People: Slater Heelis; Freshfield; Morecrofts Solicitors & more

MANCHESTER law firm Slater Heelis has appointed ex-Darbys partner Zara Banday to take its own partner headcount up to 20.

Banday was previously a partner at Darbys in Hale, Greater Manchester before its recent merger with Knights and specialises in complex and high-value residential property transactions.
This includes sale and purchase transactions to boundary disputes and landlord and tenant issues. She also acts for lending institutions who provide short-term lending.

Zara, who lives in Cheadle, is also fluent in Urdu and Punjabi. Chris Bishop, managing partner of Slater Heelis  said: “Zara has a loyal client base with most of her work generated from personal recommendations and referrals.

“We’re pleased she’s chosen to spend the next stage of her impressive career at Slater Heelis as we continue to add experienced people to our team.”
Banday added:“I’m delighted to join Slater Heelis and I’m looking forward to using my experience and contacts to play a key role in the residential property team.”

FRESHFIELD, the Preston-based marketing communications consultancy, has strengthened its digital team following a dual promotion and new appointment.
Existing specialists, Steve Baker and Mark Brennan, will take on the roles of lead developer and senior digital marketing adviser, respectively, while Paul Brennan joins as support developer from A&P.
Freshfield has recently launched new websites for North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, venture capitalists, EV, and Moore and Smalley SE+, a cloud accounting brand.
Simon Turner, Freshfield managing director, said: “Every client mandate has a digital element and digital is a landscape that will keep evolving, so it’s vital we have a strong in-house capability.
“We created a new strategy five years ago to build a genuine hybrid communications agency to help clients take advantage of a changing marketing world.”


MORECROFTS Solicitors has made three additions to its property team following a significant increase in new client instructions.

Solicitor Caroline Grundy arrives at the firm’s Liverpool office with more 15 years’ experience in property law and conveyancing, including more than 10 years at RMNJ solicitors in Birkenhead.

Chartered legal executive Shirley English has joined Morecrofts’ Allerton Road office after a legal career spanning more than 20 years at firms across Merseyside.

Meanwhile, solicitor Rachael McClean has moved to the company’s office in Crosby to further strengthen the firm’s conveyancing credentials in the area.

Brian Lawlor, partner and head of Morecrofts’ property team, said: “Instructions from clients looking to buy and sell property, both residential and commercial, have soared over the past six months.

“That growth is testament not only to the growing economic confidence in the region, but also to the professionalism of our talented property team.”


PALATINE Private Equity has made three new additions to its Manchester team as the firm is set to complete more deals across the UK.

Kieran Lawton joins as investment director from BDO Corporate Finance, where he was a Director in the leisure and hospitality M&A team.
Lawton has more than 10 years of corporate finance experience, working on mid-market deals across a number of industry sectors including Palatine’s investments in Air Energi, Gusto and The Alchemist.

Tom Wildig has been appointed as investment manager. He has four years’ experience in corporate finance, having held previous positions at Deloitte as an assistant director in the firm’s corporate finance team, and BDO as corporate finance executive.

James Painter joins as investment executive from KPMG’s corporate finance team. During his time there, James worked on a range of domestic and international deals including company disposals and private equity transactions.

Palatine Private Equity, which has offices in Manchester, Birmingham and London, typically invests between £10m and £30m into entrepreneurial businesses.

The firm closed its third Fund at £220m last year and is now looking to make more investments across the UK.


LANCASHIRE-based planning consultancy PWA Planning has appointed three new staff to support continued growth at the firm.

Josh Hellawell has joined as an assistant planner from Green Switch Solutions where he was involved in producing planning applications for large scale solar energy farms around the UK.
Meanwhile, Maria Utting has joined as a planning and administrative apprentice and Edel Barr has been appointed as a personal assistant to the management team.

Paul Walton, director of PWA Planning said: “We’re a growing business and we need both the technical expertise and a strong support team to enable us to continue being successful. Josh, Maria and Edel will enable us to continue providing a great planning and development service to our clients.


MANCHESTER solicitors Hugh Jones has added three new fee-earners to its growing team as it celebrates its third birthday.

The new recruits bring the total number of employees to 36 – a nine-fold increase since the firm opened its door three years ago with just four members of staff.

New additions to its Private Client team include Tania McGrory who has joined as a team leader and associate from Slater and Gordon.

Charlotte Pisuto has also arrived at the Private Client team as a solicitor from Rowley Dickinson. She is an experienced private client specialist and provides advise on wills and assistance with future planning.  The final new team member is secretary Catherine Matthews who has joined from Slater and Gordon.

Joining the Court of Protection team is solicitor David Jones. David completed his solicitor’s training at Slater and Gordon and qualified in 2015.
Following the appointments, Hugh Jones now has one of the largest Private Client teams in Manchester and the highest number of qualified staff in its Court of Protection team.

It has been an exceptional 12 months, for Hugh Jones. Fee income for the 12 months to March 31, 2015 surged more than 77 per cent from £900,000 to £1.6m.

The firm also doubled the size of its office space at the Deva City office park, Salford, to 6,000sq ft.


COMMERCIAL property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton has boosted its North West marketing team by appointing Emma Radcliffe to work within the team’s business development unit and head up the region’s PR activities.
Emma Radcliffe, who has worked with brands including Panasonic and Specsavers, leaves telecommunications giant Daisy Group to take up the  role with LSH’s 150-strong regional team.
Abid Jaffry, head of office, Manchester said: “Over the last 12 months our Manchester office has seen significant expansion and our growth means we are winning more and more new work.  We are a highly progressive firm and Emma’s skill-set gives us greater depth of support in business generation.”


MANCHESTER-based interior architecture and FFE consultancy SpaceZero has appointed Marc Davies as its new director for education spaces to oversee its many education projects, support business development within the sector and assist in the development of the company’s thought leadership initiatives.

News of Davies’ appointment follows the recent announcement of Paul Cunniff as SpaceZero’s new finance director, Simon Westwell as management accountant, and ex-headteacher Mick Quigley as its Asia Pacific consultant – all part of the firm’s ambitious growth and development plans, which also include expanding in the Middle East.

With specialist knowledge and experience in the education sector, SpaceZero has worked on over 200 education projects across the UK, covering all types of institutions from kindergartens through to universities.

Welshman Davies has more than 30 years’ experience in the education sector and brings a wealth of knowledge to his role at SpaceZero. 


INNOVA Design Solutions has expanded its headquarters by a third and made six new staff appointments as part of a £500,000 investment in the business.

Stockport-based Innova designs, manufactures and installs high-quality interiors and furniture for the education, commercial and healthcare sectors.

The firm, which has enjoyed significant sales growth in the last 12 months, has created a new packaging and finishing line to increase manufacturing output.

With turnover predicted to increase by 21% in 2016, capacity is being boosted with the appointments of Clive Walters and Ian Hewitt to the design team and Andrew Rowbotham to the estimation team.

Additionally, Kiel Odgers takes a role as contracts manager while Annie O’Connor fills the position of finance and administration manager. Stewart Woodburn is also a key new addition, he joins from Saint Gobain as the production manager.

Director Peter Smith said: “It’s fantastic to be able to start the year on a positive note, talking about expansion and job creation – two phrases that all business owners love.”


ENDLESS has recruitmented Lee Abbott into its Manchester team with immediate effect.
He joins Endless as an investment manager from Bodycote and before that spent several years in KPMG’s Restructuring team in Manchester.

As an investment manager, Abbott’s focus will be to drive deal origination and execution in the North West, working alongside Endless partner Mathew Deering who heads up its Manchester team and associate director Richard Harrison.

Deering said,  “Lee’s recruitment demonstrates our continued appetite to build our team in Manchester and cement our presence in the North West deals market.

“Lee brings a blend of skills from his restructuring and industry background and I am confident he will be a great addition to the team as we go about investing our fourth fund of £525m.”