People: Hilary Meredith Solicitors; Manchester & Cheshire Construction; Praetura Asset Finance & more

HILARY Meredith, chief executive of Hilary Meredith Solicitors in Wilmslow, has been appointed as a visiting senior lecturer by the University of Chester’s Westminster Centre for Research and Innovation in Veterans’ Wellbeing.
The Centre supports the military through innovative and high quality research, educational provision and community engagement.
Meredith said: “I am honoured to take up this role.  The Westminster Centre has a hugely positive impact on veteran’s health and healthcare on a regional, national and international level.”
Dealing with high profile injury cases on behalf of the UK armed services worldwide, Meredith brought the first ever case against the MoD in 1988 setting a legal precedent.  

She has continued to act for members of the armed forces – and their families – ever since and was this year instrumental in the Commons Defence Committee recommending that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) should be charged with corporate manslaughter and lose its Crown immunity when there is a blatant disregard for life in training exercises.
She also recently commissioned a major report on life on “Civvy Street” for former members of the UK armed forces.  


MANCHESTER & Cheshire Construction has recruited another contracts manager as the firm continues to expand with a growing workload across the North West.Gareth Robinson

Gareth Robinson, aged 47, who lives in Bolton, has joined the Salford company from Preston-based Carefoot, where he held a similar role.

He has previously worked at firms including Lowbury Construction, based in Cadishead, Greater Manchester, and at Bolton’s Westby Homes.

The married father-of-three is a former chairman of the Bolton Wanderers Supporters Association.

Eugene O’Callaghan, Manchester & Cheshire’s construction director, said: “Gareth has extensive experience of site and operational management and running projects from start to finish.

“He has an excellent track record and is a welcome addition to our expanding team.”
Manchester & Cheshire is on track to grow revenues from £10.4m to £12m in the year to September.

Flagship schemes under way include a £6m project to refurbish and remodel the University of Manchester’s Samuel Alexander Building, which houses most of the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures.

It is the largest contract in Manchester & Cheshire’s 45-year history and is scheduled for completion in July 2017.


BLACKBURN-headquartered Praetura Asset Finance has bolstered its sales division with the appointment of a new southern director.

Graham Drew joins the team from Secure Trust Bank where he was managing director for the firm’s asset finance division.

With extensive knowledge of the South of England and an impressive broker network, Drew will add experience to the lender, accumulated over a 25-year career.
His key focus is building a southern-based broker team and establishing a new regional hub to better service Praetura’s growing client base.
“Praetura is a young, hungry and ambitious company that’s found a successful gap in the asset finance market,” said Drew. “A lot of providers have lowered their rates and are chasing volume, which has left a raft of SMEs with a story to tell underserviced.
“I’m building a southern team that can truly support this space within the broker network, adding real value to structured transactions by helping the broker get them over the line and thereby differentiating ourselves in the region.”
Mike Hartley, managing director of Praetura, added: “Graham is a great addition to the business. He impressed us with his exceptional national and European sales track-record with large corporates such as GE Capital and Shawbrook Bank, yet it was his broker portfolio that truly set him apart.
“We’ve always utilised intermediaries as a key route to market – something that’s proven extremely lucrative having reached a £50m lending book in just our second year in business – so Graham’s knowledge will prove crucial to expanding our reach to new areas.”

Launched January 2014, Praetura Asset Finance has grown from a team of seven specialist finance professionals to 20 members of staff.


FIREWORK PR, a boutique PR agency based in Cheshire, has added Patrick Giffney to its growing team of senior professionals.

Appointed as PR Consultant, Giffney will be heading up Firework’s sports and entertainment client portfolio.

Moving back to his native Cheshire after a five-year spell in London, he joins from the in-house communications team at The Rugby Players’ Association (RPA).

With an extensive network of sports contacts and a wealth of sector knowledge, Patrick will be expanding Firework’s credentials in both the business of sport, as well as consumer facing campaigns.
Giffney said: “Joining Firework PR represents an exciting opportunity to build on my experience to date as well as support the team’s ambitious plans for the future.”

Andrea Hounsham, co-director of Firework PR, added: “We are thrilled to welcome an experienced talent like Patrick to our team.

“His knowledge of the sports industry is second to none and he brings an abundance of industry accomplishments to Firework. He will be a great asset to our team and our existing clients in this sector are also looking forward to him joining.”


THE Mothership Group has announced the appointment of Darren Tranter as the first managing director for online temporary recruitment company Red WigWam with immediate effect due to the strength of the incubation period and the rapid growth the company is experiencing.

Established in April 2014 within Liverpool’s fast-emerging digital and creative hub, and named as one of the UK’s top disruptive businesses by Everline Future 50 in 2015, Red WigWam is an online recruitment platform connecting employers with high quality, validated and available temporary staff.

Tranter brings with him a wealth of experience spanning over 20 years in the recruitment industry, including being the chief operating officer at the world’s global security company G4S in 2011, before joining Working Links as director of UK Employability in 2014.