’s experience, and undoubted talent, to our multidisciplinary team is a real win. Within the first few weeks, her structural engineering ingenuity and passion for weaving strength and responsibility into the very fabric of our built environment has been clear for all to see. Furthermore, we’re impressed with Victoria’s track record across a number of high profile projects and across a huge variety of sectors which complements and enhances our existing skills and capabilities.”

Previously, Victoria was a design director at Curtins and before that held senior roles at Wilde Consulting Engineers and BWB Consulting. She said: “The opportunity to work alongside, grow and learn from complementary engineering disciplines on a daily basis is something I’m really excited about.”

Some of Victoria’s local project highlights include working on the Adult Acute Inpatient Mental Health Unit at North Manchester General Hospital, Circle Square, Salford University’s Energy House 2.0, The Island – a net zero, BREEAM Excellent and WELL-enabled commercial newbuild development, and the acclaimed adaptive refurbishment of Manchester Metropolitan University’s Institute of Sport, which is an exceptionally ‘green’ building.

Victoria joins Hydrock’s 130-strong team multidisciplinary team in the North West.


Nicholas Rhodes KC

Nichaolas Rhodes, KC, has joined Manchester-based 18 St John Street Chambers as a door tenant.

Nicholas is an experienced crime silk, specialising in serious commercial fraud, bribery and corruption, financial crime, homicide and serious organised crime.

Known for his strong advocacy, Nicholas will bring a wealth of experience in advising and representing UK and overseas commercial organisations and legal and finance professionals facing investigation, from the earliest pre-litigation stage through the processes of investigation and before the Courts or Tribunals in the following areas: Corporate governance issues, Regulatory compliance, Financial Services regulation, Corporate criminal liabilities.

Nicholas has appeared in trials across the UK, Northern Ireland and the Cayman Islands in criminal cases of the utmost severity including offences of homicide, organised crime and serious sexual offences.

Head of 18 St John Street Chambers Criminal Department, Richard Vardon, said: “Attracting a silk with the reputation that Nicholas Rhodes KC has is a fabulous achievement for Chambers and our Department. Nicholas is a highly rated King’s Counsel and we look forward to working with him in the future.”

Richard Chapman KC, Head of Chambers, welcomed Nicholas to Chambers, saying: “Nicholas is a great addition to Chambers. His work profile, experience and approach make him a perfect fit for our Criminal Department, which continues to go from strength to strength.”

Nicholas will continue to practise from his London set, 187 Chambers, and his other door tenant chambers, KBW Chambers.


Katie Parker

International law firm, Addleshaw Goddard, has announced five new Partner promotions in its Manchester office, part of a record promotion round which sees 26 lawyers globally step up to Partner.

Rhian Baggaley (Transactional Real Estate), Sarah Jay and Lauren Priest-Stephens (both Finance), Katie Parker (Corporate), and Sarah Wilson (Construction & Engineering) who are all based in the firm’s office at St Peter’s Square, will join the partnership from May 1, 2024.

All five of the new Manchester Partners are female, with more than half of those in the firm’s largest ever promotions round women. The move takes the total number of partners across the international firm to 429.

Welcoming the new partners, Aster Crawshaw, Addleshaw Goddard Senior Partner, said: “It is a pleasure to recognise the achievements of individuals across the firm and we are delighted to promote to the Partnership these talented lawyers from right across our practices, sectors and locations.

“Each person who has been promoted has demonstrated a significant contribution to the firm across their specialist disciplines and sectors, and I look forward to seeing their careers go from strength to strength at Addleshaw Goddard.”


Callum Weiss

Branding and design agency, Studio LWD, has appointed Callum Weiss as a graphic designer as part of its ongoing expansion.

With a BA in Graphic Design from UCLAN, Callum has previously worked in content creation at LadBible and as a freelance brand designer before joining Poulton-le-Fylde-based Studio LWD.

Launched in 2012 by creative director Laura Weldon, who has experience working with some of the world’s most iconic brands, including Virgin, Nike, Tesco, Aldi, and the British Council, Studio LWD specialises in full service branding solutions for a wide variety of sectors.

Callum said: “I’m thrilled to be onboard with Studio LWD, an agency with vast expertise in branding. It’s exciting to contribute to an expanding team that truly believes in the transformative potential of branding on a global scale.”

Laura Weldon said: “At Studio LWD, we pride ourselves on being a full service branding agency driven by the collective talent of our designers, copywriters, strategists, and creatives. With fresh perspectives and innovative ideas, Callum brings invaluable contributions to our collaborative efforts as we continue delivering impactful solutions to our clients.”


Hayley Critchley

Advocating for more women to pursue leadership roles in the nuclear industry, Britain’s Energy Coast Business Cluster (BECBC) has welcomed an experienced ambassador to its board.

BECBC is a network of energy sector organisations working together for business success in Cumbria and beyond.

Hayley Critchley, Sizewell C Head of Site Compliance at EDF, will bring her wealth of experience in the nuclear industry to BECBC’s network of organisations as a Non-Executive Director (NED) over the next year.

Hayley’s appointment is part of Women in Nuclear’s (WiN) drive to empower women to lead board discussions.

BECBC selected Hayley to join their board through the WiN programme. She will receive mentorship from Claire Gallery-Strong, IWMP Programme and Strategy Director at Nuclear Waste Services (NWS).

Hayley is one of 10 women in the UK selected for the WiN-NED initiative, which combines workshops, board placements, and mentorships to provide a supported route for women to enter board positions.

Dianne Richardson, BECBC CEO, said: “At BECBC we are constantly looking at ways to make sure we have diverse voices in our conversations, including in our board meetings. We’re delighted to welcome Hayley to our team with her valuable experience in new nuclear, and I’d urge other organisations who haven’t taken part in the scheme to reach out to WiN for a conversation.”

Hayley Critchley said: “Your gender should never be a barrier to having a positive impact in your industry. I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to gain insight into how a board operates and get hands-on experience of what it takes to operate effectively at this level.

“For BECBC members I want to be able to make a positive contribution, by sharing my special mix of experience and knowledge from working with different licensees at different nuclear plant life cycle phases.”


COO Justin Bland with CEO Chris Woodward and HR director Laura Packwood

Manchester-based agency CTI Digital has appointed Justin Bland as Chief Operating Officer to bolster the executive leadership team. In his remit, Justin is charged with developing and enhancing the delivery of work for CTI’s clients and improving operational performance across the full suite of services offered by the integrated digital agency.

Justin joins CTI with more than 13 years in the marketing industry, working at agencies such as Razorfish, R/GA, Essence and Wunderman, and, most recently, at an agency and group level at Group M, and WPP as Global Executive Director of People, Operations and Transformation.

Justin said: “CTI is well positioned in the market to continue its track record of sustained success, and I look forward to helping accelerate its growth rate. Its core DNA, talent, tech capabilities, and proposition are all very strong, along with the opportunities to integrate client needs across the digital marketing ecosystem.”

Laura Packwood joins as Human Resource Director and will sit as part of the agency’s Senior Leadership Team. Laura joins from AppLearn, a global tech business that has recently undergone a successful sale.

Laura said: “I’m looking forward to championing our incredible teams, nurturing their talents and fostering a culture of growth and innovation. It’s an exciting time to join CTI, and I’m optimistic about what we can achieve together with our employees.”

CTI CEO, Chris Woodward, said: “With the arrival of Justin, we have now completed the transformation of our executive leadership team in less than six months. Justin brings substantial international experience, and it is a testament to our organisation’s ambition that we can attract someone of his calibre. He will make a very fast impact on our organisation and benefit our people and clients.

“It is equally pleasing that Laura is joining us at this important moment. Laura also brings significant experience that will benefit our people and our clients as we seek to scale the business over the next two years.”

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