People: Restructuring specialist hired; Promotion at business advisory firm; and more

Shoosmiths Leeds has further boosted its corporate restructuring team with the appointment of Lemi McAuley.

McAuley is a specialist in board advisory and transactional matters and has acted for a number of corporate clients, clearing banks, private equity providers and insolvency practitioners.

His appointment means Shoosmiths now has corporate restructuring partners in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. The team has worked on more retail CVAs than any other law firm over the past 12 to 18 months.

James Keates, head of the firm’s corporate restructuring and advisory team, said: “Lemi’s extensive experience of big-ticket distressed transactions and steering boards of directors through financially distressed situations makes him an ideal addition to our growing CR&A team which is continuing to carve out a market-leading reputation.”


Corporate services firm RedSky has embarked on a significant expansion in Yorkshire presence with two experienced bankers joining the firm.

Andy Davidson and Paul Grace have both been appointed Directors alongside Martin Bell and Peter Beresford.

Davidson has over 35 years banking experience with Yorkshire Bank acting on major funding schemes and supporting businesses of all sizes throughout his career. More recently he led the Bank’s operation across the Leeds city region before being seconded to the Northern Powerhouse Partnership as Head of Business Relations, where he led the Think Tank’s engagement with business across the northern region.

Grace also joins from Yorkshire Bank, where he was latterly Head of Customer Banking for the Leeds city region and previously led business development teams across Yorkshire and the North West. He has extensive expertise in raising finance and structuring banking facilities to aid and assist businesses cash flow requirements. He has also recently been appointed as a non executive director at Welcome To Yorkshire.

RedSky Managing Director Peter Beresford said “I am delighted to welcome Andy and Paul to the RedSky team. They are both highly experienced in the commercial market, both in terms of hands-on customer relationships and leading large teams, and with their extensive networks will help support our growth across the region.”

Business advisory firm Grant Thornton has announced the promotion of Emma Davies to Partner.

Davies, who is based in Yorkshire but works across the firm’s offices in the North and Midlands has been with Grant Thornton for most of her career.

Her promotion from director recognises her dedicated work in creating and growing the firm’s successful Special Projects business – a flexible service which allows businesses to upscale or upskill their finance department by bringing in talent on an interim or project basis during periods of change or high pressure.

In the last 12 months Special Projects’ revenues increased 165% and expanded into other locations across England, with a team of more than 30 working out of offices in Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, London and Milton Keynes.

Alongside the creation of Special Projects, Davies has also launched Grant Thornton Select, an inclusive and flexible working model for experienced accounting professionals.

Andy Wood, Partner and Yorkshire practice leader at Grant Thornton in Yorkshire, said: “I am proud and thrilled to see Emma become a Partner. She is a true pioneer within our firm having created a new service which, in a short space of time has become highly valued by our clients.

“Her vision, market knowledge and passionate approach to delivering excellent advice to our clients alongside her outstanding leadership qualities means she is a highly valued member of our team and I look forward to working with her for many years to come.


A North Yorkshire chemical manufacturer has strengthened its technical department with the appointment of a new team member.

Sam Blakeley, 25, has joined Cross Hills-based Airedale Chemical as a product development chemist, with experience gained as a quality assurance technician in the paint and preservative industry and a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Sheffield.

Blakeley said: “I’m looking forward to taking on more responsibility in this new role and developing my technical skills.

“I previously enjoyed work experience at Airedale Chemical and found it so interesting that I have always wanted to return as a permanent member of the team.”

Day-to-day duties as NPD chemist will include supporting the head of technical with formulating new products, refining the development process, analysing samples and compiling quality control parameters to measure test results.