People: Pro-Development; Hortor; McCormicks Solicitors; and more

Yorkshire learning and development firm, Pro-Development (UK) Ltd, has welcomed a new shareholder and director to its leadership team.

Former York Science Park CEO, Tracey Flannery, has joined Pro-Development founder, Michelle Mook, as a shareholder and director of the York-based company, which specialises in employee engagement and development.

Mook, who established the business ten years ago and has grown it from a standing start to an employer of 11 with over 100 clients across the region, retains a majority shareholding.

The company plans to hit its first £1m turnover in the next two years as part of a wider ten-year growth plan.

Tracey joined Pro-Development in 2020 as a learning and development consultant to provide strategic support for the team and help clients.

Working with businesses, large and small in Yorkshire and Humber, the team helps improve employee retention and engagement through a range of leadership and management development programmes and training.

Flannery said: “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to become a shareholder in a business that I am passionate about, and I feel is bursting with potential.

“I jumped at the chance to be a part of Pro-Development. I am extremely excited to be part of the leadership team as we enter the next chapter of growth whilst ensuring our existing customers continue to receive high quality support and guidance.

“Michelle and I have known each other for over ten years, and I have had the privilege of watching her build this business to the well-deserved success it is today.”

Mook added: “It’s no coincidence that we have grown at the rate we have since Tracey joined the team.

“She’s helped to put a solid strategy in place and move the business forward already in the 18 months she has been here.

“Her extensive experience of leading a company whilst supporting growing businesses, along with her strategic awareness and financial planning, make her uniquely placed to be a director here.”


Jack Paul

Hortor, a resourcing and managed service consultancy headquartered in Leeds, has appointed Jack Paul as strategic development manager and promoted Fletcher Coutts to divisional manager specialising in the cleantech sector.

With a business management background having worked for a UK and Northern Ireland based franchise, Paul is looking forward to taking on a new challenge and to advancing his skills and career in the sector.

He said: “This is a very different role to anything I have done before but I’m ready for the challenge. The job was actually referred to me by a friend that works at Hortor. Knowing they have had such a positive experience was really encouraging.”

He will be responsible for supporting a global portfolio of clients that are looking for market leading talent in the IT, Telecoms, Energy, FinTech and Financial Services sectors.

Having joined the business in March 2021 as a market and business development consultant, Coutts has secured his second promotion at Hortor becoming a divisional manager specialising in cleantech.

Fletcher Coutts

He said: “It has certainly been a very positive journey for me so far, with two promotions since I joined last year.

“I am now looking to build my reputation within the cleantech sector and to become an obvious choice for the progressive businesses that we support with their growth strategies.”

Chief executive officer at Hortor, Andy Nicholson, said: “Firstly, we would like to welcome Jack to the team. His background in business will give him a good foothold as he starts his career in the sector. He is already making his mark and has fit in really well.

“Huge congratulations must also go to Fletcher who has pushed himself so hard since joining us in 2021. As well as being an asset to the team, he is a great example of how we reward hard work at Hortor.”


A Harrogate law firm has promoted one of its solicitors to senior associate.

Brian Nuttney is part of McCormicks Solicitors’ Crime and Fraud department and appears regularly in the Magistrates’ Courts and police stations across North Yorkshire and further afield, representing clients across a wide range of criminal and motoring offences.

He is a qualified police station representative and holds Duty Solicitor status.

Head of the department, partner Peter Minnikin, said: “Brian is an important part of what is a very busy team – as illustrated by our recent appointments of two new lawyers – and his promotion is well deserved.”

Nuttney has substantial experience preparing cases for the Crown Court, advising clients and instructing Counsel in a wide range of matters including serious sexual offences, violence, drugs and fraud.

Prior to his career in law, he was a successful journalist and worked as deputy editor for a number of regional newspapers.


Following three years as joint managing partner at lower mid market private equity firm, Key Capital Partners, James Hall has taken sole charge of the Leeds and London-based firm.

Previous managing partner Owen Trotter steps away from day-to-day management responsibilities.

Trotter was appointed managing partner of the firm in 2011 after founding the partnership with Mike Fell and Peter Armitage in 2007.

Hall was appointed joint managing partner alongside Trotter in 2019 in the first part of a structured succession plan.

Since Hall joined the firm in 2015, Key has completed 12 new investments and exited 12 businesses.

During that time, the investment team has helped numerous ambitious teams successfully grow, resulting in the generation of hundreds of jobs across the UK.

In addition, the Key team has been strengthened with a number of new recruits across both its Leeds and London offices, as well as several promotions across investment, management and finance.

Hall said: “I would like to thank Owen for his contribution to the firm over the past 11 years.

“Owen has been an integral part of the team, particularly in the early years. We look forward to Owen continuing to contribute to the firm in his role as a partner.

“I am also extremely proud of what Key and the management teams we have backed have achieved.

“We have invested in some outstanding businesses and supported their management to grow and thrive despite a multitude of global challenges.

“Significant recognition must go to the management teams who have steadfastly stuck to their beliefs, invested in people, systems and infrastructure and have built robust, exciting and sustainable businesses. We have loved being a part of it.”