People: The latest West Midlands hires

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Law firm Lodders has boosted its dispute resolution and private client teams with two senior hires.

Commercial litigation specialist Andrew Wylde joins Lodders as a senior associate in the firm’s 13-strong dispute resolution team, and trusts and estate planning specialist John Padget joins as an associate in the private client department.

Previously, Wylde has led the commercial litigation team of East Midlands firm Ringrose Law Solicitors for five years, and was a partner at Irwin Mitchell.

He joins Lodders’ dispute resolution team, that is headed by partner Jane Senior, to advise clients on all aspects of dispute resolution, including corporate and shareholder disputes, contract breaches, together with providing insolvency advice.

As associate in Lodders’ top-ranking private client department, which is led by Louise Igoe and one of the Midlands’ largest dedicated private client practices, Padget will use several years of experience working solely in private client law, including providing advice on trusts and estates administration, estate planning, wills, lasting powers of attorney, inheritance tax, and capital gains tax.

He joins Lodders from Birmingham’s Meridian Private Client where he was an associate working on estate planning for high net worth individuals.

Lodders’ managing partner Paul Mourton says: “The firm has seen sustained growth in instructions for both our private client and dispute resolution advice. Maintaining our pledge to recruit only the best in breed legal specialists and our commitment to providing the very best legal skill and client service, Andrew and John’s appointments represent significant additions to our expanding team.”

Founded 230 years ago, Lodders has offices in Stratford upon Avon, Cheltenham, Birmingham and Henley in Arden.


The Institute of Directors has appointed Andrew Wilkinson to chair its newly formed Greater Birmingham branch.

The new branch – created following a major restructure of the IoD West Midlands network – incorporates Birmingham city and Solihull.

Wilkinson is joint founder and managing director of Birmingham-based marketing communications agency Oakley Wilkinson Bryan (OWB Creative).

He is a former non-executive director of St Giles Hospice Group and Business Link West Midlands, where he was also ambassador for creative industries.

He previously held senior marketing positions with TNT United Kingdom, Blagden Industries and Burgess Group and agency roles in London, Bristol, Birmingham and South Africa.

He said: “I’m looking forward to the challenge of leading this exciting new branch. Outside London, Birmingham is the largest city economy in the UK. We have all the key ingredients for business including a large population, a well-connected and thriving city centre, excellent universities and fantastic culture.

“Our members have been forced to draw upon all their skills and resilience over the past year but there is light at the end of the tunnel. The IoD is on hand to provide connections, learning opportunities and influence over the coming months with fantastic new member benefits and enhanced offering for existing members including training, new business research facility, virtual events, lobbying initiatives and critically networking to get business moving.”


MCI Developments, part of national homebuilder Keepmoat Homes, has expanded into the Midlands with the appointment of a new regional managing director.

Ken Phillips is bringing with him over 30 years’ experience of residential land acquisition and business development within the West and East Midlands territory.

As a chartered planning and development surveyor his previous job roles include heading up a housing joint venture business in the Midlands for Cala Group but latterly has operated as land and planning director for both Taylor Wimpey and Redrow Homes.

Andrew Mason, divisional chairman at Keepmoat Homes, said: “We’re pleased to welcome Ken onboard at MCI Developments. His appointment marks an exciting new chapter for the company and we’re confident that with Ken’s proven track record of success, he will play a significant role in our continued growth plans and create new beginnings and flourishing communities in the Midlands.”

Phillips added: ‘’I am absolutely delighted to be joining MCI Developments during an important and exciting time for the business. Alongside growing the portfolio in the Midlands, my focus will be to expand our team with people who are passionate about delivering affordable and multi-tenure developments in the region.

“Having spent the majority of my career within the housebuilder industry, I’m driven to deliver quality new homes and I’m looking forward to taking the reins and deliver much needed affordable new homes in the Midlands.”


Leamington-based full service marketing agency Palmer Hargreaves has expanded its digital capabilities following a duo of hires specialising in SEO and digital marketing.

The move comes following a trend from clients looking to move traditional events and marketing campaigns online as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

According to the agency, businesses in all sectors are increasingly looking for new and innovative ways to engage their audiences through digital marketing focused on every stage of the customer journey.

To bolster the agency’s skills and experience in this field, Palmer Hargreaves has appointed Marta Sainz to the role of digital manager.

Sainz has been joined by Miriam Sciascia, who joins the team as an account manager.

Managing director in the UK, Mark Dale, said: “It’s been challenging times for everyone, but to see our business constantly evolving and growing in all sorts of directions is really encouraging. Virtual pitches, meetings and international collaborations are now customary and alongside this we’ve thrown ourselves into the digital sphere with our clients, constantly assessing ways to bring more of their business online too. As a result we’re all benefitting and the new additions to the team will only enhance this.”