People: Mather & Co; Back to the Garden Childcare; Booking.com; Keoghs; Maguire Family Law; Mason Advisory


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Wilmslow-based experience designers, Mather & Co, has appointed a new managing director, Kim Kherlopian.

Kim has spent the past three and half years working as project/build director at Mather & Co and previously spent 15 years as CEO of a multi-faceted museum fit-out company delivering world class projects across the African and European continent. Kim steps into this role with a wealth of industry experience, an excellent reputation for relationship building and strong strategic and leadership skills.

He said: “I’m incredibly excited to take on this new challenge, and look forward to expanding upon all the great work that has already been done. I am proud to be surrounded by an amazingly talented and creative team and look forward to the challenges of delivering the Mather and Co vision for years to come.”

Mather & Co is a multi-disciplinary design company, specialising in experience design across the sports, heritage, and entertainment sectors. Its work portfolio includes fascinating projects such as Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, Gretna Green Experience, Quarry Bank Mill, Silverstone Interactive Museum and The R&A World Golf Museum.

The design consultancy is currently working on projects such as Inverness Castle, Ipswich Museum, Durham History Centre, Discovery Point Dundee, and Manchester Town Hall.

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Back to the Garden Childcare has appointed Becky Bevan as deputy manager.

Reporting into nursery manager Ann Marie Ellison, Becky will help with the day-to-day running of the Warrington-based natural child-led day nursery on Sinderland Road.

Along with the rest of the team, Becky will observe activity across the setting, providing input, advice and training for individual staff members and ideas and activities to inspire the children and spark their engagement and imaginations.

Becky Bevan

Prior to joining Back to the Garden, she worked at another nursery, first as pre-school room leader and then as an early years teacher. Before the nursery, she was a reception teacher in a primary school but quickly decided that her passions lay with the younger children and the activities that take place pre-school in innovative nursery settings.

Becky said: “Back to the Garden has a great reputation and I have watched progress at the nursery from the day it opened. I was drawn to how much emphasis is on outdoor learning which is important to me, too, and I love the fabulous garden area and tepee.”

Nursery manager, Ann Marie Ellison, said: “It’s fantastic to see how wonderful Becky is with the children, she is the perfect addition to our team. I am looking forward to working closely with her.”

Based in Altrincham and coming soon to Lymm, Back to the Garden focuses on active learning through outdoor play in a stunning garden setting.

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Digital travel company Booking.com has welcomed 12 new software developers into its Manchester-based team as part of its ongoing partnership with Tech Returners, an organisation specialising in upskilling engineers to return to the tech industry after a career break.

Booking.com’s Trips division, which will move into its new £100m home at Manchester’s Enterprise City later this year, has created the roles having sponsored its second cohort of candidates through Tech Returners’ ‘Your Return to Tech’ programme.

The eight-week course is designed to tackle the industry’s well-documented skills shortage and provide software developers – the majority of which are women – with a free route back to high quality employment after a career break.

The full-time appointments started in June and cover roles across the company’s Trips division, including its Taxis, Cars, Insurance and Data teams, and forms part of its plan to significantly grow the business’s 1,000-strong presence in the city.

Latest Booking.com cohort

Beyond refreshing and re-skilling individuals from a technical perspective, the programme also provides each participant with career and mindset coaching, drilling down into different skills and behaviours from how to rebuild confidence to interview preparation and practice.

To date, the Tech Returners programme has placed more than 100 mid-level software developers into a range of UK-based organisations that value diversity in their technical teams, including The Guardian, Daemon and The BBC.

Matthias Schmid, SVP for the Booking.com Trips division said: “As the travel industry experiences a resurgence following the pandemic, we have ambitious plans to create a vast range of new roles to join the 300 skilled professionals we’ve already hired across our Trips team this year alone. The city’s world class talent is a key reason why we call Manchester home.”

Beckie Taylor, CEO and co-founder of Tech Returners, said: “As a team passionate about building diverse tech teams and supporting people to realise their potential, we are beyond proud to see another successful cohort of returners get back to their careers and back to themselves.”

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Top 40 law firm, Keoghs, has reinforced its fraud division with two high profile appointments.

Gary Petterson

Gary Petterson and Stuart Clemson both join as partners from Plexus and bring with them a wealth of expertise across all areas of insurance fraud.

They join a department which has spearheaded the fight against insurance fraud for more than two decades, with a team of 14 partners and more than 200 specialists boasting 1,600 years of experience, who resolved almost 6,000 matters in the past 12 months alone.

Gary was head of fraud at Plexus, where he worked for 12 years. He has a varied practice including motor and employers’ and public liability claims, with particular experience in grossly exaggerated complex injury claims. He also advises clients on indemnity and coverage issues where dishonesty is suspected.

He said: “The gravitational pull of the biggest, and in my opinion the best, defendant legal counter-fraud team was too much to resist. I am excited about what the future holds.”

Stuart Clemson

Stuart has more than 19 years of counter-fraud experience working for a number of major defendant insurance firms. He deals with all aspects of motor claims and handles complex indemnity issues, along with recovery actions following successful claims for tort of deceit and conspiracy, while also having led several private prosecutions.

He said: “This is a big opportunity to work for one of, if not the, biggest counter-fraud teams in the country, a chance I had to grasp. I have also personally come full circle as it was Keoghs who inspired me to begin a career in law, back when I worked for a major insurance client. I’m thrilled to be here.”

Head of fraud, Damian Ward, said: “Both have an exceptional reputation throughout the industry, and their appointments underline Keoghs’ commitment to the market. As fraudulent claims continue to diversify, their decades of experience can only reinforce the industry-leading strategic support we deliver to our clients in the fight against insurance fraud.”

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Four solicitors have been promoted at Greater Manchester and Cheshire-based Maguire Family Law this October.

The boutique firm is a divorce and family practice known for its international work, complex pre-and post-nuptial agreements, domestic and international divorce proceedings and private children matters.

James Maguire, founder and director, praised the four solicitors, saying: “Each is excellent in their field of family law, and this also shows the firm’s commitment to developing its people and to expanding its services to clients in Greater Manchester and Cheshire. We are dedicated to helping people during one of the most difficult times of their lives.”

Jennifer Curtis, who is based at the Altrincham office, has been promoted to the role of director. She said: “My appointment follows an exciting first year for the firm in our new Altrincham office. Having been with Maguire Family Law for almost 10 years, I have seen how the organisation has grown and adapted.”

From left: Denise Moran, Jennifer Curtis, Honor Giles, Abigail Reynolds

Jennifer specialises in financial and children cases, particularly complex ones and those with an international dimension.

Also promoted to the role of director is Denise Moran, a specialist in surrogacy law. Denise is based at the Wilmslow office and has worked for Maguire Family Law for six years. She said: “I have always been proud to work for Maguire Family Law and am extremely pleased to have become a director. I am looking forward to having full involvement in what is a very exciting period of growth and development at the firm.”

Stepping up to the role of partner is Honor Giles, who is based at the Knutsford office and has been a part of Maguire Family Law for more than five years. She is a qualified mediator and specialises in all areas of family law. Honor said: “I thoroughly enjoy and am proud to work at Maguire Family Law. I am pleased to have been promoted to partner. I look forward to continuing to work hard for clients in my role as a solicitor and also in my role as a mediator.”

Abigail Reynolds, who is also based at the Altrincham office, has been promoted to an associate. She has been with the firm for almost three years and said: “I am really happy to have been promoted to an associate in the team. Having joined Maguire Family Law as a newly qualified solicitor, I have grown as the firm has developed. I am very much invested in and looking forward to being a part of the firm’s ongoing expansion.

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Digital and technology consultancy, Mason Advisory, has confirmed that Paul Pugh will move from head of consulting to CEO, signalling a strategic management and governance change for the Manchester business.

With immediate effect, Paul will be responsible for the running of the business and oversee operations. He joined the consultancy in 2016 from KPMG and has been responsible for implementing and advising on IT service improvement strategies, IT transformation and providing leadership to the management team.

Paul said: “Mason Advisory is a high performing, well-respected, ambitious company and I’m delighted to be taking on the role of CEO, leading us into our next phase of growth and building on recent successes. We have a clear strategy for the business – to double turnover in the next two to three years through organic growth, continuing to build the client brand and develop the team, growing our client base, and strengthening our service offering.

Paul Pugh

“I’m looking forward to working closely with our customers, colleagues and partners and I’m confident we can achieve our goals and maintain our reputation as a leading player in the digital and technology advisory market.”

Current CEO and founder, Steve Watmough, will move into an executive chairman role, supporting Paul to grow and develop the business. While Steve will continue to support Paul in the day to day running of the business, he will also focus on external initiatives such as his roles as vice president of the MCA (Management Consultancies Association) and chair of the MCA SME committee. He is also a Trustee of Child Poverty Action Group and a member of the Cabinet Office SME panel.

Steve said: “Paul has a wealth of experience following his 17 years in the industry, and knows our business inside out, having been an integral member of our team for the last six years. He has assisted in the growth of the business in that time and has a proven track record in the consulting industry, developing talent and providing guidance and solutions for clients.

“This is a natural progression for Mason Advisory and part of our long-term strategy, reflecting the ever-changing business landscape. It’s important to continue to evolve the business to meet the changing requirements of our clients and staff and I know the whole team joins me in wishing him every success at the helm of Mason Advisory.”


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