Image: Napthens' Diane France and Andrew Holden

This week’s North West appointments

Diane France, Napthens

Napthens, a law firm with offices across Lancashire and Cumbria, has expanded its rural team with the appointment of a new solicitor.

Diane France, who is qualified as a barrister and solicitor, obtained her law degree at Lancaster University and trained at Bolton-headquartered law firm Keoghs.

Joining the team at Napthens’ Blackburn-based East Lancashire office, Diane will advise clients on a range of matters, including those related to the rural sector such as agricultural tenancies, land and property purchases and option agreements.

The head of Napthens’ rural department, Andrew Holden, said: “Diane joins us with a true understanding of the issues affecting the rural industry, having grown up on a farm where she is still playing an active role.

“Her rural background and in-depth knowledge of the day-to-day business of running a farm strengthen our team and truly benefit our clients.”

Pictured L-R: Simon Price with MD John Chesworth

Simon Price, Harrison Drury

Harrison Drury, the Preston-headquartered law firm with five offices across the North West, has chosen lawyer Simon Price to lead its people and client development functions.

Simon, whose has previously held roles with both national and international law firms, including DLA Piper and DWF, has been appointed as a director.

With experience as a professional development coach and mentor, having developed a UK-wide education and employability programme for young people at DWF, at Harrison Drury Simon will work to help employees realise their potential.

He commented: “Harrison Drury is a firm with strong leadership, a real sense of purpose and a clear vision.

“Our values driven culture provides an excellent environment for our people to develop their potential and in doing so help make Harrison Drury the legal employer of choice in the region, as well as being real alternative to Liverpool and Manchester.”

He continued: “I am particularly looking forward to getting out and about around Lancashire and South Cumbria to meet our clients and other business leaders to understand more about the current business challenges they face and how Harrison Drury can make it possible for them to achieve their goals.”

Harrison Drury’s MD, John Chesworth, said a large part of the firm’s growth strategy focuses on developing its workforce.

He said the aim is to “[make] Harrison Drury a place where [employees] can flourish. This is evident in the high calibre of recruits we’ve attracted in recent times and our low staff turnover rates.

“Simon has an unparalleled track record in devising and delivering training and mentoring programmes that help lawyers and aspiring lawyers realise their potential. His experience will be a huge asset to us.”

Phil Jones, Chartered Management Institute

Phil Jones, the managing director of Manchester-headquartered tech firm Brother UK, has been named as a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

Phil, who was recognised for his business achievements and leadership skills, said the organisation has an “amazing” list of companion members.

Speaking further, he said: “I’m genuinely humbled to be appointed to the companionship.

“Everything I’ve learned in my career has been from the advice of great books, people and practice and I look forward to continuing to share all that I know with the next generation of budding businesspeople and entrepreneurs.”

Phil was appointed as Brother UK’s MD two years ago, having joined the firm in 1995 as a fax machine salesman.

The CMI’s North West chairman, John Morgan, commented: “Our goal is to raise the standards and practices of management up to those of other professions, and companions play a crucial role in this.

“We’re pleased to be welcoming Phil into the fold so he can share his leadership expertise developed through the forward thinking approach he has brought to Brother.”

Nico Spyrou, Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport has appointed Nico Spyrou to the position of travel trade marketing manager.

Joining the airport after roles at travel company STA Travel UK, digital agency Capture Marketing and marketing consultancy JUXDIT, Nico holds an MBA in business management obtained from Liverpool Business School.

Nico said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining Manchester Airport at such an exciting time in its history, with record-breaking numbers of passengers using the airport, and the £1bn Terminal Transformation project ahead.

“Manchester and Liverpool are two fantastic ‘Northern Powerhouse Cities’, alongside the likes of Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield, Hull and beyond, so I am looking forward to working on behalf of the ‘Gateway Airport for the North of England’ to strengthen ties with the trade in these areas.”

Nico’s new role will see him become the main contact for all trade-related activity at the airport.

He will also organise and deliver events across Manchester Airport’s catchment area, which includes Merseyside and Yorkshire, as well as parts of the Midlands and Scotland.

The head of marketing at Manchester Airport, Patrick Alexander, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Nico to the team during this period of growth following the successful ‘Fly Manchester’ marketing campaign to win back passengers in our catchment who fly from other airports.

“Nico has a wealth of expertise in travel marketing and coming from Liverpool originally, we hope he will also help us tap into the Merseyside mind-set and encourage people from Liverpool and the surrounding areas to choose Manchester Airport ahead of London, when it comes to long haul flying.”

Alexander Patt and Nick Bennett, Alexander Knight & Co

Alexander Knight & Co, the Manchester-based accountancy firm, has welcomed two new faces in its growing team.

Alexander Patt and Nick Bennett, who have both joined the company as assistant accountants, will provide management accounting and bookkeeping services, in addition to back office support.

Nick, who has achieved Level 2 in the AAT qualification, joined Alexander Knight & Co through the government-backed apprenticeship scheme, while Alexander has been hired on a part-time basis while he studies towards his A-levels at Manchester Grammar School.

Alexander Knight & Co’s head of marketing, Alison Spier, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Nick and Alexander to the team and we’re committed to investing in the next generation of accountants.

“We’ve got a three year plan to recruit more apprentices into our team as well as continuing to attract experienced accountants from other practices.”

She continued: “The development and progression of talented apprentices is the lifeblood of many entrepreneurial businesses within our client base.

“We’re excited about developing our apprentices into skilled and fully qualified professionals.”

The firm plans to create more jobs for young people in the next three years.

Pictured: MD Andy Ratcliffe

Four hires, Key Digital

Burnley-based photocopier and print solutions company Key Digital has hired four new members of staff after participating in Boost Business Lancashire’s Growth Mentoring initiative.

The business took on four new team members, two full time and two part time.

Managing director Andy Ratcliffe contacted Boost about the Growth Mentoring programme and was paired with business growth mentor Paul Aisthorpe.

Paul, who works for Community & Business Partners, which delivers the initiative, then helped Andy create a business development plan.

Andy said: “Paul’s support has been instrumental in giving the team clarity and remaining focused on the key goals of the company.

“It is no coincidence that our fast period of growth has followed from working with Paul.”

He continued: “It was crucial to have a sounding board – someone who had experienced business growth and all the challenges that come with this.

“Also, I needed someone who could ask the important questions to ensure the strategy I came up with would achieve the right outcomes.”

Laura Callaghan and Emma Palmer, Taylor Lynn Corporation

Events management firm Taylor Lynn Corporation (TLC) has made two new appointments at its headquarters in Manchester.

Emma Palmer, the firm’s new events manager, has four years’ experience at TEP Events International and tech firm Hewlett Packard.

At TLC, her role includes putting together corporate events and weddings.

Laura Callaghan, meanwhile, will be an intern at TLC for the next 12 months, planning private and corporate events.

TLC’s managing director, Liz Taylor, commented: “We’ve taken on two new members of staff who both bring with them a creative flair along with the ability to understand clients and a passion for implementing the best events in the UK and around the world.

“We’re looking forward to the challenges ahead!”

The firm has reported a 20% year-on-year increase in the number of Christmas event bookings.

Commenting on the increase, Liz said: “We’re forecasting good growth in our private events business of around 30% by the end of the financial year and a small increase in the corporate market, but with Christmas event bookings a real highlight by rising strongly once again.

“Budgets for festive events have risen slightly, mainly in recognition of increased costs rather than a real terms growth though, but I am delighted that more businesses are once again investing in their festive recognition and reward events.”

Rory O’Leary, CBRE

CBRE’s Manchester office has boosted its North West lease consultancy team with the appointment of Rory O’Leary as associate director.

Rory, who previously worked as an estates manager for the North West & Central and Eastern regions with The Co-Operative, has more than 13 years’ experience handling lease renewals, rent reviews and re-gears on commercial property.

At CBRE, he will work with clients including private landlords, retailers and occupiers.

Commenting on his appointment, Rory said: “Joining CBRE is a fantastic opportunity and I am looking forward to working at a company that provides access to a huge and diverse client base.

“The role will allow me to use my previous client-side experience to provide clients with an excellent service and opportunities to enhance value and promote much needed cost saving where possible.”

The Manchester-based lease consultancy team comprises associate director Gillian Bamford and director Fiona Halliwell.

Fiona commented: “We are delighted to welcome Rory to our growing CBRE team.

“Having previously worked together earlier in our careers, I am looking forward to continuing that working relationship on CBRE’s highly varied client base, to enable us to achieve potential future growth.”

Stuart Lees, KBS Corporate

Stuart Lees been appointed to the board of KBS Corporate, a company sale services firm based in Bolton.

Formerly the MD of corporate finance firm Altium Capital, Stuart is now a non-executive director at the Bolton-based business.

Commenting on his appointment, Stuart said: “I was attracted to KBS Corporate for a number of reasons. Firstly, it has unrivalled technology to match vendors with potential buyers.

“Secondly, the company is owned and managed by entrepreneurs and, in today’s market, I believe that individuals who are looking to sell their business want like-minded people who have been there and done it.”

He continued: “Finally, the firm has excellent relationships in the finance and private equity markets.

“Therefore, I believe KBS Corporate is set to become a disruptive influence in the marketplace and I am delighted to join the board to help further develop this ambitious firm.”

Stuart’s appointment comes at a time of rapid growth for the firm. In the last five weeks, KBS has completed five deals and invested a seven-figure sum in the purchase of Springfield Court business park in Bolton.

In addition to his five years as the managing director of Manchester-based Altium Capital, Stuart also spent 26 years with accounting company Arthur Andersen and professional services firm Deloitte.

Further, Stuart is an investor and entrepreneur, having backed a number of high-growth businesses, including Harrogate-based Nationwide Window Cleaning.

Antonia Staples and Sarah Monaghan, Wealthcare

Bury-based financial advisory firm Wealthcare has promoted an apprentice and recruited another.

Antonia Staples, who is studying towards a diploma in business administration, has joined the administrative support team at Wealthcare through Bury College’s apprenticeship programme.

Meanwhile, the first apprentice at Wealthcare, Sarah Monaghan, has received a promotion.

Sarah, who joined the company as an office junior in 2013, is now a mortgage administrator. In her new role, she will offer administrative support to mortgage advisors, speak with lenders and clients and handle new mortgage applications.

Wealthcare’s joint MD, Stephen Cainer, said: “We are thrilled to once again team up with Bury College to recruit locally through its apprenticeship programme.

“We are keen to nurture local talent and help young people to develop their careers with us, while at the same time bringing new ideas and innovation to the business.”

He added: “Sarah made considerable progress during almost three years at Wealthcare, resulting in this well-deserved promotion.”

Lisa Carter, Meliá Hotels International

Spanish group Meliá Hotels International, which operates the INNSIDE Manchester hotel at First Street, has appointed Lisa Carter to the role of global account manager.

Following her appointment, Lisa will work alongside INNSIDE Manchester’s general manager, Adam Munday, as well as director of Sales Nikki Corcoran, to enhance the hotel’s international business.

Prior to her new role, Lisa spent six years as the international sales manager at the Manchester Central conference centre. Her work with Meliá Hotels International will include operating across the group’s seven hotel brands and acting as an ambassador for INNSIDE Manchester.

She commented: “I am looking forward to the challenge of increasing Meliá Hotels International awareness with clients based in the North of the UK and building the knowledge about the different brands, in particular INNSIDE by Meliá.”

Lisa’s appointment comes during a period of rapid expansion for Meliá Hotels International. The group is due to open further INNSIDE hotels in Birmingham and Glasgow in 2017, with another set to launch in New York before the end of 2016.

INNSIDE Manchester’s general manager, Adam Munday, commented: “Lisa has a wealth of experience in developing international trade and we welcome her to INNSIDE Manchester and Melia Hotels International.

“She will be a brilliant ambassador for the INNSIDE brand in Manchester and we look forward to developing together.”

Three new partners, gunnercooke

Law firm gunnercooke has appointed three new partners at its Manchester office.

Marlene Hession and Melloney Guiver are now partners in employment, while Karen Wilson has become a partner in real estate.

Founding partner Darryl Cooke commented: “gunnercooke was established to challenge the traditional law firm model.

“We exist for two reasons: to give a better service to clients than a traditional firm is able to do because of its time-bound approach, and to create an environment that lawyers can thrive in.”

She continued: “I believe our growth shows that we are getting a lot of things right as we aim to achieve these primary goals. We focus on culture and behaviours. Our success is our output.”

gunnercooke has doubled its partner headcount since October 2014 and expects it to double again by the end of next year.

Our Partners