Jyh Lee, Falconer Chester Hall
Richard Bell

This week’s North West appointments

Jyh Lee, Falconer Chester Hall

Architecture practice Falconer Chester Hall (FCH) has added to its Liverpool team with the appointment of senior architect Jyh Lee.

Jyh joined the firm from Stephenson Studio in Manchester, where he was a partner and director and worked for over 20 years.

According to FCH, his projects to date have garnered 50 international and national architectural and interior design awards.

Commenting on his appointment, Jyh said: “I am pleased to have joined Falconer Chester Hall which is a growing practice not only here in the North West, but also nationally and internationally.”

Jyh’s previous projects have included various scales of mixed-use development, commercial development and leisure schemes, as well as the refurbishment and remodelling of listed buildings.

He has also worked on several schemes for hotel operators Motel One, Intercontinental and Premier Inn.

FCH managing director Adam Hall said: “This is a significant appointment for us as it adds another senior and experienced design professional to our team at a time when we are actively engaged in several significant commissions including the Infinity towers for Elliot Group and The Lexington at Princes Dock for Moda Living.”

L-R (back) Richard Roberts, Alison Saul and Gurdeep Singh, with (front) Sophie Baxter, Rachael Payne and Catherine Donnelly

Six appointments, Your Legal Friend

Law firm Your Legal Friend has welcomed a raft of new trainee solicitors onto its learning and development programme.

The six newcomers have joined the Birkenhead company’s two-year scheme to gain experience in the areas of personal injury, clinical negligence, personal injury, professional negligence and accidents-illnesses abroad.

Sophie Baxter, Rachael Payne, Gurdeep Singh, Catherine Donnelly, Richard Roberts and Magdalena Smacka will work closely with qualified solicitors at Your Legal Friend on a range of cases.

The firm’s head of personal injury and training principal, Alison Saul, said: “Every year we welcome a new group of naturally talented trainees and invest significant time and resources to help them realise their full potential.

“Compared to many other firms the programme has a strong retention rate, with the majority of those who qualified over the last few years establishing themselves as excellent solicitors at Your Legal Friend.”

She added: “Their progression is a source of great pride and we’re looking forward to seeing this new cohort demonstrate their talent and passion over the next two years.”

Your Legal Friend chief operating officer Colin Gibson commented: “We’re committed to providing opportunities for those at the start of their law careers and take great satisfaction in helping to develop the next generation of high-quality litigation solicitors.

“We’re a significant employer in the local area with a diverse workforce that has an approximate 70/30 split of female and male employees, as well as a sizeable Polish-speaking contingent.”

He continued: “This creates a varied environment for all of our staff to develop and ensures we continue to provide the best service to our clients.”

Andrea Cropley and Kathrine Bancroft, Squire Patton Boggs

Law firm Squire Patton Boggs has appointed a new partner and director in its Manchester corporate team.

Andrea Cropley (right), the former northern head of corporate at Irwin Mitchell, has more than 20 years’ corporate finance experience.

Her previous work has seen her advise on deals for public and private UK and international companies, including IPOs, mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances.

Elsewhere, Kathrine Bancroft (left) has joined the corporate team as director.

Kathrine previously served as assistant company secretary and legal counsel at UK Biobank and deputy company secretary for the Co-operative Bank PLC.

At Squire Patton Boggs, her remit will include providing corporate regulatory and plc company secretarial services.

The head of Squire Patton Boggs’ Manchester Corporate team, Giles Chesher (pictured above), said: “We are delighted to welcome Andrea and Kathrine to the firm.

“Their arrival will add significant depth to the services we offer, increasing our cross-border expertise and building on our sector credentials in manufacturing, hospitality and leisure. We continue to invest in strengthening our team in the North, and Andrea and Kathrine follow several new associates who have joined our ranks over the past year.”

Paul Roberts, Working Time Solutions

Manchester tech firm Working Time Solutions has chosen a new chief technology officer.

Paul Roberts has more than 20 years of experience in software architecture, database design, public and private cloud computing and implementing complex international systems.

In his most recent role, Paul was head of development and delivery at SaaS-based global transaction technology company Fundtech FSC.

On the board of Working Time Solutions, Paul will lead a 12-strong technology team as it continues to develop the firm’s Work Suite product set and integrate the offer with client HR systems.

Working Time Solutions MD Kevin White said: “Paul has an impressive track record of developing technology and talent that delivers significant value to clients.

“Attracting someone of his calibre from the fintech industry demonstrates the strength of our proposition and it’s increasing relevancy.”

He continued: “Resourcing models are coming under increasing pressure from Brexit, technological disruption, customer expectations, rising labour costs and public scrutiny of employment arrangements.

“Our technology enables employers to create flexible working patterns that respond to changing demand, which is crucial to managing labour costs and maintaining a productive, healthy and happy workforce.”

Paul commented: “Demand-Led Rostering is a rapidly growing area of HR technology and I’m looking forward to helping clients deliver a step change in productivity and employee wellbeing.

“We have a strong platform and a clear roadmap to further enhance our SaaS, analytics, compliance and mobile functionality.”

Adam Stock (left) with VAT manager Mike Marsden

Adam Stock, Moore and Smalley

Moore and Smalley, the North West accountancy firm, has bolstered its VAT team.

Adam Stock joined the company in the role of assistant VAT manager following eight years at London-based Moore Stephens.

Following his appointment Adam, a specialist in compliance and international goods movement, will advise the region’s firms on VAT and compliance matters.

Moore and Smalley’s head of tax, Tony Medcalf, said: “VAT is a highly specialised and technical area, where it is essential for businesses to get it right.

“We’re seeing increased demand for VAT advice in the wake of Article 50 being triggered. While nothing is certain on the implications of Brexit, businesses are already reviewing their internal systems to ensure they will be able to calculate VAT correctly.”

He added: “Investing in our team gives our clients the best advice, support and forward planning service.”

Adam commented: “After being based in London for such a long time, the relocation to Moore and Smalley has been a breath of fresh air.

“The firm values and develops its staff. It is a really exciting time to be joining the team.”

Rosie Grant and Tom Gurrie, Vernon Building Society

Stockport-based Vernon Building Society has this week announced two appointments.

Tom Gurrie has been appointed as the mutual society’s intermediary sales manager, while Rosie Grant is now its operations manager.

Tom, who has over 35 years’ experience in the mortgage industry, previously worked as intermediary sales director at the Chelsea Building Society, which at the time was the UK’s fifth largest.

Tom said: “The Vernon has historically obtained the majority of its mortgages through its branch network, however it recognises that in order to achieve its growth ambitions it needs to grow the intermediary side of the business.

“I need to make local brokers aware of our excellent products, flexible lending criteria and high service standards.”

The Vernon’s director of sales and marketing, Ian Keeling, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Tom to the team and feel very lucky to have someone of his calibre to lead our intermediary strategy.

“As a smaller lender with mortgage decisions made by people and not computers, we feel we have the products and the flexibility to serve the customers with more unusual circumstances that will often turn to a mortgage broker for advice, as well as the straightforward cases.”

As operations manager, Rosie will develop and deliver a people development programme, through which the Vernon can further enhance the skills and expertise of its team.

Prior to her appointment, Rosie gained experience in managing service teams across the bank and building society sectors.

Rosie commented: “It is a privilege to be asked to do this – The Vernon has a loyal team working for it and already receives some excellent feedback from its customers, however by developing its people’s skills and knowledge further we can really stand out from the competition.”

Mike Hanson, chief exec at the Vernon, said: “It’s great to have Rosie on board. Everyone within the society is engaging in this programme which will benefit employees and customers alike.”

Michael Spencer, Chartered Institute of Taxation (Merseyside)

The Chartered Institute of Taxation’s (CIOT) Merseyside branch has appointed a new chairperson.

Michael Spencer (pictured right) is currently vice chair and assistant manager at the Liverpool office of business advisory firm Grant Thornton, where he has worked for the last three years.

During his time with Grant Thornton, Michael has specialised in advising entrepreneurs and owner-managed businesses and has served as an active member of the CIOT’s committee.

Michael’s appointment saw him succeed former chairperson and fellow Grant Thornton colleague Rob Adams (left), who has held the position since 2014.

Commenting on his appointment, Michael said: “With the raft of changes that the UK tax legislation is set to undergo over the next 12 months, there’s never been a more important time for tax experts to maintain their professional development.

“During Rob’s tenure he has built an industry-leading programme of CPD events and organised a raft of networking events, featuring heavyweight speakers, which have had great engagement from the wider Merseyside business community.”

He added: “I’m delighted to pick up the mantle from him and look forward to further developing the CIOT’s presence in the region.”

Neil Sturmey, Grant Thornton’s Liverpool-based tax partner, commented: Neil Sturmey, tax partner at Grant Thornton’s Liverpool office, added: “As Merseyside’s largest business advisers, Grant Thornton is committed to promoting professional standards and personal development in the region.

“We have been long-term supporters of the CIOT, and Michael’s selection is a real vote of confidence in the firm, and our people. I’d like to congratulate him on the appointment and commend Rob for his work over the last three years.”

Tom Mooney and Chris Graves, Stephensons

Stephensons, the law firm with six offices across the North West and a presence in London, has announced the appointment of Tom Mooney and Chris Graves to its partnership.

Chris joined Stephensons as a student, going on to qualify as a solicitor in 2007. In the 10 years since, he has worked with the company’s commercial law department specialising in high-value commercial property acquisitions and sales.

He is based in the firm’s office in Middlebrook, Bolton.

Tom, meanwhile, has worked for Stephensons since 2006, qualifying in 2010. He deals exclusively in medical negligence cases and is based at the company’s Wigan Investment Centre office.

Chris said: “Having started my career with Stephensons, I am delighted to be appointed to the partnership of the firm.

“I am relishing the opportunity to further shape Stephensons’ growing commercial law department.”

Tom commented: “To have progressed from trainee, to qualified solicitor, associate and now partner with Stephensons is an incredible privilege.

“The partnership has an unmatched level of expertise across several specialisms and I am proud to be joining them.”

Ann Harrison, Stephensons chairwoman, said of the appointments: “We are very pleased to be able to welcome Tom and Chris to the partnership.

“We are also proud to say that each have achieved this having joined the firm as trainees, showing considerable dedication to their teams, to Stephensons and our clients.”

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