Adam Kerr (centre) with members of Primas Law's Cheshire team
Adam Kerr (centre) with members of Primas Law's Cheshire team
Richard Bell

This week’s North West appointments

Five appointments, Primas Law

North West law firm Primas Law has announced five appointments at its Cheshire office.

The company has taken on Catherine Kerr as a senior associate to head up its employment law offering, and welcomed solicitors Lucy Nelson and Yasmin Musker to its litigation and corporate teams respectively.

Also appointed is trainee solicitor Rebecca Nichols, alongside Amy Davenport, a member of Primas’ executive support team.

Senior partner Adam Kerr said: “Catherine is a vastly experienced employment lawyer who will really help us push further into the employment law sector.

“Lucy and Yasmin have already been very well received by clients because of their respective skill sets. Both are very talented.”

He added: “These appointments give us the added capacity we need to continue offering first-rate work with an emphasis on quality service delivery.”

Elsewhere, Primas promoted Beth Wheatley, a litigator in the commercial team, to associate level.

Mike Blackburn, Institute of Directors North West

The Institute of Directors (IoD) has appointed a new North West chair.

Mike Blackburn OBE, who takes over following Mike Perls’ three-year tenure in the position, is currently the North West regional director at telecoms giant BT.

He is also chairman of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership.

In his new role, Mike will work with business leaders and the IoD’s sub-committees across the region to communicate local issues and steer national policy.

Mike Blackburn said: “I am absolutely honoured and thrilled to have been appointed as the region’s new chair.

“With this role comes great responsibility and, from the outset I want to affirm my commitment to our members; from day one I will use my voice to champion and promote the issues close to their hearts on a national stage.”

Tom Wilkinson and Rhiannon Graham, Calderpeel

Calderpeel Architects has added to its team by taking on two architectural trainees.

Rhiannon Graham and Tom Wilkinson, who have both completed undergraduate degrees in architecture, joined the Cheshire-based firm for their ‘part 1’ practical year in industry.

With Calderpeel, they will assist on a range of schemes in the residential and leisure sectors.

Tom said: “I was lucky enough to spend some time at the firm’s Surrey office through the RIBA mentoring scheme while at university.

“The process of becoming an architect is lengthy, so it was important to spend time with a company that could offer me experience in different sectors.”

Rhiannon commented: “Having the opportunity to take a year in industry really benefits students who, like me, don’t know which part of architecture they want to specialise in.

“Being able to get some hands-on experience in industry is really exciting.”

Calderpeel MD Ewen Miller said: “As a growing practice, it’s important that we keep the next generation of architects coming through.

“It’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to mentor both Tom and Rhiannon and I look forward to watching their careers grow.”

18 promotions, Your Legal Friend

Your Legal Friend, the Birkenhead law firm, has promoted 18 members of staff.

The promotions, representing more than 10% of its workforce, saw the following become paralegals:

  • Aileen Wood
  • Faye McKee
  • Jay Singh
  • Katarzyna Kacprzak
  • Klaudia Ksiadz
  • Monika Kruszynska
  • Eliza Kubik
  • Dominika Szejko

Further, Zoe Hazlehurst has become a legal cashier, Sam White a marketing assistant and Nathan Mason a permanent member of the service desk team. All three were previously apprentices with the firm.

The other promoted staff are:

  • John King (now group marketing director)
  • Holly Coogan (fixed costs negotiator)
  • Kate Avery (assistant fee earner)
  • Lauren Acton (senior legal cashier)
  • Mike Ivory (senior costs negotiator)
  • Stephanie Smith (legal assistant)
  • Lydia Brindley (deputy head of medical negligence, covering maternity leave)

Elsewhere, Your Legal Friend strengthened its medical negligence team, with Mark Thomason and Carly Saxon becoming accredited APIL senior litigators and Sara Stanger joining the Law Society clinical negligence panel.

Colin Gibson, CEO of Your Legal Friend, said: “Although we’ve made several key hires over the past 18 months, we’re also an organisation that firmly believes in growing from within and we consistently invest in nurturing, developing and rewarding our employees.”

Siri Siriwardene, BLM

Insurance and risk law firm BLM has appointed Siri Siriwardene as head of commercial advisory and private wealth.

Siri previously worked for Slater and Gordon as head of general law UK. He has more than 20 years of experience in running teams and departments within international companies, with 16 of those years spent in the legal sector.

BLM senior partner Michael Brown commented: “In the short time since the team’s launch, I’ve been hugely impressed by the level of talent and expertise we have been able to add to BLM through our commercial advisory offering, and how positively this new stream has been welcomed by existing clients and prospects both in the UK and internationally.

“Siri’s appointment further strengthens our positioning and will play a key role in the continued implementation of our ambitious growth strategy.”

He continued: “This new role will ensure that our clients continue to receive a first-rate service whilst we drive forward diversification, enabling the team to further its standing as the trusted partner of choice for SMEs, large corporates and private wealth managers.”

Siri commented: “I joined BLM as it is an organisation renowned for putting its clients first, whilst constantly looking at how it innovates and improves the services it provides.

“This area of the business, although well-established, provides a great opportunity for growth and I’m excited to be able to lead and develop it in the coming years.”

Colin Johnson and Rob Page, Manchester Creative Digital Assets

Manchester Creative Digital Assets (MCDA), the new business set up to run The Sharp Project and Space Studios in Manchester, has announced two changes to its senior team.

Rob Page, formerly finance director, has moved into the role of commercial director. He first joined The Sharp Project in 2016 from advertising agency Cheetham Bell JWT.

Colin Johnson, meanwhile, is MCDA’s new director of screens and facilities. He has been involved in various roles with both The Sharp Project and Space Studios, but will now be responsible for the management and business development of the latter in a full-time capacity.

Rob said: “We are entering a really exciting phase at both The Sharp Project and Space Studios as we work towards our further expansion and growth.

“I am passionate about Manchester and the creative, digital sector, and I am delighted to embark on this new role within the organisation. It is great to have Colin on board too; he is an excellent addition to the team at Space Studios.”

Colin commented: “I’ve been involved with Space Studios since it was established so it is great to join the team full time.

“With the recent expansion of the site and our continued work with international major production companies such as Tiger Aspect and Big Talk it’s a really exciting time for Space Studios Manchester.”

Shane McCamley, Hodder + Partners

Architecture practice Hodder + Partners has appointed senior project architect Shane McCamley.

Shane gained his degree at The University of Manchester and has now 15 years’ experience, including roles with Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron and Stanton Williams, both in London.

Most recently, he worked for Stephenson Bell Architects in Manchester.

Hodder + Partners chairman Stephen Hodder MBE said: “It’s fantastic that an architect of Shane’s pedigree is joining us as we continue our journey into 2018.

“The projects Shane has worked on speak for themselves which is why we believe he will help us further improve our offer across all sectors, including in education, office and residential, transport and heritage.”

He added: “It’s no secret, following our 25th anniversary year in 2017, that the next 12 months is a year of delivery. We have some very significant projects and are in a great position to take on more interesting projects too.”

Shane said: “Hodder and Partners is an architectural practice that has long been on my radar due to the quality of work it has produced over more than two decades.

“Manchester is also a city I’m passionate about and I’m looking forward to being involved in a number of significant projects in the city and in other parts of the UK.”

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