People: Exchange Chambers; Forbes; Your Housing; SysGroup; Kuits; Premier Textiles

Beth Harvey-Smith

Exchange Chambers has welcomed back Beth Harvey-Smith as a member of its Business and Property Department in Manchester.

Beth, an experienced advocate building a commercial practice, rejoins Exchange having originally been a member from 2014 – 2018.

After leaving Exchange to relocate with her family in 2018, Beth has been an advisory lawyer in two separate roles within the Civil Service, firstly with the Government Legal Department and most recently with HMRC.  She was also a freelance law tutor on the Bar Course (teaching Civil Litigation) and the postgraduate diploma in law (teaching Public Law) from September 2021 – June 2022.

Commenting on her decision to rejoin Exchange Chambers, Beth said: “Ever since I left Exchange to relocate with my family in 2018, I’ve known that I would want to return to self-employed practice when the time was right.

“As a pupil and then as a tenant, I experienced first-hand the excellence of Exchange, and its friendly, supportive environment.

“When considering a return to the self-employed Bar, I didn’t have a shortlist, Exchange is the only Chambers I applied to and the only Chambers I could imagine myself practising from.”

Said Giles Maynard-Connor KC, Head of Exchange Chambers’ Business and Property department: “During her previous time in Chambers, Beth created a hugely positive impression and quickly developed a successful practice. We are delighted that she has chosen to return to us, and are thrilled to welcome her back.”

Said Jonathan I’Anson, Chief Executive at Exchange Chambers: “We are really pleased to welcome Beth back to Exchange and look forward to supporting the development of her practice.”


The Forbes team

Lancashire law firm Forbes Solicitors has announced 14 promotions across seven different specialisms, including two Partner promotions.

Sarah Davisworth has stepped up from Senior Associate to Partner in the firm’s Insurance team, while Tom Howcroft has also been promoted from Senior Associate to Partner in Forbes’ Contentious Trusts and Probate team.

Based at Forbes’ Leeds office, Sarah’s promotion marks the latest step in a career spanning more than 20 years with the firm and reflects Forbes’ commitment to diverse progression routes, as she is the firm’s first CiLex qualified Partner. The promotion follows Sarah’s continued contribution to growing the Insurance team, where she specialises in public and employer’s liability claims, particularly for the housing sector, as well as handling housing conditions claims. Sarah is also an insurance Fraud Champion. The Insurance team has also seen two other promotions, with Amy Jackson and Rebecca McCreadie both becoming Associates.

Tom Howcroft’s promotion to partner follows a strong track record in handling complex will, trust and estate disputes. Tom joined Forbes Solicitors in 2018 and was appointed joint head of the Contentious Trust and Probate team, alongside John Lambe, last year. Other promotions in the Contentious Trust and Probate team include Nicola Smith, who has become a Senior Associate and Lucy Scurfield moving up to Associate. 

There were six promotions across Forbes’ Commercial, Employment and Housing Regeneration teams. Daniel Fletcher became a Senior Associate in the Commercial team, while his colleague Katie Lee was promoted to Associate

In the Employment team, Mohammad Chaudhry has stepped up to Senior Associate, while Imogen Templeman has been promoted to Associate. Promotions in the Housing Regeneration team include Lyndsay Baxter and Paul Gorton both becoming Senior Associates.

Elsewhere across the firm, Rebecca Rushworth has been promoted to Associate in the Wills, Trust and Probate team, while Lisa Atkinson has become a Senior Associate in Personal Injury.

Pauline Wild, Managing Partner at Forbes Solicitors, said: “Seeing people’s careers grow with the firm is one of the most rewarding parts of what we do. The promotions are testament to exceptional work being delivered, involving lots of personal commitment to go above and beyond for clients and colleagues. We pride ourselves on providing straightforward advice, which is easy to understand, and delivers value for our clients. Each promotion recognises the success in achieving this and fulfilling our goal to be the number one regional law firm with a national reach.”


Aaron Hammersley

Your Housing Group (YHG) has made two internal promotions to its senior team; Jo Hough has been promoted to the new role of Director of Human Resources (HR), and Aaron Hammersley has been promoted to Interim Director of Housing & Customer Service.

Jo joined YHG in 2022 as Head of HR and Learning & Development, and in that time has been key to the delivery of the People Strategy, and designing ‘The YHG Way’ with colleagues; our values-based behavioural framework.

Aaron Hammersley’s promotion to Interim Director of Housing & Customer Service comes following Paula Marshall’s promotion earlier this year.

He has been with YHG since June 2010, where he joined as Non-Social Housing Manager, prior to the merger and the formation of Your Housing Group in 2012. He was then promoted to Head of Sales and Lettings in January 2019, before taking on the role of Head of Housing in December 2020.


Davin Cushman

Listed tech security consultancy SysGroup has appointed Davin Cushman as Non-Executive Director.

He has over 25 years of experience within the technology industry having started his career in 1996 with enterprise application pioneer Trilogy. He served as CEO at Ignite Technologies, an enterprise software company, where he completed over 40 mergers and acquisitions during his decade-long tenure. Subsequently, he founded Brightrose Ventures to advise, acquire and operate software companies, with a later $100 million commitment from Brentwood Associates for software acquisitions. 

He has an undergraduate degree in Politics from Princeton University and a MBA from Kellogg at Northwestern University.

Heejae Chae, Executive Chairman of SysGroup, said: “Davin has extensive experience in the technology sector and was part of hyper growth at category defining companies. His expertise in building technology companies through innovation and operational excellence, as well as his proficiency in acquiring and integrating technology companies, will greatly benefit SysGroup.”


Ken Salmon (left)

Manchester commercial law firm, Kuits solicitors, has appointed Ken Salmon as a Consultant in their Construction & Engineering team.

Ken is a construction and engineering lawyer dealing with contentious and non-contentious matters relating to building and civil engineering. He brings extensive expertise in dispute avoidance and holds accreditations from both CIArb and CMC as a mediator. His clients include developers, contractors, specialist sub-contractors and construction professionals.

Matt Grellier, Head of Construction and Engineering at Kuits said; “ He is highly regarded in the sector and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with him which will further strengthen our services and greatly benefit our clients.”

Commenting on his appointment Ken said; “It’s great to be working with Matt and the wider commercial property team. Kuits has an excellent reputation for providing a high quality legal advisory service and is one of the most comprehensive property legal teams in the region.”


Left is John, Mike top right and Alexina bottom right

Premier Textiles, the independent family owned group, has added three key personnel to its growing team. 

John Burgess has become Import Logistics Coordinator while Alexina Willers and Mike Haworth-Hodgkinson join as Accounts Office Supervisor and Finance Assistant respectively. 

Premier Textiles was founded in 1981 and has more than 50,000 sq ft of modern warehousing space in Stockport and Bury.

The group’s other core companies are Premier Digital Textiles, Bancroft Soft Furnishings and Premex Solutions, which opened a new 10,000 sq ft warehouse in Atlanta last year to service the growing demand of the digital print ready fabric market in North America. 

Group Managing Director Ashok Kallumpram said: “John, Alexina and Mike are important additions to our group of businesses. 

“As one of Europe’s leading importers of fabrics, yarns and finished fabrics, Premier Textiles takes recruitment seriously. These three hires, another investment in our growing team, will help ensure that we remain at the forefront of innovation and sustainability while continuing to drive real value partnerships with customers and suppliers.”

Stocking over 5 million linear metres of fabric at any given time, Premier Textiles employs more than 40 people across its group of businesses. 

John joined Premier Textiles from the clothing industry while Alexina previously worked for Country Gates Ltd.

John said: “It’s great to have joined Premier Textiles as it is a well established business that lives by its values each day. 

“The team has been very welcoming and I look forward to working closely with our customers and suppliers.”

Alexina said: “It is an honour to work with a well-established company that has a very professional team that strives to deliver their customers excellent products and service. 

“I join the accounts team with years of experience, and it is lovely to work with a friendly and welcoming team. It’s exciting to see how the company develops and I look forward to working with all our customers and suppliers all over the world.”

Mike said: “It’s been a real joy to join Premier Textiles. Taking on the role of Finance Assistant was part of a complete career change for me, and both my colleagues and senior team have been extremely supportive and welcoming. Premier Textiles really does live by its family values and I’m really looking forward to learning more of both my craft and the business.”

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