Category Archives: Appointments

Richard Grafton Interiors Celebrates New Designer & Investment

Richard Grafton Interiors showroom in Wetherby is celebrating its third birthday with the appointment of experienced interior designer Rosie Tangi as it invests in a £75,000 contemporary new look for its high-profile showroom in the market town.

Rosie, who has ten years’ experience in interior design, returns to the Richard Grafton Interiors team having spent five years working for the business before taking a career break in 2018 to have her children.

Having worked in the Harrogate showroom, Rosie moved across to Richard Grafton Interiors’ showroom in Ilkley. In her new role, she will be based at the Wetherby showroom, joining well-known interior design specialists Donna Schofield and Karen Draper who manage the showroom, supported by Leona Connelly.

After completely redeveloping a historic premises on the high street three years ago and opening in the midst of Covid restrictions, the Yorkshire interiors, architecture and design business is taking the opportunity to re-launch its Wetherby showroom with an updated, contemporary look. Clients, old and new, are invited to enjoy a shopping weekend on Friday 23rd June and Saturday 24th June and see the brand-new room sets for themselves.

Comprising a fully-furnished dining room, sitting room, bathroom and bedroom, the room sets showcase the company’s hand-crafted cabinetry offer and designer furniture as well as its huge range of design-led interiors products, including unusual pieces sourced from the Maison & Objet Design Show in Paris. The showroom also features a design studio equipped with hundreds of fabrics, wall coverings and flooring libraries.

Director Charlotte Grafton comments: “Having been part of the Richard Grafton team for five years, we are well-aware of Rosie’s talents and passion for interior design – we’re genuinely delighted that she has chosen to re-join us. With her experience of working with younger clients, she adds strength in depth to our Wetherby designers, and her flair for classic contemporary looks fits perfectly with the Richard Grafton style and our clients’ tastes.”

“Over the last three years, our Wetherby showroom has built a loyal following from within the town and surrounding areas. We’re keen to expand our architectural design capabilities, including our kitchen, bathroom, dressing room and media cabinet offering, by growing the team here and continuing to invest in inspiring clients with the most up-to-date but classic room designs. Our ability to deliver complete, turnkey solutions, even on a large scale, is proving extremely popular with time-poor clients who are turning to us to provide all of their needs under one roof, from conception to project management. We’re even seeing Yorkshire-based clients coming to us for international projects, designing interiors for their holiday homes from France to the Caribbean!”

Rosie adds: “Returning to Richard Grafton Interiors feels like coming home. I’m exciting to be working with the fantastic team in Wetherby to develop our following here, and look forward to bringing our design expertise to a younger market who we believe will be inspired by the diverse range of installations and interior design-led products showcased in our stunning new room sets.”

GNG Appoints New Commercial Director

Experienced sales director Richard Gretton has been appointed as commercial director at GNG Group as the West Yorkshire business continues to drive the growth of its consumer, contract and medical mattress division.

With over 25 years’ sales experience, Richard’s long track record includes working within the furniture industry. He joins from Hypnos Beds where he spent almost six years as global retail sales director. Prior to that, he was commercial director at Castelan Group where he launched new strategic services across the furniture, leisure and hotel markets. He also spent over three years as commercial development director at Homeserve plc as well as having been commercial director of Valspar UK.

A strong commercial and operational professional, Richard’s expertise includes marketing management, negotiation, business planning, market planning and operations management.

With purpose-built 40,000sq ft manufacturing facilities in Normanton, West Yorkshire, which opened just last year, GNG has grown into one of the leaders in British mattress manufacture, supplying retailers and hospitality providers across the UK as well as being an approved supplier to the NHS.

In his new role with GNG, Richard will lead the sales operation for the expanding mattress division which includes its Komfi vacuum-packed mattress brand, featuring recycled Ecofoam and luxury Sonlevo mattresses with unique TrueGel grid system technology.

“With his exceptional track record of success within the industry, Richard will play a pivotal role in spearheading the further growth of our mattress division,” says GNG Group managing director Darren Potterton. “Having increased capacity by over 300% with the opening of our Normanton facilities last summer, we have ambitious expansion plans to continue to build our customer base.”

“Richard’s appointment comes at a crucial time as we embark on the next chapter of planned growth in the UK. His strategic vision and business acumen, together with his industry insights and ability to forge strong relationships, will be instrumental in positioning our company to capitalise on emerging opportunities and further enhance our capabilities.”

Richard adds: “With a 40-year manufacturing heritage, GNG has become one of the leading names in British-made mattresses. Known for quality, service and product innovation, I am excited to be joining a fast-growing business where I believe I can make a real difference. While the company has made impressive progress in recent years, there are still new markets to be explored and I am looking forward to using my skills to bring GNG’s outstanding products to a wider audience.”

Headquartered in Normanton, GNG Group was established in 1987 and now employs more than 130 people across the group. It has become an international brand leader and supplier of foam-based products, primarily serving the medical, consumer and sports sectors.

Lindenmeyr Appoints Source

Leeds-based performance-led marketing communications agency, Source has been appointed to handle PR, social media and internal communications for one of the world’s leading pulp and paper sales companies, Lindenmeyr International.

Lindenmeyr offers a wide range of paper, packaging, and print solutions for a large roster of growing commercial clients. The company is a subsidiary of Central National Gottesman Inc. (CNG) and has set its sights on rapid global growth outside of North America, following investment and a business restructure.

Source will provide strategic advice and execute targeted communication plans to strengthen Lindenmeyr International’s reputation across its core business sectors, which include retail, print and publishing. In addition, the team will handle all internal comms at a time when the business is experiencing rapid growth.

Daniel Kennedy, a director at Source, said: “We’re delighted to have won this multi-faceted instruction from Lindenmeyr International and are relishing the challenge of handling comms, both internally and externally, at such an exciting time for the business.”

Stewart Clough, commercial director at Lindenmeyr International added: “We’re excited to appoint Source to elevate our brand through strategic public relations and social media, and mirror these messages to our ever growing team across the UK and beyond.”

Regional Growth With New Business Development Director

Scott Wood’s appointment as a new business development director at Leeds-based Reward Finance Group accelerates its growth plans in Yorkshire and further increases its profile in the corporate space.

With Reward a leading provider of tailored business finance loans and asset based solutions in Yorkshire and nationwide, Scott arrives with an extensive professional network across corporate finance and accountancy.

Having worked at some of the UK’s major banks for over 16 years, Scott joins from HSBC where he was a relationship director and worked closely with a portfolio of mid-corporate businesses to provide a range of financial solutions.

A key part of his role will be working alongside founding director Dave Jones to drive business development growth across Yorkshire with a specific focus on larger transactions to build on the growth Reward has already seen in this space.

Speaking about joining Reward, Scott commented: “Reward’s excellent reputation and rapid expansion across Scotland, the Midlands and London and the South East were key factors behind my decision to join the business. In my short time here so far, I have already seen Reward’s refreshing approach to supporting its clients and its ability to do so at speed.”

“I feel my experience across both private and corporate banking will only support Reward’s flexible, common sense approach towards lending. I’m really pleased to be on board and very excited about my future progression within the company.”

Gemma Wright, Reward’s regional director for Yorkshire and the North East, added: “Scott’s appointment is a real boost to our business both nationally and across Yorkshire where we have a long-established reputation. His remit is to further increase our activity in the £1m to £10m lending arena where we have seen a marked uptick since the start of the pandemic.”

“Scott brings a wealth of financial experience and professional contacts that will generate larger opportunities for Reward, particularly amongst accountancy and advisory firms that advise our typical target client base.”

Two New Appointments For Clarion

Clarion’s private wealth team, one of the largest dedicated teams in the north, has appointed another two lawyers bringing it to a team of ten. Brindley Meredith joins as an associate solicitor and Natalie Goldfinch as an experienced paralegal.

Brindley is a six year qualified solicitor and has spent the last five years with a firm in London. As well as having extensive experience of managing matters for wealthy individuals, including inheritance tax planning, trusts and wills, he has specialist knowledge of acting for commercial property owners.

In addition, Natalie Goldfinch has joined the Clarion team as a paralegal with over three years’ experience and a particular expertise in trust administration.

Stephanie Parish, legal director in Clarion’s private wealth team, commented: “It’s great to be attracting the best talent as we continue to grow. These latest appointments add further depth and demonstrate Clarion’s commitment to invest in our strong private client offering.”

Gareth, legal director in the team, adds: “As a firm, we pride ourselves on taking care of all legal needs under one roof and this holistic approach is proving increasingly popular as clients turn to us to look after all their business and personal matters.”

Brindley explains: “Having heard great things about Clarion, when I was looking at moving back to Yorkshire, I was keen to talk to them. It quickly became apparent that Clarion would be a place I would enjoy working, and that the private wealth team would be not only a great personal fit, but would also provide a fantastic opportunity to further develop as a private wealth lawyer.”

Natalie comments: “Given the private wealth team’s strong regional and national reputation, coupled with its inter-departmental relationships, particularly with the contentious private client team, I’m excited that I will be collaborating on a wide variety of matters that promise to be highly interesting and rewarding. I was also attracted by Clarion’s positive culture as a firm that cares deeply for colleagues and the outstanding client service it provides.”

Record Number Of Promotions At Switalskis Group

The Switalskis group has promoted 25 employees to associate and senior associate positions in its largest ever cohort of promotions.

The promotions span the group, including people from the integrated Atherton Godfrey and Pryers Solicitors businesses, which were acquired by Switalskis in 2021. Twenty people have been promoted to associate solicitor, with five new senior associate appointments and director positions to be announced in the near future.

The growing law firm employs over 400 people working from offices in Yorkshire and London. The promotions include people working across the majority of departments including: conveyancing; mental health; clinical negligence; personal injury; commercial property; care; wills and probate; brain and spinal injury; family and child care; and Court of Protection.

The new senior associates are Ewan Bain, Georgina Peckett, Laura Taylor, Leesa Hullah and Tamlin Bolton. The newly promoted associates are Achita Singh, Becky Whitfield, Bianca Gaspar, Briony Ely, Charlotte Bettney, Christine Griffiths, Daniel Turner, Heather Smith, Jenny Di Sora, Kate Gelder, Katrina Elsey, Kristi Bateman, Laura Cates, Linda Smith, Mel Kelly, Ryan Dhinsa, Sarah Wildey, Sharon Woodward, Stephanie Turner and Stephen Bradley-Watson.

Switalskis’ Career Development Programme is designed to help colleagues take the next steps in their careers to become an associate, senior associate or director. The programme was created to bring clarity and transparency to the promotion process and to provide a valuable structure for career development.

Ruth Coneron, who chairs Switalskis’ Career Development Programme, says, “We are a people business and take pride in providing our staff with the opportunities to progress and to fulfil their career ambitions. That so many of our valued employees are progressing their careers with us is a good indication that our career progression paths are working well for our business.”

Says John Durkan, Switalskis group MD, “I’m delighted to see so many staff achieve associate and senior associate status, as these promotions will further bolster growth across the business as we continue to support the development of our people across the firm.”

New Appointments To Clarion Real Estate Practice

Clarion’s rapidly expanding real estate practice, which is one of the largest in Yorkshire, has appointed another two legal directors to the team.

With over 20 years of real estate experience, Catherine Rhodes specialises in real estate finance and corporate support transactions. She acts for both landlords and tenants in relation to commercial leases as well as managing many large-scale corporate support transactions involving the sale or acquisition of extensive freehold and leasehold property portfolios.

Catherine works mostly for owner managed businesses, lenders and individuals in addition to large corporates, across sectors including retail, manufacturing and transport/logistics.

With substantial experience of dealing with complex matters for a wide range of clients, Lisa Stratford has been a specialist property litigator for over 12 years. She acts for investors and developers in an advisory and risk management capacity and is regularly instructed to deal with a wide range of property-related insolvency matters.

Lisa also has extensive portfolio management experience, acting for both landlords and tenants, including lease renewal and termination proceedings, dilapidations claims and rent and service charge disputes and recovery. She is also instructed in general property litigation matters such as those concerning easements, breach of covenant and nuisance.

Martin Grange, partner and head of Clarion’s real estate practice, said: “We’re really pleased to be welcoming two such experienced commercial property lawyers to the team – both Catherine and Lisa provide further strength in depth as we continue to provide real estate property advice to businesses across Yorkshire. It’s vital that we continue to invest in talent as, despite the current economic concerns, we are seeing resilience within the region and have a strong pipeline of work. Our dedicated property litigation team, led by Sophie Morley, is a team that is going from strength to strength.”

Catherine Rhodes comments: “I’m excited to be joining one of the largest real estate teams in Yorkshire and one whose approach mirrors my own. Like Clarion, I believe it is vital to spend time getting to know a client’s business in detail and discussing exactly what their priorities are in order to deliver focussed and practical advice and establish a long-term relationship.”

Fellow legal director, Lisa Stratford adds: “Clarion has a reputation for being a straight-talking, client-focussed firm and I’m looking forward to adding my skills to its excellent real estate practice. Providing no-nonsense, clear advice, in order to solve clients’ problems, is at the heart of what I do.”

Clarion’s 43-strong Real Estate team, which includes six partners, provides a full range of property expertise from development, investment, asset management, corporate occupier work through to retail, leisure and secured lending.