Ian Massey and Lucy Craig, Craig Healthcare.
Jane Imrie

This week's North East appointments

Ian Massey, Craig Healthcare

North East dementia care provider Craig Healthcare has appointed Ian Massey as group finance director.

Formerly a relationship director at Santander, Ian has 35 years of experience in financial services, having worked for organisations such as Alliance & Leicester, Yorkshire Bank and NatWest Bank.

Ian will work with managing director Lucy Craig and the senior management team to deliver an ambition of the acquisition or build of a new care home in the next 12 to 18 months.

Managing director Lucy commented: “Bringing Ian in as group finance director is a huge milestone for Craig Healthcare and where I want to take the business.

“We provide residential and specialist dementia care of the highest quality and that’s our USP - it’s what always has and always will differentiate us from other care provision across the region. Ian shares a similar ethos to me - care comes first; the rest follows.”

Ian added: “Craig Healthcare has a very strong vision and bespoke social purpose and I am excited to join the organisation.

“My immediate objective is to ensure Craig Healthcare maintains its financial strength. Once I’ve got under the skin of the business a bit more, I will look to make small improvements to its financial position that will drive efficiency and stability.”

Victoria Atkinson and Adam Wilson, Blumilk

Branding agency Blumilk has appointed Victoria Atkinson as head of marketing and Adam Wilson as head of account management.

Relocating from Merseyside, Victoria has a background in professional services marketing, as well as a degree from Northumbria University.

Victoria commented: “I’ve wanted to return to the North East for years after falling in love with the region whilst at university.

“I was sold on the vision of Blumilk, the culture of the business and most of all the people. I’m excited to assist in pushing the company forward and disrupting the marketplace in cool new interesting ways.”

Adam joins from Virgin Money having worked in customer communications and marketing for his entire career.

Adam explained: “I am very pleased to have joined Blumilk in a new role and rejoin agency life – something I have missed! Working with Blumilk’s great portfolio of clients is something I can’t wait to get stuck into”.

Blumilk’s client director Lauren Hindhaugh added: “Victoria and Adam both bring a wealth of experience, from different sectors and in different roles.

“We are constantly evolving as a company and to be able to welcome two new department heads is a testament to the incredible successes Blumilk have enjoyed in recent months.”

Abby Dorani and Tom Bridge, Hay & Kilner

Regional law firm Hay & Kilner has appointed Abby Dorani and Tom Bridge as solicitors.

Abby Dorani and Tom Bridge have both undertaken four blocks of six months in different departments within the Newcastle-headquartered firm, which helped them gain a range of practical legal experience and identify their particular strengths and areas of interest.

After completing two vacation placements with Hay & Kilner during her French & Spanish degree at Edinburgh University and then taking her Graduate Diploma in Law, Abby joined the firm in 2016 as a paralegal in its residential property unit.

Abby then passed her Legal Practice Course and began her training contract in the following year, working in the firm’s commercial property, clinical negligence and corporate departments during her training before joining the corporate team.

Tom graduated from Newcastle University in 2015 with a first in English Language and returned to the North East two years later after completing his Graduate Diploma in Law and Legal Practice Course qualifications.

He undertook training seats with Hay & Kilner’s private client, family, clinical negligence and commercial property teams before taking a solicitor role in the private client team, with a particular specialism in wills, trusts and tax planning.

Jonathan Waters, managing partner at Hay & Kilner, commented: “Abby and Tom have both shown themselves to be highly-capable practitioners and have more than justified the faith we showed in choosing them for our training scheme.

“As well as developing their practical legal knowledge as part of our highly-qualified teams, they have also been able to experience the professional and client service standards that we adhere to as a firm, which will hold them in good stead as they develop their careers with us.”

Peter Sayer, Omega Plastics Group (OPG)

Plastics specialist Omega Plastics Group (OPG) has appointed Peter Sayer as group commercial director.

A qualified chartered engineer, Peter has experience in manufacturing and engineering and has worked in a range of roles across the industry, including head of commercial for Responsive Engineering, sales director at Tharsus, commercial manager for Labone and operations manager at ARRK, alongside positions held at Alphaform, Moldsystems and Thorn.

Peter commented: “It’s an exciting time to be joining OPG, they are in an exhilarating period of growth and are implementing significant strategic decisions in order to support and further develop their ambitious plans.

“It’s great to come on board an established and successful manufacturer and look to see how we continue to grow by identifying new opportunities and cultivate our existing portfolio.

“I look forward to working with our fantastic teams across the Group to take OPG into the next stage of their journey.”

Craig Swinhoe, OPG’s group managing director, added: “Peter is a perfect fit to the OPG team.

“He has sector experience and an engineering background and has been instrumental in the growth and development of a number of high-profile manufacturing business in the North East over the last 15 years.”

Bal Manak, Luke Philpott, Francesca Lilley and Claire Duns, Square One Law

Commercial law firm Square One Law has made four new appointments to its team.

Bal Manak comes onboard as senior associate Luke Philpott joins as corporate associate, Francesca Lilley has been appointed as employment solicitor and Claire Duns has joined as digital marketing manager.

Bal joins the commercial property team, advising range of clients including employers, consultants, building contractors, funders and suppliers on commercial developments as well as developments in the housing, healthcare and education sector.

Bal commented: “I was impressed by the projects the real estate team has been involved with, including the redevelopment of the former Three Tuns Hotel, Durham to provide high quality student accommodation, as well as working with clients such as the South Tees Development Corporation, Highbridge plc and Muse Developments.”

Corporate associate, Luke Philpott qualified as a solicitor at national law firm TLT before joining boutique commercial firm Turner Parkinson, relocating to the North East from Manchester in 2018.

Luke commented: “I was attracted to Square One Law by the size of their corporate team and the quality of their clients. Some of the recent projects the team have worked on have been with Punjab Kitchen, Tekmar Group plc and NVM Private Equity.”

Francesca Lilley joins the employment team and has worked on an array of Employment Tribunals and on strategic projects in relation to redundancy, national minimum wage and output work, gender pay gap reporting and TUPE.

Square One Law has also created a new digital marketing position to support the brand and the firm’s growing online presence. Claire brings 10 years’ digital project management experience to the firm, having lived and worked in France before moving to London where she worked for Ralph Lauren and Marks and Spencer.

Claire returned to the North East in 2015 and worked agency side before joining Square One Law. She said: “I am very impressed by the significant investment Square One Law has made into its digital infrastructure and activity showing the commitment to continuous development as a forward-thinking business.

“I hope to continue to develop its multi-channel marketing strategy and increase the firm’s overall online presence.”

Commenting on the hires, managing partner Gill Hall said: “Clients are wanting a different experience and we are focussing on continued improvement of our service delivery and being more innovative in how we deliver those services.

“The legal marketplace is seeing great change, with increased mergers, but we are confident that our flatter and more agile structure, coupled with our enviable client base is continuing to attract talented people in all areas of our business.

“I am very pleased to welcome property senior associate Bal Manak, corporate associate, Luke Philpott, employment solicitor, Francesca Lilley, and digital marketing manager, Claire Duns.”

With a growing reputation for its strength and expertise in the Built Environment sector, the sizeable team at Ward Hadaway has continued to invest in talent on the back of another successful year.

Alistair McDonald, Olivia Brown, Sarah Hawkins, William Conway and Elizabeth Armett, Ward Hadaway

Alistair McDonald, Olivia Brown, Sarah Hawkins, William Conway and Elizabeth Armett have all been appointed following a year in which the team has seen a further 11 per cent growth in annual turnover taking them to revenue of £12.8m for its last full financial year.

Alistair McDonald has been appointed as business development manager for the Built Environment sector and is responsible for supporting the team as they nurture and grow the firm’s extensive list of real estate, construction, social housing and house builder clients across the three areas in which it operates: Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester.

He said: “It’s a real privilege to join the fantastic Built Environment Team at Ward Hadaway. I have been very impressed with everyone’s drive and commitment to our clients so far, they really do go the extra mile. We have an incredible platform to grow and develop from.”

Sarah Hawkins is a highly experienced property solicitor of 20 years and has worked for international and regional firms and also within local government.

She joins as an associate and is responsible for advising on a wide range of real estate work, with a particular emphasis on commercial property acquisitions and sales, real estate finance, landlord and tenant work and other property aspects of corporate and related transactions.

Sarah commented: “I am absolutely delighted to have joined the award-winning Built Environment Team at Ward Hadaway. I am really enjoying working with such a talented and experienced group of people who are determined to continue to build on their success.”

Olivia Brown joins Ward Hadaway as a solicitor specialising in freehold and leasehold site acquisitions and associated development arrangements. She will also advise commercial clients on all aspects of landlord and tenants work.

Commenting on her role, she said: “I am so impressed with the supportive and knowledgeable team at Ward Hadaway and I am looking forward to building relationships with the firm’s clients and finding solutions to deliver the deals that are important to their businesses, as well as continuing to develop my legal career here.”

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