People on the move: Napthens; Begbies Traynor; OBI Property; MC Vanguard

NORTH West law firm Napthens solicitors continues its growth in East Lancashire with the latest appointment of three new staff to its Blackburn office.

Lara Watts has joined as associate solicitor in the commercial property team, Stuart Lowery as HR advisor in the employment and HR department, and solicitor Laura Jackson will advise wills and estate planning clients.

Watts, who joins Napthens from Manchester’s Eversheds, deals with a broad range of commercial property transactions, from acquisitions and disposals to landlord and tenant matters. She will act for clients across a number of sectors including developers and banks.

Lowery joins Napthens from in-house roles with retail and distribution businesses and with blue-chip companies.

Jackson joins the team following more than a decade spent with another East Lancashire law firm, and will advise on matters including wills, powers of attorney and trusts.

Oliver McCann, head of the East Lancashire office, said: “Our presence here in East Lancashire has gone from strength-to-strength and it’s a testament to how active the business community is here that we are regularly attracting lawyers from large city firms into our ranks.

“It’s particularly rewarding to see not one, but three departments expanding in this way after other new appointments earlier in the year.

“We are actively looking for the right staff to join us across Napthens as our strategy for growth continues through 2016 and beyond.”


IAN McCulloch has been promoted to the role of insolvency director at the Preston office of independent business recovery and insolvency practitioner Begbies Traynor.

McCulloch, who has been with Begbies Traynor in the North West since 2008, is a licensed insolvency practitioner and was previously a corporate insolvency manager with the firm.

In his new role he will lead Preston’s seven-strong corporate insolvency team from Begbies Traynor’s city centre offices in Chapel Street, where the firm has been based for more than 23 years.

“With Begbies Traynor investing in the Preston office and across the North West it’s a great time to be stepping up to the new role,” said McCulloch.

North West-based Begbies Traynor Group, which its head office in Manchester, is listed on AIM and offers corporate recovery and restructuring services, as well as corporate finance, forensic accounting and investigations services from its 37 UK offices.

The firm’s 25-strong Preston office provides services for clients across the whole of Lancashire as well as throughout Cumbria to Barrow in the West and Carlisle in the North.


OBI Property has announced Joe Averill has joined its Manchester transactions and asset management team in a newly formed role aimed at developing new relationships with North West based businesses.

Averill spent three years working in the technology/software industry at AppLearn where he was responsible for securing major new clients for the company.

Richard Lace of OBI Property said: “Joe’s arrival further enhances the quality of service and skillsets we offer to our clients and how we promote and market their assets.

“We are continuing to adopt and invest in new and fresh approaches to business generation and strengthening our relationships with Manchester’s diverse business community. With his excellent track record it is fantastic to have him on board.”

Averill said: “My experience of working with some of the world’s leading brands has given me great insight into building customer relationships and I know this will translate effectively to OBI Property and their clients.”

OBI Property is an established real estate consultancy which provides innovative solutions to its landlord and occupier clients which include, NCC Group,, Allied London, Bruntwood, LJ Partnership, British Airways and CBRE Global Investors.


NORTH West corporate finance specialist MC Vanguard is expanding to record numbers after making two new appointments.

MC Vanguard merged with Mitchell Charlesworth accountancy firm in 2011 and operates as its corporate finance division across offices in Liverpool, Manchester, Warrington, Chester and Widnes.

New recruits Adam Bradbury and James Curtis have been appointed as corporate finance executives adding to the five strong team including well known regional corporate financers Brian McCann and Jerry Scriven.

MC Vanguard director Brian McCann said the move will bring greater skill and resource to the operation which delivers a broad mix of services from business sales, building business value, exit and succession planning, MBOs, MBIs, mergers, acquisitions and funding.

Bradbury is a former HSBC banker with five years’ experience in the Manchester Spinningfields office within retail, commercial and corporate banking. Meanwhile, Curtis joins as a former business analyst for JCBA management consultancy operating in the aviation and hospitality industries, following four years in the British Army.

McCann said both new charges will initially focus on management buy-outs and buy-ins, acquisitions, growing and selling businesses.
“We have witnessed strong growth since merging with Mitchell Charlesworth five years ago,” said McCann.

“Our new recruits take team numbers to our highest ever level meaning we can offer clients greater support and value for money. Adam and James are both ambitious and dynamic operators at early stages in their careers. While they bring useful experience they are also keen to learn and develop skills with the MC Vanguard team.

Bradbury said: “I’m greatly looking forward to working across a broad range of disciplines in the corporate finance sector. Initially I will be supporting two corporate finance managers and I’m keen to learn quickly and develop my skills and experience.”

Curtis added: “MC Vanguard has a first class reputation in the North West and I’m thrilled to be joining its highly regarded team.”