People: Harrison Drury; Simpson Millar; Redmayne Bentley; Beech Tree Private Equity; Homesure Property; RWinvest

Lucy Benton and Hannah Hughes

North West law firm, Harrison Drury, has grown its commercial property team in Lancashire with the appointment of senior associate solicitor Lucy Benton.

Lucy, who joins the firm’s Preston office from Temple Heelis, will support Harrison Drury’s clients on a broad range of commercial property work including landlord and tenant issues, acquisitions and disposals, and property finance matters.

She is listed in the prestigious Legal 500 directory as a Rising Star and was also named Real Estate Rising Star of the Year at the publication’s Northern Powerhouse Awards 2024.

Hannah Hughes, partner and joint head of the commercial property team at Harrison Drury, said: “Lucy will be an asset to Harrison Drury given her experience and exceptional client service which will add further strength and depth to our growing team.

“Lucy has developed a strong following and a depth of experience acting for clients in the hospitality and leisure industry. That knowledge and expertise will be invaluable to our clients in that sector.”

Lucy said: “I’m looking forward to working with the team to help our clients achieve their goals.”

Lucy studied at Staffordshire Law School where she gained an Honours Degree in Law and a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (LPC).


Matthew Trusch

Simpson Millar has welcomed industry heavyweight Matthew Trusch as its new Head of Fast Track Employers and Public Liability (EL/PL) department, further bolstering the firm’s expansive national Injury team.

Bringing more than 15 years of experience to the role, with a particular focus on accidents at work, Matthew has personally handled hundreds of claims ranging from those worth a few thousand pounds to those worth in excess of £1m.

Previously the Managing Partner at Aequitas Legal Solicitors Limited, Matthew will now lead Simpson Millar’s highly acclaimed fast-track EL/PL department, overseeing performance, technical, and operational functions. He will report to Injury Practice Area Director, Helen Melling.

Based in Manchester but operating nationally, Matthew’s appointment follows Simpson Millar’s recent acquisition of parts of South West law firm Novum Law, which has strengthened its Serious Injury, Clinical Negligence, and Industrial Disease departments.

Helen Melling, who oversees the firm’s expansive Injury division, including its clinical negligence, personal injury, catastrophic injury, industrial disease, travel, and military teams, said Matthew’s ‘wealth of experience and his passion for securing the best outcome’ would prove invaluable to clients.

She added: “Matthew has a fantastic amount of experience within the personal injury field having worked on some of the most complex, high value cases on behalf of clients who have suffered catastrophic injuries through no fault of their own in recent years.

“The EL/PL department will benefit hugely from his legal expertise, as well as the operational and management skills that he has developed in his previous role as a Managing Partner.”

Matthew said: “I am committed to sharing my knowledge and experience to help the firm build on the success that has been achieved on behalf of clients in recent years and help continue to navigate the challenges posed by fixed costs.”


Andrew Shepherd

Independent investment management and stockbroking firm, Redmayne Bentley, has strengthened its North West team with the appointment of Andrew Shepherd as deputy head of its Manchester office.

As part of his new role, Andrew, who was previously deputy head of fellow Manchester wealth management business WH Ireland, will focus on managing portfolios for high-net-worth individuals, corporations and trusts on a bespoke, discretionary basis.

Andrew, a Chartered Fellow of The Securities Institute from the region, said he was looking forward to “further enhancing the company’s enviable reputation as a leading provider of bespoke investment solutions.”

He said: “Redmayne Bentley has a long and proud history of providing the very best personalised and friendly service. The business’s ambitions to develop its offering across the North West make this an exciting and dynamic time to become part of this evolution in the region.”

James Igoe, head of Redmayne Bentley’s Manchester office, added that Andrew’s “impressive near 30-year career, which also includes roles at Barclays Wealth and Gerrards Wealth Management, made him a natural fit for the team.”

He said. “Andrew’s appointment is part of our commitment to continue to grow our presence across the North West and offer the same bespoke financial support our reputation is built on.”


James Rosthorn

Beech Tree Private Equity has appointed James Rosthorn as Investment Director.

James will be based in the North West office, although as part of the firm’s sector-focused approach he will seek Technology and Tech-Enabled investment opportunities throughout the UK.

He brings a wealth of experience from his previous roles in private equity and corporate finance at Maven Capital Partners and Mazars, respectively.

James started his career at Ernst & Young where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant. His appointment is part of Beech Tree’s ongoing strategy to strengthen its team following a strong period of new investments and the raising of its latest fund.

Since 2023, Beech Tree has deployed close to £100m across five new investments, including Sustainable Energy First, Obsequio, Covertswarm, Arc Systems, and Learnlight.

James said: “Joining Beech Tree at such a dynamic time is incredibly exciting. I look forward to leveraging my experience to help drive growth and create value across both new and existing portfolio companies. The firm’s focus on the high growth sectors of Technology, Financial Services, and Tech-enabled Services aligns perfectly with my background and expertise.”

Adam Rudd, Partner at Beech Tree, said: “His relevant sector experiences are well aligned to our sector focused approached. This is an exciting time for both Beech Tree and James as we continue to complete new investments and bolt on acquisitions across the UK.”


Jennifer Longrigg and Keith Giblin

Homesure Property has welcomed two highly experienced sales professionals to its estate agency department. Keith Giblin and Jennifer Longrigg join the independent agency’s head office in Woolton Village, Liverpool.

Jennifer joins Homesure in the role of property sales consultant. A Liverpool local, she recently returned home from Dubai, where she was a real estate agent working with international clients in the luxury property sector.

Keith has also recently returned to the area, following a much longer absence. Originally from Widnes, Keith has worked in the property industry for more than 25 years. Along with his wife, he owned and managed a successful estate and letting agency in Bedfordshire from 2003, until selling the business 18 months ago. He joins Homesure Property to take up the role of senior valuer.

He said: “I briefly considered taking early retirement, after I sold my company, but I got bored. Property sales has always been my main area of expertise, so I’m pleased to be back doing what I do best.”

Nick Stott, CEO of Homesure Property, said: “Estate agents don’t come more experienced than Keith, and Jennifer has an impressive track record in the luxury market. It will serve her well now she’s working in one of the most sought-after areas of Liverpool. They’re both off to a great start already.”


Lewis Francis, Bradley Ashley and Felix Taylor

Liverpool-based international sales agent RWinvest have confirmed a trio of major promotions across its UK operation.

The business, which has a headquarters in Liverpool and office in London, is also opening a new £30m, purpose-built, 2,500 sq ft base in Manchester.

This week the firm, which was named Best Real Estate Agency in the UK Property Awards in 2023, announced three key promotions.

Lewis Francis, who started his career with RWInvest in Liverpool in 2016, has been promoted to Associate Director for the Manchester operation. Meanwhile, Bradley Ashley has also been promoted to Associate Director in Liverpool. He will be based in the new RWinvest office located at One Baltic Square.

In the capital, Felix Taylor has been promoted to Associate Director, overseeing the operation in London. Felix has worked with RWinvest for almost 10 years, having started as a Sales Executive.

RWinvest has helped bring more than £1bn-worth of investment into the UK property market and has confirmed growth of more than 30% in the past 12 months.

Michael Gledhill, director at RWInvest, said: “We have a culture of rewarding success at RWInvest. Felix, Lewis and Bradley are key members of our team and I am delighted they will continue their career with us in these senior positions. All three have been with the company for a significant period and their promotion will, no doubt, continue our significant growth.

“It is an exciting period for RWinvest, moving into new, purpose-built offices in both Liverpool and Manchester, and we have many more exciting opportunities in the pipeline for 2024.”

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