People: Ward Hadaway; Cityheart; Stonebound Manchester; Kuits; Pilkington UK; Serotonin; The Intermediary Cooperative

Hollie Walsh

Manchester-based full-service law firm Ward Hadaway has announced the promotion of Hollie Walsh within the corporate team.

Hollie, who regularly acts on a range of corporate matters including mergers and acquisitions, private equity and investments, company reorganisations and refinancing, is now an associate solicitor.

Her promotion is one of 18 promotions firm-wide, across Ward Hadaway’s highly skilled and experienced team which aligns with ambitious expansion plans recently announced by Steven Petrie, the firm’s managing partner, to achieve turnover of £75m by 2029.

Liz Bottrill, executive partner of Ward Hadaway’s Manchester office, said: “We are thrilled to announce these recent promotions, which highlight Ward Hadaway’s focus on professional growth to deliver excellence. Our commitment to enhancing legal expertise and providing outstanding service across all practice areas is a key priority and is reflected in rapid career progression across the firm. Hollie’s promotion is a testament to her hard work and the promising future she has with us.”

Hollie Walsh said: “I’m excited to step into my new role which represents not only a personal achievement for me but also reflects the supportive and dynamic environment that Ward Hadaway provides for its employees. I look forward to continuing to contribute to our firm’s success and to delivering outstanding service to our clients.”


Darren Jones

Regeneration specialist, Cityheart, continues to bolster its senior team with the appointment of Darren Jones as Project Director – Wigan Galleries.

Darren joins the business from Nikal and will lead on the delivery of the redevelopment of the former Wigan Galleries shopping centre. He spent the first 17 years of his career with Orbit Developments and has run his own development business as well as working at Oldham and Stoke Councils.

He said: “The Wigan town centre regeneration project is now leading up to construction of the first phases, having completed an incredibly complex demolition programme earlier this year. I am looking forward to working with the team and Wigan Council to realise the vision for the town centre.”

Cityheart COO, Warren Taylor, will be working with Darren and the wider team as the Wigan scheme progresses. He said: “Darren brings with him a wealth of development and regeneration experience and we are incredibly pleased that he has chosen to join us to help drive the Wigan scheme forward. He has over 30 years’ experience in strategic leadership working in both the public and private sector and is the perfect fit for Cityheart and our local authority partners.”

As well as joining Cityheart, Darren has also taken up a non-executive board role with Wythenshawe Community Housing Group where he chairs the Development Committee.


Mark Russell

Mark Russell has been appointed Managing Director of Stonebond Manchester.

Mark, who joined Stonebond in September 2022 and was previously Land & Partnerships Director, has been instrumental in establishing Stonebond’s presence across the North West, following the creation of the new regional entity in the same year.

He played an important role establishing a long term strategic partnership with Great Places Housing Group, one of the North West’s largest housing providers, that is delivering more than 600 affordable homes on multiple sites across Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Lancashire. Great Places is providing the homes for affordable rent and shared ownership to meet growing housing demand.

The Manchester business is currently building out four live sites totalling more than 260 homes, with a pipeline of in excess of 500 homes under heads of terms or exchanged and pre-sold to delivery partners. The team is set to grow to 27 employees by the end of the year, with an expected turnover of £43m.

Mark said: “Our Manchester business is growing in line with the strategy we set out last year, and I’m looking forward to working further with our partners to increase housing delivery across the region. I share Stonebond’s ambition to work with partners to get more homes of all tenures built across the North West, particularly in areas of acute affordable housing need.”

Graham Cherry, Co-Chair of Stonebond, said: “We’re pleased Mark has agreed to take on the management of our Manchester business, which operates across an area where we predict significant opportunities for growth.”


Chris Eagle

Manchester commercial law firm, Kuits Solicitors, has welcomed Christian Eagle to the team as a Partner and Head of Property Litigation.

Christian brings a wealth of experience as a commercial litigator, renowned for his adept handling of intricate property matters. His expertise spans dilapidation, break clauses, easements, and a broad spectrum of landlord and tenant issues.

Steve Eccleston, Managing Partner, said: “We are pleased to welcome Christian to our team at Kuits. His expertise in property litigation and alternative dispute resolution will significantly enhance our service offerings to clients.

“The last 12 months has been another successful year of growth for the firm which is reflected in the recent appointments of some of the most well-respected legal professionals in the region.”

Kuits has one of the largest dispute resolution teams in Manchester following the appointment of Nichola Evans as department head last year.


Leo Pyrah

Pilkington UK, part of the Japan-based NSG Group, has strengthened its architectural glass commercial division with the appointment of Leo Pyrah to Head of Commercial, with two additional hires in its specifications team.

Based at the NSG Group’s European Technical Centre in Lathom, Lancashire, Leo will spearhead the glass manufacturer’s business development initiatives to drive growth alongside its customers across the UK and Ireland.

Leo will lead the architectural glass unit’s commercial strategy while overseeing teams including sales, customer and technical advisory services, business development and marketing. He’ll report directly to managing director Neil Syder.

The new Head of Commercial brings 17 years’ experience in Pilkington UK and the NSG Group to the new role, moving from his previous post as Marketing and VA Manager.

With Leo’s appointment also comes the strengthening of the architectural glass division’s sales and specification teams. Paul Shipley has been appointed Head of Stock Sales, while former Specification Sales Manager, Jason Eggerton, will now become National Business Development Manager.

Meanwhile, Bea Roberts and Arne De Ceapog have been appointed to two newly created Specification Sales Manager positions. They will be focused on managing relationships with architects, façade fabricators and main contractors to connect Pilkington UK’s customer base with high value projects across the UK.

Leo Pyrah said: “It’s an exciting time to be leading our commercial team and Paul, Jason, and I are looking forward to the opportunities ahead. Major forces like climate change and the need to decarbonise are shaping the future of the industry, driving innovations like Pilkington Mirai – the lowest carbon architectural glass available on the market.

“Strengthening our offering even further is the expansion of our specification team. The knowledge and experience that Bea and Arne bring to the team will deepen Pilkington UK’s relationships with architects across the country to help connect customers with major projects and growth opportunities. Their expertise strengthens our position as the go-to glass expert for architects and specifiers, while they’ll help to solve building design challenges with the help of value-added, high performance glass.”

Neil Syder said: “Leo’s wealth of experience, accrued over nearly two decades, will be invaluable in driving sustainable growth alongside our customers. His longstanding service is also testament to our commitment as an employer to invest in people, with Leo originally joining the business as a graduate in 2007.”

The business is currently making one of its biggest investments in its UK production facilities in St Helens, in decades. It’s currently building a new texture glass manufacturing line at its Greengate site, after closing its line at the neighbouring Watson Street site in February this year. The Government-backed project, enabling the manufacturer to operate out of one glass furnace, will save 15,000 tonnes of CO2e per year.


Serotonin new hires

In a year of explosive growth for Serotonin, the Manchester- and London-based digital marketing agency has announced five new hires across brand, social, creative, digital and account management.

The new team members include Lucy Crawley who has joined the agency as a brand strategist, Lauren Ridgewell as social media and influencer executive and Emily Pellen as designer.

Ruaridh Macleod has joined as PPC manager in the growing London office, and Harriet Kirk has taken on the role of account manager, coming from TrunkBBI.

Clair Heaviside, co-founder and creative director at Serotonin, said: “It’s always a proud moment to see the team continuing to grow. Not only does it add serious strength, value and expertise to our team, but it helps us to produce better results for our clients.”

Lauren Ridgewell said: “Since joining the social team last month, I’ve already worked on some really cool projects and campaigns. With the latest round of client wins, the next six months are looking very exciting.”

Harriet said: “It’s fantastic to join an agency whose culture is as forward thinking as it is creative. The diverse range of clients was a real draw for me and it’s building every week.”


From left: Nicky Tolley, Lou Evans, Vicky Heron, Clare Thomas

A Wirral-based intermediary has been appointed Chair of a national cooperative providing vulnerable people with communication support in court.

Nicky Tolley is the new Chair of legal communication specialist, The Intermediary Cooperative (TIC).

TIC was established in April 2021 and has since grown to a network of more than 50 experienced intermediaries across England and Wales. In 2022, TIC was selected by the Ministry of Justice to be an HMCTS (HM Courts & Tribunals Service) Managed and Approved Service Provider.

Nicky was previously a TIC director with responsibility for recruitment, training and quality assurance and has more than 30 years’ experience working with children, young people and adults with speech, language and communication difficulties including almost two decades working in a school environment with students with special educational needs. She has been an intermediary since 2011.

Nicky said: “We have come a long way in the last three years. We are a not-for-profit social enterprise passionate about fair access to justice for vulnerable people.

“Our approach is always to provide a tailored, professional and cost-effective service to meet the specific needs of each vulnerable person. Recent court guidance from the judiciary has made this approach even more important than ever and this is where the experience of TIC’s members is so invaluable in supporting solicitors and barristers with intermediary applications, ensuring that their clients have the support they need when they most need it.”

Nicky is Chair of a new look leadership team which also includes Lou Evans, who becomes a director with responsibility for member engagement, and Vicky Heron who continues as Finance Director. The three directors are supported by Northwich-based Clare Thomas, who was recently appointed Managing Director.

Previous Chair Nicola Lewis said: “I am incredibly proud of what we have created and built in the last three years and I am looking forward to continuing my work as an intermediary with TIC and providing guidance and support to the new leadership team.”

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