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Bell Pottinger North - Client News
Friday, March 31, 2006
GREETING CARDS RETAILER IN ADMINISTRATION

Bury-based greeting cards retailer, Distinctive Cards Limited, have gone into administration.

David Appleby and Stephen Conn of corporate recovery specialists Begbies Traynor, Manchester, have been appointed administrators on behalf of the director of the company.

Distinctive Cards Limited trading as Card Store has ceased trading with the closure of 18 stores and loss of 105 jobs.  They have stores across the country, mainly centred in the North and Scotland.

The business has suffered from severe competition on the high street and was unable to compete with the emergence of new card retailers who are offering highly discounted cards. 

David Appleby of Begbies Traynor comments: “It’s always a great shame when a business fails especially when supported by the director, but unfortunately he was unable to fund further losses. There are however a number of parties showing an interest and we are working hard to gain the best outcome.”

Queries regarding the company should be direct to David Appleby on 0161 839 0900.
Ends


Enquiries, please contact:
David Appleby                           Joanne Fletcher-Wall
Begbies Traynor Group plc                       Bell Pottinger North
0161 839 0900                   01625 506444

Notes to editors:

Distinctive Cards Limited stores are in the following locations:
Head office, Bury, Lancashire
Alfreton
Arnold
Batley
Beeston
Bolton
Bury
Chester
Darlington
Keighley
Kendal
Llandudno
Newark
Northallerton
Melton Mowbray
Paisley
Ripon
Scarborough
Stoke
Washington

About Begbies Traynor Group plc

The Group specialises in business insolvency management and is becoming increasingly active in the area of personal insolvency. It also offers services in corporate rescue and investigation services and has entered the field of corporate finance.

In November 2005, the Group entered the rapidly-expanding volume personal insolvency market via the acquisition of W3 Debt Solutions, a firm specialising in providing advice and practical support to individuals in debt. 


The Group has grown to its current network of 30 nationwide offices ranging from Scotland to the South West of England, with 350 operatives. The Company continues to pursue its strategy of organic development, coupled with the acquisition of specialist knowledge of both individuals and firms, to further increase its market share in its core services.


The Directors believe that the Group is the UK's largest independent insolvency, corporate rescue and recovery specialist with clients ranging from major institutions to individuals with business difficulties.

 
The Office Network

The Group operates with 60 licensed insolvency appointment takers, some 225 fee earning staff and 65 in support and administration. The Group operates from 30 locations of which five are regional offices, a further 12 are full offices and 13 are satellites.

Business Activities

The core business of the Group is the formal administration of insolvencies including receiverships, liquidations, administrations, company voluntary arrangements and business-related personal insolvencies. The Group has extended its activities into a range of consultancy services including corporate rescue, credit management, forensic and investigation services and corporate finance.


 
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Azzurri Communications wins £2million of new business in Leeds

News Release

March 29, 2006

Azzurri Communications wins £2million of new business in Leeds

Leeds - Leading communications and technology company, Azzurri Communications, is going from strength to strength in Leeds, with the announcement of six business deals worth a total of £2million.

The success means that Azzurri Communications is managing the IT and telecoms infrastructures for five major new clients in the region, including Sentinel Newspapers, Fleet Factors, Thistle Hotels, Associated British Ports and Russell & Bromley. The company has also extended its relationship with Oyez Straker, the UK's leading business services and office supplies specialist.

Providing network consultancy services, secure access, bespoke managed services and IP telephony, Azzurri Communications will ensure that these customers can focus on their core business activities whilst improving productivity, resulting in reduced down time, lower capital and operational costs, as well as reduced training and HR overheads.

"Our portfolio of services means that we can offer our customers a complete voice and data package," says Jonathan Bunney, corporate solutions director at Azzurri Communications. "Not only can we provide auditing, implementation and ongoing management of converged voice and data communications, but a wide range of secure access services. As more companies look to consolidate their suppliers, end-to-end solutions such as this are proving essential in the marketplace."

This new business follows the recent expansion of Azzurri Communications' Leeds office through a £500,000 investment in its hi-tech Network Operations Centre. The site grew by over 30% in 2005, which has resulted in over 30 new jobs being created in the region.

(ends)

For further information contact:
John Butters or Emily Goehler
Bell Pottinger North
Tel: 01625 506444
Email: jbutters@bellpottingernorth.co.uk/egoehler@bellpottingernorth.co.uk

Vicky Penten
Azzurri Communications
Tel: 07917 083503
Email: vicky.penten@azzu.co.uk

About Azzurri Communications

Azzurri Communications was formed in June 2000 with support from 3i and the Bank of Scotland and is currently made up of 15 strategic company acquisitions. Azzurri Communications is one of the largest converged voice, data, and managed service consultancies in the UK. Annualised turnover is in excess of £100 million. There are 800 employees nationwide. Headquartered in Newbury, Azzurri currently has sales and support operations in Fareham, High Wycombe, London, Birmingham, Burnley, Hull, Leeds, Sheffield and East Kilbride.

Backed by leading manufacturers and networks, Azzurri provides solutions that include voice, data, networking, digital print and mobile. Azzurri also provides consultancy such as in-depth communications audits for large corporations and comprehensive telecoms management services. For further information visit www.azzurricommunications.com

 
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
RSM CELEBRATES LATEST INTERNATIONAL WIN

RSM Robson Rhodes’ growing reputation of working with international companies has led to its latest audit win.

The Leeds-based chartered accountancy firm has been appointed as auditor and tax advisor by the UK subsidiary of PrismTech, a provider of enabling technology to the telecommunications, defence and aerospace sectors and works.  Founded in the US in 1992, in addition to its UK subsidiary in Gateshead, it has offices in Germany and France and works with leading blue-chip companies including Siemens, LG, Lockheed Martin, Samsung and Fujitsu.

The company is acknowledged leader in productivity tools and middleware, which is software designed to integrate separate software and/or hardware systems providing the communication link between the separate systems. Its systems are used in a range of applications from wide-scale integration to embedded real-time systems, supporting applications from operations support systems through to software defined radio. 

RSM Robson Rhodes team is led by Martin Chatten (audit) and Lesley Sutton (tax).

This win adds to the success the Leeds-based tax and audit team have had in securing appointments from the UK subsidiaries of international companies. It has recently been appointed by Newly Wed Foods Inc, the world leader in food coatings and seasoning, and specialist engineering company Jenbacher, a subsidiary of Waagner-Biro AG of Austria. Other internationally-based clients include French-owned ARC International Tableware and the Browallia Group from Sweden.

Martin Chatten comments: “Our growing portfolio of internationally-owned clients reflects our understanding of the needs UK subsidiaries have.  We are also increasingly working with our colleagues in the RSM network, the sixth largest accountancy network in the world, which gives us a view of parent companies needs.”

Ends

Press contacts: Joanne Fletcher-Wall or Alex Henshall at Bell Pottinger North (01625) 506 444 - jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk> or ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk>

Notes for editors:

RSM Robson Rhodes LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership. The firm practices from nine offices in the UK and Ireland, offering a full range of services to the public and private sectors. As the UK member of the world’s sixth-largest accounting and consultancy organisation, it is able to call upon the skills and experience of more than 20,000 professionals in over 70 countries.

RSM Robson Rhodes LLP is registered to carry out audit work by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is regulated and authorised by the Financial Services Authority.


 
BEACHCROFT CONSTRUCTION SPECIALIST TO CHAIR WOMEN IN PROPERTY NETWORK


28 March 2006

BEACHCROFT CONSTRUCTION SPECIALIST TO CHAIR WOMEN IN PROPERTY NETWORK

Louise Garcia, a construction partner at leading commercial law firm Beachcroft Wansbroughs, has been appointed Chairman of the South West branch of the Association of Women In Property. A dynamic forum for the professional development of women in the property and construction sector, Women In Property (WIP) is a unique organisation with a multi-disciplined membership drawn from across the sector.

In her new role as Chairman, and with the assistance of her 21-strong committee, Louise aims to grow and diversify the WIP membership throughout the South West. "Last year, WIP held over 80 events nationwide, ranging from seminars addressing issues affecting the sector to training and personal development, as well as our ever popular networking lunches," says Louise.

"In the South West, these events attracted existing members as well as a large number of non members, many of whom have now joined the Association. In fact, membership is now at an all time high, with over 200 members across the South West and Wales region.

"The events continue to raise our standing in the region, with high profile speakers, joint events with the Faculty of Building and with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), as well as with guests (male and female) drawn from the major players in the sector.

"I want to build on this success in 2006 to continue to grow and diversify our membership, from architects and engineers to surveyors, contractors and solicitors, and all the other professions that make up this diverse and exciting sector. We have a very strong presence in Bristol, but I'm also looking to expand our geographical spread - I'd like to hold more events in more places, and grow our satellites in South Wales and in Devon and Cornwall into fully fledged Branches, reaching new members in the more remote areas of the region.

"Long term, this growth relies on a greater retention of women in the property and construction industry. As the UK's largest single industry and a traditionally male-dominated sector, it can be very demanding, particularly for women with families. I want to see more women coming into and staying in the industry, which has adapted hugely over recent years in response to changing demographics up and down the country. WIP is an excellent forum for encouraging women to stay on and realise their full potential in the industry, while providing a much-needed source of networking, support, friendship and advice."

The Committee is involved in mentoring schemes at schools, colleges and universities, and sponsors local property and construction students with awards of achievement at the end of their courses. This year will again see the South West committee hold a number of events, including the 'seminar series' which will focus on planning - a hot topic for the region, not least because of the anticipated Planning Gain Supplement.

A WIP member since 2000, Louise specialises in construction dispute resolution at Beachcroft Wansbroughs in Bristol. She has significant experience acting for contractors, subcontractors, employers and consultants advising on design and construction issues, disputes over payment and performance, nationally and internationally.

- ENDS-

If you require further information, please contact:
Debbie Garritty / Emily Goehler Bell Pottinger North
Tel: 01625 506444
Email: dgarritty@bellpottingernorth.co.uk / egoehler@bellpottingernorth.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

Editors' Notes
Women in Property is a national organisation, with over 1,250 members and 10 regional branches. It represents all disciplines within the property and construction industry and provides a forum for business opportunities, the exchanging of views, networking and personal development. For further information, please visit www.wipnet.org

Beachcroft Wansbroughs is one of the largest national commercial law firms in the UK. With over 1,300 employees, it provides legal advice and litigation services from seven locations in the UK (London, Birmingham, Bristol, Brussels, Leeds, Manchester, Winchester) and also in Brussels. From routine insurance claims management to 'trusted adviser' work for major national and international organisations, the firms delivers integrated legal services to clients in four main industry groups: health and public sector; real estate and construction; financial services (including the insurance industry); and technology, media and telecommunications.

Chambers UK 2005 recognised 56 Beachcroft Wansbroughs partners as leading lawyers, taking the firm into the top 20 of all UK law firms; the firm received 20 new entries in Legal 500 2005, a guide to the top 500 lawyers in the UK; in Legal Week's client satisfaction survey, the firm came second amongst all law firms in the UK; and Beachcroft Wansbroughs is one of the largest law firms in the country to obtain the 'Investors in People' award across all of its offices.

On 1 May 2006, Beachcroft Wansbroughs will become Beachcroft LLP, a move towards greater transparency and commercialisation of the firm. For further information, please visit: www.bwlaw.co.uk

 
Monday, March 27, 2006
IT'S GOOD TO TALK!

North West construction companies are being advised by a leading construction specialist to seek out alternative dispute resolution to avoid lengthy court battles.

Michael Key of Manchester law firm Glaisyers is advising construction companies to be aware of the various options open to them to resolve their disputes. 

Michael comments: “It is important that the construction industry is aware of the options available to them and that they get the right advice.  Companies that find themselves unlucky enough to be involved in a dispute should be given sufficient information as to other options such as mediation, conciliation and arbitration to enable them to make an informed choice to the route they take.”

The Technology and Construction Court has seen a downturn in the cases passing through from 1778 in 1995 to 390 in 2004.  Michael says: “The pre-action protocol for construction and engineering disputes has undoubtedly had some success in keeping matters out of the courts.  Perhaps the primary reason for the decline in the pre-eminence of litigation is statutory adjudication becoming the route which parties increasingly choose to resolve their disputes.”

Michael highlights that whilst adjudication can undoubtedly be the best forum to resolve disputes, it may not be the best forum for every type of dispute.

Ends
For further information please contact:

Michael Key                                     Joanne Fletcher-Wall
Glaisyers                                       Bell Pottinger North
0161 832 4666                           01625 506425

Notes to editors

Glaisyers was established in Manchester in 1974.  It is now an eleven partner firm with offices in central Manchester and Longsight. With a staff of 86 people they are a medium sized firm small enough to retain the general practice ethos but big enough to ensure that all solicitors are specialists in their chosen fields.  The Manchester office specialises in commercial and residential property for both private individuals and commercial developers together with company commercial transactions, personal injury, road traffic act cases, litigation and financial services.  




 
Safety Performance Pays Off

Adsteam's Thames & Medway operation has recently awarded cheques of £500 to both the local branch of RNLI and Demelza House, the local children's hospice in Sittingbourne Kent, which provides care for life-limited children and their families.

The money was raised through an internal Safety Award Scheme recently introduced by the company that seeks to reward good safety performance. Under the terms of the scheme, any UK operation that achieves one year without a single lost time injury (LTI) is rewarded with a cheque of £500 to present to a charity of that team's choice.

To date, Adsteam Medway has successfully notched up not one, but two, incident-free years, receiving £1000 to donate to good causes nominated by the crews: the RNLI & Demelza House.

Commenting on the award, Port Manager David Brown said: "As these donations indicate, safety is a top priority for the Thames & Medway operation. We are all very pleased that our efforts have been recognised and rewarded. Both charities are very close to the hearts of many crew members, who have worked extremely hard to maintain this excellent safety record."

The coxswain of the Sheerness Lifeboat on behalf of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution thanked Adsteam Marine for their generous donation towards funding the Sheerness Lifeboat.

Lynn Collier the Mid Kent Community Fundraising Manager on behalf of Demelza House and the children and families thanked Adsteam Marine for their support, saying "This money will help to make their lives a little easier."

Adsteam UK is the country's leading supplier of towage services, with operations at seven key ports: Thames & Medway, Felixstowe, Hull, Immingham, Liverpool and Southampton. One of the longest-established ship-assist specialists, the company has been operating on the Thames & Medway for over a century.

For further information, please contact

Stephen Eastwood Deborah Garritty
Chief Executive Europe Director
Adsteam (UK) Ltd Bell Pottinger North Ltd
Tel 01482 337 650 tel 01625 50644

 
SOLICITORS STRENGTHEN SKILLS WITH UNIQUE DIPLOMA

27 March 2006

SOLICITORS STRENGTHEN SKILLS WITH UNIQUE DIPLOMA

Beachcroft Wansbroughs' solicitors Lianne Valente and Heather Dunlop have been awarded a unique commercial property diploma. Initiated by the Manchester-based firm in partnership with the University of the West of England (UWE), the jointly sponsored, postgraduate diploma is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK and counts towards a Masters degree at UWE.

"Lianne and Heather are the first solicitors at the Manchester office to achieve the diploma and we're delighted at their success", says Iain Moore, regional senior partner in Manchester. "The programme has been developed to ensure standards of professional excellence across our practice. It gives our solicitors a specific understanding of the commercial marketplace, and provides a well balanced mix of academia and practical experience."

Speaking about her success, Lianne said: "This is a really useful course and I'm delighted to have graduated - I've gained a broad range of skills that will complement my legal experience, so I'm now looking to take this one step further to try and achieve the Masters degree."

Iain Moore concludes: "In Manchester we have another ten solicitors who are expected to achieve the diploma this year. Nationally we have over 100 property lawyers in our team and we're hoping that within two years, more than a third of them will have completed the course."

The programme includes six, two-day courses on a specific topic, followed by a written and oral assessment. For further information on the diploma in commercial property, please visit the UWE website (www.uwe.ac.uk) or call Beachcroft Wansbroughs on 0161 934 3000.

-ends-

For more information, please contact:
Debbie Garritty/Emily Goehler, Bell Pottinger North
dgarritty@bellpottingernorth.co.uk / egoehler@bellpottingernorth.co.uk
Tel: 01625 506444

Editors Note:

Beachcroft Wansbroughs is one of the largest national commercial law firms in the UK. With over 1,300 employees, it provides legal advice and litigation services from seven locations in the UK (London, Birmingham, Bristol, Brussels, Leeds, Manchester, Winchester) and also in Brussels. From routine insurance claims management to 'trusted adviser' work for major national and international organisations, the firms delivers integrated legal services to clients in four main industry groups: health and public sector; real estate and construction; financial services (including the insurance industry); and technology, media and telecommunications.

Chambers UK 2005 recognised 56 Beachcroft Wansbroughs partners as leading lawyers, taking the firm into the top 20 of all UK law firms; the firm received 20 new entries in Legal 500 2005, a guide to the top 500 lawyers in the UK; in Legal Week's client satisfaction survey, the firm came second amongst all law firms in the UK; and Beachcroft Wansbroughs is one of the largest law firms in the country to obtain the 'Investors in People' award across all of its offices.

On 1 May 2006, Beachcroft Wansbroughs will become Beachcroft LLP, a move towards greater transparency and commercialisation of the firm. For further information, please visit: www.bwlaw.co.uk

 
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
LEISURE ENTREPRENEUR ACQUIRES UK LEISURE PARK IN £ MULTI-MILLION DEAL

One of the leading players in the holiday park market, John Morphet, has made his largest ever acquisition in the UK, Billing Aquadrome, Northampton, in a multi-million pound deal. The site is one of the largest independently owned parks in the UK.

Billing Aquadrome is set in 235 acres of parkland with nine lakes and provides sites for 2000 static and touring caravans. It offers an extensive range of leisure facilities, including a jet ski lake, fishing, licensed bars and a variety of entertainments. It also offers floating moorings on the park’s marina lake.

Its location makes it an ideal touring base for the many attractions in and around Northampton including Althorp House, Silverstone Raceway and Whipsnade Zoo.  It is also used extensively as a venue for a variety of rallys and themed weekends.

Included in the acquisition is the smaller Cogenhoe Mill Holiday Park just two miles from Billing Aquadrome. Adjacent to the River Nene, this provides waterside settings for 112 static caravans as well as thirty moorings.

The deal is the most significant domestic acquisition by Mr Morphet’s Pure Leisure Group and is part of his overall expansion plan for the Group in the UK.

He commented: “This leisure park is in a prime location in the middle of the country, easily accessible to the M1 and other major routes. There is considerable potential for upgrading the facilities at the park to improve the holiday experience for existing visitors and to attract new holidaymakers. We will be introducing a small rental fleet as well as introducing high quality lodges at the park.”

The park’s previous owners, the Mackaness family, had been connected with the estate for over 600 years.

Finance for the deal has been provided by HSBC, RBS and Barclays. Professional advisers to the Pure Leisure Group were KPMG and DLA.

Ends

For further information please contact: Vicki Baxter or Joanne Fletcher-Wall at Bell Pottinger North on 01625 617611 or vbaxter@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:vbaxter@bellpottingernorth.co.uk> or jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk>


Notes to Editors


Pure Leisure Group
The Pure Leisure Group is owned by UK based leisure entrepreneur John Morphet. Included within the group is South Lakeland Caravans a fast-growing company, which specialises in developing and operating holiday parks, with caravans and timber lodges for sale or hire. At selected parks there are also pitches for touring caravans. Established in 1988, it now has 12 UK locations ranging from smaller caravan parks to larger holiday villages complete with leisure facilities.

The UK locations are:

White Cross Bay Leisure Park & Marina, Windermere
Limefitt Leisure Park, Windermere
Fallbarrow Leisure Park, Bowness, Windermere
Gatebeck Caravan Park, Endmoor, near Kendal
Ocean Edge Leisure Park, Morecambe
Regent Leisure Park, Morecambe
Hawthorne Caravan Park, Morecambe
Marina Caravan Park, Glasson Dock, near Lancaster
Fell End Caravan Park, Hale, near Milnthorpe
Hall More Caravan Park, Hale, near Milnthorpe
Little Todber Caravan Park, Gisburn, Clitheroe
South Lakeland Leisure Village, Borwick, near Carnforth


The Pure Leisure Group also has three developments overseas:

 
BEACHCROFT BRIEFS PROFESSIONALS ON RISK MANAGEMENT

22 March 2006

BEACHCROFT BRIEFS PROFESSIONALS ON RISK MANAGEMENT

Beachcroft Wansbroughs, the commercial law firm, is holding a free breakfast briefing on professional and financial risk, on 5 April from 8:45am - 10:45am at the firm's Birmingham office, Nine Brindleyplace, 4 Oozells Square.

Including three keynote speakers, the briefing will look at the types of risks posed to professionals and pragmatic ways in which these can be minimised.

"Professionals need to look very carefully at their risk management strategies", says Tracey Butcher, a partner at Beachcroft Wansbroughs and a speaker at the event. "Client acceptance procedures, which seek to analyse the risk a client can pose to the business, are key to managing a firm's own risk."

"We will be looking at the implications of a recent judgement that deals with the time period in which a professional may remain liable to their client, as well as the regulatory environment and how this has led to professionals' clients being more aware of their right to complain; the difficulty for the professional is handling a complaint in a way which minimises the risk of future litigation."

John Verry, solicitor and divisional director at Alexander Forbes Professions will speak about why 'clients are a risky business'; Marcus Thomson, a partner at Beachcroft Wansbroughs will discuss 'calling time on limitation defences', and Tracey Butcher will look at the 'regulators v the courts'.

Refreshments will be provided and places can be booked by calling Louise Blythman on 0117 918 2605.

-ends-

For more information, please contact:
Debbie Garritty/Emily Goehler, Bell Pottinger North
dgarritty@bellpottingernorth.co.uk / egoehler@bellpottingernorth.co.uk
Tel: 01625 506444

Notes to Editors:

Beachcroft Wansbroughs is one of the largest national commercial law firms in the UK. With over 1,300 employees, it provides legal advice and litigation services from seven locations in the UK (Birmingham, London, Manchester, Bristol, Brussels, Leeds, Winchester) and also in Brussels. From routine insurance claims management to 'trusted adviser' work for major national and international organisations, the firms delivers integrated legal services to clients in four main industry groups: health and public sector; real estate and construction; financial services (including the insurance industry); and technology, media and telecommunications.

The firm boasts an established national 'professional and financial risk' team of 80 lawyers, which has a substantial client base of major domestic and international insurers. The team is well renowned for its legal professional indemnity practice, but is also involved in D & O, financial and linked risk, as well as coverage and product claims. As well as specialising in the legal sector, the Birmingham team has expertise in dealing with claims against accountants, insurance brokers and increasingly in construction-related matters.

Chambers UK 2005 recognised 56 Beachcroft Wansbroughs partners as leading lawyers, taking the firm into the top 20 of all UK law firms; the firm received 20 new entries in Legal 500 2005, a guide to the top 500 lawyers in the UK; in Legal Week's client satisfaction survey, the firm came second amongst all law firms in the UK; and Beachcroft Wansbroughs is one of the largest law firms in the country to obtain the 'Investors in People' award.

On 1 May 2006, Beachcroft Wansbroughs will become Beachcroft LLP, a move towards greater transparency and commercialisation of the firm. For further information, please visit: www.bwlaw.co.uk

 
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
RSM ROBSON RHODES STRENGTHEN MANCHESTER TEAM

Manchester-based chartered accountants RSM Robson Rhodes have strengthened their corporate recovery team with the appointment of Ian Richardson from their Leeds office.

Ian returned to the UK last year to join RSM Robson Rhodes after 17 years working in Australia and New Zealand. He now moves to the Manchester office as director of the corporate recovery team.

Ian has over 15 years’ corporate recovery experience in both the UK and Australasia. His experience in corporate recovery has covered travel, hotels, leisure, retail, engineering and the transport industry.

His experience in Australia was mainly with a big four practice, including a year long secondment to Australia’s largest bank. Ian also spent some time in financial management roles in the hospitality and entertainment industries, and as a consultant to the Travel Compensation Fund, Australia’s travel industry regulator.

Ian’s appointment is welcomed by corporate recovery partner David Riley, who commented: “Ian’s arrival will significantly strengthen the Manchester team and will contribute to the longer-term strategy of developing the firm’s corporate recovery practice in the North West.”

Ends

Press contact:  Joanne Fletcher-Wall at Bell Pottinger North (01625) 506425 jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk> or Alex Henshall (01625) 506414 ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk> 

Notes to editor
RSM Robson Rhodes LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership. The firm
practices from nine offices in the UK and Ireland, offering a full range of services to the public and private sectors. As the UK member of the world's sixth largest accounting and consultancy organisation, it is able to call upon the skills and experience of more than 20,000 professionals in over 70 countries. RSM Robson Rhodes is registered to carry on audit work by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is regulated and authorised by the Financial Services Authority for investment business.

 
Monday, March 20, 2006
ANOTHER BIG GUN JOINS BRISTOL'S NEW CORPORATE TEAM

One of the West's largest commercial law firms, Beachcroft Wansbroughs, is further strengthening its corporate team with the appointment of Jocelyn Ormond. Based at the firm's Bristol office, Jocelyn brings ten years of corporate experience to the group, including three years at Allen & Overy and seven years at Slaughter and May in London.

"We are investing heavily in our corporate team to develop both our regional and national service offering", says Bristol senior partner, Michael Bothamley, "and lateral hires such as this will help us to respond to the growth in demand for corporate advice.

"Working alongside our new head of corporate, John Williams, and in conjunction with our mature, London-based practice, Jocelyn will play a key role in building a premium-quality, service offering in the region."

An Oxford University graduate, Jocelyn qualified as a solicitor in 1997. His career has seen him play a leading role in a range of high-profile cross-border mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures, as well as significant private equity transactions.

Speaking about his new position, Jocelyn said: "Beachcroft Wansbroughs has an excellent reputation for quality of service, and has demonstrated a clear commitment to developing its corporate team. I'm delighted to be joining the firm and look forward to using the experience I've gained in London to help develop the team's leading reputation and extend our service offering to major corporates in this region and nationally."

Beachcroft Wansbroughs' national corporate team includes 13 specialist partners acting for clients across the UK and announced the arrival in January of two new partners, John Williams (ex-Slaughter and May) and Nick Gibbon (ex-Allen & Overy). The firm provides expert advice on all aspects of corporate law, including mergers and acquisitions, listing and delisting, OFEX/AIM flotations and regulatory issues affecting large corporates.

For further information please visit our website http://www.bwlaw.co.uk or call 0117 918 2000.

- ENDS-

If you require any further information, please contact:
Debbie Garritty / Emily Goehler at Bell Pottinger North
Tel: 01625 506444 or email egoehler@bellpottingernorth.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

Beachcroft Wansbroughs is one of the largest national commercial law firms in the UK. With over 1,300 employees, it provides legal advice and litigation services from seven locations in the UK (London, Birmingham, Bristol, Brussels, Leeds, Manchester, Winchester) and also in Brussels. From routine insurance claims management to 'trusted adviser' work for major national and international organisations, the firms delivers integrated legal services to clients in four main industry groups: health and public sector; real estate and construction; financial services (including the insurance industry); and technology, media and telecommunications.

Chambers UK 2005 recognised 56 Beachcroft Wansbroughs partners as leading lawyers, taking the firm into the top 20 of all UK law firms; the firm received 20 new entries in Legal 500 2005, a guide to the top 500 lawyers in the UK; in Legal Week's client satisfaction survey, the firm came second amongst all law firms in the UK; and Beachcroft Wansbroughs is one of the largest law firms in the country to obtain the 'Investors in People' award across all of its offices.

On 1 May 2006, Beachcroft Wansbroughs will become Beachcroft LLP, a move towards greater transparency and commercialisation of the firm. For further information, please visit: www.bwlaw.co.uk

 
BEACHCROFT WANSBROUGHS HOLDS TUPE SEMINAR


20 March 2006

BEACHCROFT WANSBROUGHS HOLDS TUPE SEMINAR

Beachcroft Wansbroughs' Manchester Employment Group is holding a seminar for clients and key contacts on the new TUPE regulations on 29 March from 9am - 11:30am at the Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester.

Aimed at HR professionals, procurement managers and in-house lawyers, the seminar will focus on the practical impact of the new regulations on employers.

"TUPE has caused employers numerous problems over the years both at a technical level, and at a commercial level", says Paula Cole, a partner in Beachcroft's Employment Group and member of the firm's specialist TUPE unit. "The new regulations, in force on 6 April, are meant to solve these problems, but we're not convinced - we have been liaising with the DTI regarding a number of issues that may cause concern for employers.

"In particular, we may well see problems with the new obligation on the outgoing employer to provide 'employee liability information' to the new employer. The obligation is very broad, and the cap on compensation, originally proposed in the first draft of the new regulations, has now been removed.

Areas covered in the seminar will include the wider definition of transfer; obligations to provide information; pension changes; consultation obligations; and ability to change terms and conditions of employment.

A light buffet breakfast will be provided and places can be booked by emailing Louise Blythman - lblythman@bwlaw.co.uk - with your name, job title, organisation, address and telephone number.

-ends-

For more information, please contact:
Debbie Garritty/Emily Goehler, Bell Pottinger North
dgarritty@bellpottingernorth.co.uk / egoehler@bellpottingernorth.co.uk
Tel: 01625 506444

Notes to Editors:

Beachcroft Wansbroughs is one of the largest national commercial law firms in the UK. With over 1,300 employees, it provides legal advice and litigation services from seven locations in the UK (Manchester, London, Birmingham, Bristol, Brussels, Leeds, Winchester) and also in Brussels. From routine insurance claims management to 'trusted adviser' work for major national and international organisations, the firms delivers integrated legal services to clients in four main industry groups: health and public sector; real estate and construction; financial services (including the insurance industry); and technology, media and telecommunications.

Chambers UK 2005 recognised 56 Beachcroft Wansbroughs partners as leading lawyers, taking the firm into the top 20 of all UK law firms; the firm received 20 new entries in Legal 500 2005, a guide to the top 500 lawyers in the UK; in Legal Week's client satisfaction survey, the firm came second amongst all law firms in the UK; and Beachcroft Wansbroughs is one of the largest law firms in the country to obtain the 'Investors in People' award.

On 1 May 2006, Beachcroft Wansbroughs will become Beachcroft LLP, a move towards greater transparency and commercialisation of the firm. For further information, please visit: www.bwlaw.co.uk

 
Urban Logic scores exclusive PFA property investment deal

March 17, 2006

Urban Logic scores exclusive PFA property investment deal

Manchester-based Urban Logic today announced it has signed an exclusive two-year deal with the Professional Footballers' Association to provide investment opportunities within the UK property market to all its current and former players.

Under the deal, Urban Logic will offer football players discounts on the cost of new build apartments in property hotspots which the directors believe are best placed to see high capital appreciation and rental demand.

Urban Logic, which was established in November 2003, has become a respected name in the off plan investment sector and was nominated for the Manchester Evening News' Business of Year Award in 2005.

The company has developed strong relationships with a number of the UK's leading housebuilders, and it has secured attractive deals on a range of properties at prime sites in 'out of city locations' across the north of England and Scotland.

"All footballers need to invest wisely to protect their future financial security and property is clearly an integral part of any investment portfolio," said Gordon Taylor, chief executive, Professional Footballers' Association.

"We have been impressed by Urban Logic's performance and track record to date, and we are delighted to have signed this agreement."

Andrew Lazare, chief executive of Urban Logic, added: "We have a successful track record of sourcing off plan properties for celebrities and sporting personalities.
"This deal is not only fantastic news for Urban Logic and the PFA's members, but by further strengthening our client base we expect that we will be able to negotiate even stronger deals for all our investors."

For further information on Urban Logic, please visit www.urban-logic.co.uk or call 0800 916 8659.

Ends.

For more press information contact John Butters or Elizabeth Swain at Bell Pottinger North on (01625) 506444 or email eswain@bellpottingernorth.co.uk / jbutters@bellpottingernorth.co.uk

 
Thursday, March 16, 2006
EIC CONTINUES TO MAKE ITS 'MARK' ON THE RETAIL INDUSTRY

EIC moves into Spring with a brace of design and build electrical contracts for Primark. The leading mechanical and electrical specialist is already on site in Luton and will be starting in Southport in March for the popular High Street retailer.

The contracts, which have a shared value of approximately £1.0 million, will be carried out by EIC Northern who have undertaken a large percentage of retail work in recent years for blue chip clients including Debenhams, Tesco, Asda, Marks & Spencer, Littlewoods and Safeway.

Electrical installation on all contracts includes small power, lighting, fire alarm, cctv, intruder alarm, data/telecom wiring, public address and door entry systems.

EIC has carried out several projects for Primark in recent years. Joint managing director of EIC, Nigel Le Marechal comments: "We're delighted to be working on these projects simultaneously. We pride ourselves on our retail portfolio as the company built its reputation on good working relations with the retail sector over 30 years."

- ends -

Notes for Editor

EIC Ltd provides project management, design, supply, installation, testing, commissioning and maintenance of electrical, mechanical control and data management systems to a wide range of blue chip clients. The company has a successful track record of partnering with major contractors such as AMEC, HBG, Taylor Woodrow, Carillion and Willmott Dixon, as well as carrying out a broad range of services for many High Street names and leisure groups including Debenhams, John Lewis Partnership, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Virgin, Primark, Littlewoods, Gap, Bhs, Co-op, ATS, Mitchells & Butler, Firmdale Hotels and the Hilton Group. EIC also works extensively throughout the health, education and commercial sectors. For further information log on to http://www.eicltd.com or call 01789 269408.

Press contact: Elizabeth Swain @ Bell Pottinger North
eswain@bellpottingernorth.co.uk
(01625 506404)

 
Off plan investment company Urban Logic acquired for £7.4m

Urban Logic, an off plan property investment specialist based in Manchester, is to be acquired by Damask Investments plc for a total consideration of approximately £7,400,000, it was announced today.

Trading since January 2004, Urban Logic has become a respected name in the off plan investment sector and was nominated for last year's Manchester Evening News' Business of Year Award.

The company, which has developed exclusive relationships with a number of the UK's leading housebuilders, offers discounts of around 15 per cent on a range of properties at prime sites across the north of England and Scotland.

With a healthy client database, which includes high net worth investors plus celebrity and sporting personalities, Urban Logic also announced today that it has secured an exclusive two-year deal with the Professional Footballers' Association. Under the deal, Urban Logic will offer investment opportunities within the UK property market to all the PFA's current and former players.

Commenting on the acquisition, David Wilson, chairman of Damask, said: "We were established last year with an objective to acquire a property company with a strong track record and strong management team.

"We identified Urban Logic as a young, well managed company with exciting potential and a number of strategic partnerships in place and we are looking forward to helping the firm build on this success."

Andrew Lazare, chief executive of Urban Logic, added: "Urban Logic is a very successful property investment company. It has found a niche in the marketplace by specialising in 'out of town locations'. Investors in these areas find that there is strong demand when they come to re-sell or rent their apartments compared to many city centre properties.

"This move will take the business to the next level and will give our clients the confidence that they are dealing with the UK's only regulated off plan property investment company."

Damask, meanwhile, also announced today that following the acquisition of Urban Logic and Northern Lynx its intention to transfer from Ofex to AIM under the new name Northern Lynx plc. Dealing is expected to commence in early April 2006.

For further information on Urban Logic, please visit http://www.urban-logic.co.uk or call 0800 916 8659.

Ends.

For more press information contact:

John Butters
Bell Pottinger North Tel: (01625) 506444

David Wilson
Chairman, Damask plc Tel: 07703 934390

Andrew Lazare
Chief executive, Urban Logic Tel: (0161) 236 5505

James Harris
Strand Partners Tel: (0207) 409 3494

 
ON THE HUNT FOR BRISTOL'S TOP DEBATERS

Bristol law students Charlie Coventry and Simon Gibb have beaten 46 of their peers to win the Hunt Cup Final - an intense 16-week debating competition held at Bristol University.

Re-established by commercial law firm Beachcroft Wansbroughs in 2004, the competition was founded by Beachcroft partner, Lord Hunt of Wirral who won the British Debating Championship for the Observer Mace in 1964-65 and is now Chairman of the English Speaking Union (ESU). Lord Hunt presented the prizes to the winners at a ceremony held at the University after the final.

The final saw four students - two proposition speakers and two opposition speakers - debate the motion 'This House believes that the House of Lords should be abolished'. Perhaps surprisingly, given the ages of the participants, the motion was roundly defeated in a robust session which demonstrated that formal debating is still alive and well in Bristol.

Ultimately, Charlie and Simon's forensic communication skills won the day, with Charlie convincing the judges that he was the overall winner and Simon taking the runner up prize. The Hunt Cup will be engraved and retained by Charlie for a year.

"In spite of the nature of the motion, I was able to remain impartial when judging the competitors," said Lord Hunt. "The quality of the debating was excellent from all four finalists, so it was a close call. In fact, we were so impressed that we have offered all of the finalists work experience at Beachcroft Wansbroughs.

"The Hunt Cup is an excellent way of testing the skills of our future lawyers and helps us to build upon the strong links we have with the university here in Bristol."

Lord Hunt is Chairman of the Financial Services Division of Beachcroft Wansbroughs and gave the cup to Bristol University 40 years ago. After winning the British Debating Competition he went on to represent British Universities on a debating tour of America.

Lord Hunt has used his debating skills extensively in politics taking on, and defeating, Enoch Powell in the 1970s, and most recently, had success in the House of Lords debating amendments proposed by him to the Compensation Bill.

- ENDS-

If you require any further information, please contact:
Debbie Garritty / Emily Goehler at Bell Pottinger North
Tel: 01625 506444 or email emily.goehler@bellpottingernorth.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

Beachcroft Wansbroughs is one of the largest national commercial law firms in the UK. With over 1,300 employees, it provides legal advice and litigation services from seven locations in the UK (London, Birmingham, Bristol, Brussels, Leeds, Manchester, Winchester) and also in Brussels. From routine insurance claims management to 'trusted adviser' work for major national and international organisations, the firms delivers integrated legal services to clients in four main industry groups: health and public sector; real estate and construction; financial services (including the insurance industry); and technology, media and telecommunications.

Chambers UK 2005 recognised 56 Beachcroft Wansbroughs partners as leading lawyers, taking the firm into the top 20 of all UK law firms; the firm received 20 new entries in Legal 500 2005, a guide to the top 500 lawyers in the UK; in Legal Week's client satisfaction survey, the firm came second amongst all law firms in the UK; and Beachcroft Wansbroughs is one of the largest law firms in the country to obtain the 'Investors in People' award across all of its offices.

On 1 May 2006, Beachcroft Wansbroughs will become Beachcroft LLP, a move towards greater transparency and commercialisation of the firm. For further information, please visit: http://www.bwlaw.co.uk.

 
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
CAMPAIGN FOR HOLISTIC APPROACH TO DEBT

A greater understanding of debt and its links to depression have brought to the forefront a campaign spearheaded by a leading debt advisor and a psychologist.

For the first time in the UK, debtors will now have access to a two-pronged approach to relieve the misery caused by debt by the joint offering of debt advice and personal counselling under one roof.  The campaign is geared to help those who are seriously struggling with the wider effects including depression, relationship breakdown, poor work performance and associated health problems.

Bev Budsworth of The Debt Advisor, who is also a member of a government work party on debt, offers advice on Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA), and the options available to help people sort their debt.  Sue Smith, a psychologist, state registered nurse/midwife and a master practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming, hypnotherapy and Reiki, will look at the deeper psychological issues and offer advice on lifestyle changes to alleviate depression.

Recent comments, made by the Financial Services Authority, warning of the fragile mental state of those coping with debt, combined with figures released earlier this month by the Department of Trade and Industry showing an increase in the number of personal insolvencies, have prompted Bev Budsworth and Sue Smith to call for a more holistic approach to the debt issue.

Financial problems are commonly thought to account for over a third of all suicides in Japan and Bev Budsworth is concerned that this is not repeated in the UK as the general level of personal debt rises.

Bev Budsworth is also calling upon credit card and loan companies to carefully monitor their debt collection procedures.  “It is not uncommon to find that these procedures involve calls to a person’s work place, harassment of spouses, physical visits to homes and threats of action which fall foul of legislation.

“The collection procedures continue even after debt solutions have been put in place.  We were recently contacted by a 45-year-old man with debts of around £90,000. With help from a not-for-profit organisation, they had put forward to his creditors a debt reduction scheme; the continued threats from creditors drove him to contemplate suicide.  He has since proposed an IVA to his creditors and is on the road to recovery.  Joining up with Sue enables us to give our clients the vital emotional support that is needed when the problems relating to debt weigh them down.

“It’s important to get to the root cause of the debt. We live in an ‘I deserve it’ society. People like to comfort buy. It can range from, had a hard day then buy an expensive bottle of wine and a takeaway on the way home to had a busy morning, then you deserve to treat yourself to the mini iPod or the designer shades at lunch.

“We don’t just look for instant gratification for ourselves. We throw money at our problems. Relationship not working? Take a luxury sunshine break. If people aren’t happy they use money as a salve. These people don’t just need practical advice, they need help to address the problem and they need to get help to be mentally equipped going forward as they go cold-turkey on the treats.”

Sue Smith comments: “The need for comfort from external, material sources is often an indicator of poor self-esteem.  People with healthy self-esteem are less likely to seek the self-worth associated with purchasing non-essential or luxury items. Improving a person’s self-esteem and empowering them to take responsibility for their own actions can help protect them against the powerful, influences of the media and advertising. It can also help them modify their spending behaviour which in turn addresses the emotional challenges of depression, anxiety, stress and guilt that frequently accompanies financial hardship and debt management issues.”

Budsworth added: “For some people, it is important that they understand that debt isn’t the end of the road. It’s the people who lack support and who haven’t talked through their problems who commit suicide, not those with the greatest debt. There have been cases of debtors committing suicide over as little as £1,000 worth of debt – I’m convinced that proper advice and counselling could prevent those deaths.”

Ends

For further information please contact Joanne Fletcher-Wall or Alex Henshall at Bell Pottinger North on 01625 506444 or email:

jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk
ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk

Out of office hours please contact Bev Budsworth on: 07932 603999

Notes to editors
The Debt Advisor is licensed by the Insolvency Practitioners Association to offer skilled and specialist advice on personal debt. Formed in 1999, the Debt Advisor works closely with those in debt to find solutions, which can protect assets from creditors, freeze interest and charges to repay debt in five years or less. At its website – http://www.thedebtadvisor.co.uk – there is useful information including an online debt calculator to assist with budgeting.

SUE SMITH
Sue Smith gained over a decade of experience in the medical profession as a State Registered Nurse and State Certified Midwife and specialised in obstetrics and assisted reproduction before diversifying as a health and exercise consultant, personal trainer and provider of teacher training programmes to fitness professionals.  She is a graduate of psychology, sociology and biomedical health, is a master practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming, trained hypnotherapist and Time- Line Therapist and Reiki practitioner. 

Sue now works in the field of mentoring, coaching and personal development and is passionate about motivating and inspiring people to lead successful and rewarding lives, to reach their highest potential and overcome barriers to personal fulfilment. 

She is currently working in partnership with Motivational Systems who are leading experts in the field of social and behaviour change and whose clients range from corporate executives and sporting professionals to voluntary sector agencies working with the most severely financially disadvantaged, socially excluded and disengaged client groups.  Using cognitive behaviour techniques she inspires people to change their negative behaviours and dysfunctional cognition whilst enhancing their self-belief, self-efficacy and confidence.  By promoting emotional engagement she provokes them to challenge their limiting beliefs, assisting them in building personal awareness, inner strength and self-motivation thus cultivating improved coping skills and more effective stress management techniques.  The enhancement of internal motivation assists clients to take personal responsibility and helps them move towards financial independence and achieve a sense of purposefulness that is in alignment with their values hierarchy.



 
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
STARTING YOUNG - SHOULD CHILDREN PLAY WITH PLASTIC?

Peter Sargent, partner at Begbies Traynor, the UK’s largest independent insolvency specialist, is calling for the Government to launch a national campaign, aimed at children, to raise awareness of the debt risks attached to credit cards.

In the advent of the launch of credit cards for children - a trend common in the US and started in the UK by MasterCard-supported Bluecorner - Peter firmly believes that now is the time for Government involvement: “Cards offered by companies like Bluecorner are superficially harmless and even market themselves as educational. The official line is that these cards can teach children how to handle money and therefore help prevent credit card debt later in life.

“I strongly doubt that will be the case. Having worked as an insolvency practitioner for many years, I see myself as working at the coalface and I see the results when people are credit happy. I believe that children ape their parents’ habits when it comes to spending and, as a nation, our reliance on plastic has got out of hand. I would go as far as to say that the Government has a duty to work with schools to educate children regarding the dangers of credit card spending.”

Peter applauds NatWest’s Face 2 Face with Finance - an education programme which drives practical financial knowledge and experience and works with schools - but calls for public spending to be set aside for this issue: “The NatWest’s scheme is one of several privately sponsored schemes and is a good initiative. However, I believe that it is the Government’s responsibility to ensure that the message hits home. In short, they’re not doing enough.”

Ends

Enquiries, please contact:

Peter Sargent                           Joanne Fletcher-Wall
Begbies Traynor Group plc                       Bell Pottinger North
01422 348448                                01625 617611

Notes to editors:

About Begbies Traynor Group plc

The Group specialises in business insolvency management and is becoming increasingly active in the area of personal insolvency. It also offers services in corporate rescue and investigation services and has entered the field of corporate finance.

In November 2005, the Group entered the rapidly-expanding volume personal insolvency market via the acquisition of W3 Debt Solutions, a firm specialising in providing advice and practical support to individuals in debt. 


The Group has grown to its current network of 30 nationwide offices ranging from Scotland to the South West of England, with 350 operatives. The Company continues to pursue its strategy of organic development, coupled with the acquisition of specialist knowledge of both individuals and firms, to further increase its market share in its core services.


The Directors believe that the Group is the UK's largest independent insolvency, corporate rescue and recovery specialist with clients ranging from major institutions to individuals with business difficulties.

 
The Office Network

The Group operates with 60 licensed insolvency appointment takers, some 225 fee earning staff and 65 in support and administration. The Group operates from 30 locations of which five are regional offices, a further 12 are full offices and 13 are satellites.

Business Activities

The core business of the Group is the formal administration of insolvencies including receiverships, liquidations, administrations, company voluntary arrangements and business-related personal insolvencies. The Group has extended its activities into a range of consultancy services including corporate rescue, credit management, forensic and investigation services and corporate finance.

 

 
RSM ROBSON RHODES APPOINTS NEW TAX DIRECTOR

The Manchester office of chartered accountants RSM Robson Rhodes have made a significant addition to their corporate tax team with the appointment of Gary Carrington.

Gary, 36, lives in Warrington and trained with Horwath Clark Whitehill.  On qualification as a chartered accountant he spent the last ten years at KPMG specialising in tax where he was also successful in his chartered tax adviser exam. He joins RSM Robson Rhodes as tax director heading up the corporate tax team.

His new role will see him driving business development for the team and will draw upon his extensive experience from SMEs through to international companies across a range of sectors including manufacturing, construction and retail.

Carol O’Hare, national head of tax at RSM Robson Rhodes comments: “Gary brings with him a wealth of experience. His appointment will strengthen our business development efforts and complement the team’s ambitious future growth plans. We all welcome him to the team”.

Ends

Press contacts: Joanne Fletcher-Wall or Alex Henshall at Bell Pottinger North (01625) 617611 - jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk> or ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk

Notes to editor

RSM Robson Rhodes LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership. The firm
practices from nine offices in the UK and Ireland, offering a full range of services to the public and private sectors. As the UK member of the world's sixth largest accounting and consultancy organisation, it is able to call upon the skills and experience of more than 20,000 professionals in over 70 countries. RSM Robson Rhodes is registered to carry on audit work by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is regulated and authorised by the Financial Services Authority for investment business.







 
RSM ROBSON RHODES STRENGTHENS RISK ASSURANCE TEAM

The Leeds office of chartered accountants, RSM Robson Rhodes has strengthened their risk assurance team with the appointment of senior manager John Duxbury.

John joins from one of the big four in Manchester and brings over ten years experience of the management and delivery of internal audit and risk services. He has worked across both public and private sectors and specialises in local Government, NHS and social housing.

His new role at RSM Robson Rhodes includes overseeing delivery of risk management and internal audit projects. He will be building wider sector expertise, business development and practice management.

Ian Falconer, risk assurance services partner commented: “We are delighted to welcome John who will complement our existing risk team. He brings strong experience in risk assurance activities and will be working with a wide variety of clients.”

John believes that RSM Robson Rhodes has the necessary commitment and ability to provide its clients with a professional, value-adding service.

John, 32, is a qualified member of the Institute of Internal Auditors and is also an accredited public sector counter fraud specialist.

Ends

Press contacts: Joanne Fletcher-Wall or Alex Henshall at Bell Pottinger North (01625) 617611 - jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk> or ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk>

Notes to editor:

RSM Robson Rhodes LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership. The firm
practices from nine offices in the UK and Ireland, offering a full range of services to the public and private sectors. As the UK member of the world's sixth largest accounting and consultancy organisation, it is able to call upon the skills and experience of more than 20,000 professionals in over 70 countries. RSM Robson Rhodes is registered to carry on audit work by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is regulated and authorised by the Financial Services Authority for investment business.



 
RSM ROBSON RHODES STRENGTHENS RISK ASSURANCE TEAM

The Manchester office of chartered accountants, RSM Robson Rhodes has strengthened their risk assurance team with the appointment of senior manager John Duxbury.

John joins from Deloitte in Manchester and brings over ten years experience of the management and delivery of internal audit and risk services. He has worked across both public and private sectors and specialises in local Government, NHS and social housing.

His new role at RSM Robson Rhodes includes overseeing delivery of risk management and internal audit projects. He will be building wider sector expertise, business development and practice management.

Ian Falconer, risk assurance services partner commented: “We are delighted to welcome John who will complement our existing risk team. He brings strong experience in risk assurance activities and will be working with a wide variety of clients.”

John believes that RSM Robson Rhodes has the necessary commitment and ability to provide its clients with a professional, value-adding service.

John, 32, is a qualified member of the Institute of Internal Auditors and is also an accredited public sector counter fraud specialist.

Ends

Press contacts: Joanne Fletcher-Wall or Alex Henshall at Bell Pottinger North (01625) 617611 - jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:jfletcher-wall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk> or ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk <mailto:ahenshall@bellpottingernorth.co.uk>

Notes to editor:

RSM Robson Rhodes LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership. The firm
practices from nine offices in the UK and Ireland, offering a full range of services to the public and private sectors. As the UK member of the world's sixth largest accounting and consultancy organisation, it is able to call upon the skills and experience of more than 20,000 professionals in over 70 countries. RSM Robson Rhodes is registered to carry on audit work by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and is regulated and authorised by the Financial Services Authority for investment business.




 
Thursday, March 09, 2006
MPSL 'PLANS' A MOVE

As part of its ongoing expansion plan, MPSL Planning & Design will be moving to bigger offices in Trafford Park, Manchester later this month. The move reflects the company's rapid growth and will allow staff to enjoy almost double the floor space, with approximately 2,700 square foot of room available.

Since launching five years ago, the company - which supports the construction industry across all sectors including residential, commercial and public sector contracts - has forged strong relations with a majority of national housebuilders and main contractors. It has established itself as the first port of call for those who require strong planning support and who wish to work with a team who understand the complete process from working drawings to full architectural services.

David Golden, managing director of MPSL Planning & Design, is enthusiastic about the changes heralded by the move: "Our main aim has always been to understand the needs of our clients and to cater our services to those requirements, acting as an extension to their teams as well as in the capacity of consultants. The evolution process for 2006 will include reviewing our current service offering to add value to our architectural and planning support services."

Since the company was established, it has quadrupled in size with a dedicated team of registered RIBA architect-led designers, planners and consultants. With greater office space, the team is looking forward to the benefits of better conference facilities and an abundance of parking.

MPSL Planning & Design offers master planning, urban design, architectural services, technical services and landscaping. Clients include Gleeson Homes, David McLean Homes, Arley Homes and Peel Holdings. For further information about the services that the division provides, visit the company's website at http://www.mpslgroup.com

- ends -

Press contact: Elizabeth Swain or Deborah Garritty at Bell Pottinger North
01625 506444
eswain@bellpottingernorth.co.uk

Editor's Note

MPSL demonstrates the capacity to support a wide range of projects, regardless of scale and location. It is in a position to play a key supporting role in regeneration plans and can offer a raft of talent and experience which is complemented by its full range of service offerings.

 
EIC 'POOLS' ITS EXPERIENCE

EIC is combining its experience of both the leisure and education sector as it undertakes the design and build project for University College, London's new swimming pool.

The £900,000 mechanical and electrical contract was awarded to the specialist supplier by main contractor, Galliford Try. EIC has started work on the design of what will be an extension to an existing building and expects to be on-site by the end of March, with work due for completion by October 2006.

The new mechanical and electrical systems will link up with the existing systems to provide the college with a seamless continuation of services. The college will be fully operational whilst work is carried out and will be operating a 'business as usual' policy.

Nigel Le Marechal, joint managing director of EIC, is pleased to have been awarded a contract which straddles both the education and leisure sectors: "We've grown our market share in these sectors in recent years and have established ourselves as experts across both fields. Our customer approach and commitment to service are recognised by our clients, along with our professional approach to working in sensitive environments."

- ends -

Editor's note
EIC provides project management, design, supply, installation, testing, commissioning and maintenance of electrical, mechanical control and data management systems to a wide range of blue chip clients. The company has a successful track record of partnering with major contractors such as AMEC, HBG, Taylor Woodrow, Carillion and Willmott Dixon, as well as carrying out a broad range of services for many High Street names and leisure groups including Debenhams, John Lewis Partnership, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Virgin, Primark, Littlewoods, Gap, Bhs, Co-op, ATS, Mitchells & Butler, Firmdale Hotels and the Hilton Group. EIC also works extensively throughout the health, education and commercial sectors working collaboratively with all members of a project team, providing innovative, sustainable solutions and best whole life value. For further information log on to http://www.eicltd.com or call 01789 269408.

Press contact: Elizabeth Swain @ Bell Pottinger North
eswain@bellpottingernorth.co.uk
(01625 506404)

 
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
CHEAT BY JOWELL?

Troubled Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell MP claims she was unaware of her husband’s complex financial arrangements.  But it seems from the results of a recent survey that David Mills isn’t alone in keeping his partner in the dark about his finances.

A poll of 120 people by personal insolvency specialists W3 Debt Solutions, part of the Begbies Traynor Group, found that over a tenth (12%) of respondents openly admitted they had financial interests or debts that their partner was unaware of. 

More worryingly, almost a fifth (18%) had lied to their partner about their finances.

Indeed, 13% of those polled had suspected their partner was secretly hiding spending from them. And a quarter of people in long term relationships said they did not know what their other half earned.

Some people, it seems, deceive their friends too.  Eight per cent said they claimed their finances were healthier than they actually were, while 18% disguised their true wealth by pretending to be worse off.

More positively, only 6% said that they hid ownership of certain credit or store cards from their other half.  And two thirds shared responsibility for paying household bills.

While only 44% had a joint bank account, partners are still likely to share financial information on areas like holiday costs (85%), credit card bills (75%) and mortgage payments (74%).

However, when it comes to being in debt, clearly these days we are less bothered by it.  A whopping 70% said today that there is less social stigma attached to indebtedness.

Greg Mullarkey, Chief Executive of W3 Debt Solutions, said:

“Tessa Jowell and David Mills clearly are not that unusual when it comes to people hiding financial information from their partners.  But I must admit to being very surprised that in these modern times 25% of couples still don’t tell each other what they earn.

“It’s equally worrying that 15% of people said that if their partner suddenly came into a large sum of money, they wouldn’t expect to know where it came from.

“From this, it’s easy to see how someone can get away with hiding debt or spending habits from their other half.”

Enquiries, please contact:

Greg Mullarkey                                  Joanne Fletcher-Wall
W3 Debt Solutions                                       or Sarah Hooley
01257 271 188                                                          Bell Pottinger North    
                                                         01625 617 611


Notes to editors:

About Begbies Traynor Group plc

The Group specialises in business insolvency management and is becoming increasingly active in the area of personal insolvency. It also offers services in corporate rescue and investigation services and has entered the field of corporate finance.

In November 2005, the Group entered the rapidly-expanding volume personal insolvency market via the acquisition of W3 Debt Solutions, a firm specialising in providing advice and practical support to individuals in debt. 


The Group has grown to its current network of 30 nationwide offices ranging from Scotland to the South West of England, with 350 operatives. The Company continues to pursue its strategy of organic development, coupled with the acquisition of specialist knowledge of both individuals and firms, to further increase its market share in its core services.


The Directors believe that the Group is the UK's largest independent insolvency, corporate rescue and recovery specialist with clients ranging from major institutions to individuals with business difficulties.

 

The Office Network


The Group operates with 60 licensed insolvency appointment takers, some 225 fee earning staff and 65 in support and administration. The Group operates from 30 locations of which five are regional offices, a further 12 are full offices and 13 are satellites.

Business Activities


The core business of the Group is the formal administration of insolvencies including receiverships, liquidations, administrations, company voluntary arrangements and business-related personal insolvencies. The Group has extended its activities into a range of consultancy services including corporate rescue, credit management, forensic and investigation services and corporate finance.


 
Monday, March 06, 2006
EMPLOYER BEWARE - AVOID THE BOGUS JOB APPLICATIONS

Expert comment available today on dealing with fraudulent multiple job applications

Employers are being warned by a North West lawyer of an increase in bogus job applicants who are setting companies up for costly discrimination claims.

Discrimination legislation, now in place in the UK, is relevant for employers dealing with job applications as well as dealing with existing employees.

Russell Brown, head of employment at Manchester-based law firm Glaisyers, comments:

“We are seeing a steady rise in this type of claim and it is becoming an increasingly common phenomenon. The bogus applicant will usually have identified a vacancy that is likely to attract a high number of applications. They then complete more than one application for the same job, one being genuine, the others including the same basic information but with false details. They may alter information relating to race, sex, disability, religion or sexual orientation. 

“Applications are monitored and if the genuine form receives less favourable treatment than the false one, the applicant has potential evidence that an employer has discriminated against them. 

“The option of settling the claim without the need for Tribunal litigation becomes very attractive to the employer and the applicant may then receive a potentially substantial payment for having done very little.”

However, the risks can be reduced through careful recruitment practice. Amongst other things, this involves applying set criteria in order to demonstrate a transparent process and recording minutes of the interview in writing. Commitment to equal opportunities can be highlighted through the use of an equal opportunities statement on the form. 

Steer clear of asking for information on race, gender, disability, religious belief or sexual orientation until a job offer has been made. If this data is needed, supply a separate detachable sheet and don’t ask for photographs with application forms.

Staff delegated with responsibility for short-listing candidates, should be trained in equality issues and recruitment processes. A Tribunal may take a very dim view of employers who don’t provide staff with the appropriate equal opportunities training.  Be warned!

Ends

For further information please contact:

Russell Brown                           Vicki Baxter/Joanne Fletcher-Wall
0161 832 4666                           01625 506425

Notes to editors

Russell Brown is a solicitor and head of Glaisyers’ employment team, practising exclusively in employment law acting for both employers and senior level employees.  He advises clients in a broad range of industries throughout the North West including both national and international companies.  He regularly contributes to various HR publications and speaks on employment law at employer groups and more recently on behalf of the BBC and SKY television.

Glaisyers was established in Manchester in 1974.  It is now an eleven partner firm with offices in central Manchester and Longsight. With a staff of 86 people they are a medium sized firm small enough to retain the general practice ethos but big enough to ensure that all solicitors are specialists in their chosen fields.  The Manchester office specialises in commercial and residential property for both private individuals and commercial developers together with company commercial transactions, personal injury, road traffic act cases, litigation and financial services.  

In Longsight the emphasis is on family work, child care, tenant related housing disputes, welfare benefits, domestic conveyancing, probate and wills. Both these offices hold Legal Aid franchises for the relevant work area.










 
OPTIMISM RETURNS TO MANUFACTURING SECTOR

The manufacturing sector nationally looks set for a period of growth over the coming two years according to the first quarter RSM Robson Rhodes/EEF engineering outlook survey.

Toby Wilson, head of the manufacturing and technology group of RSM Robson Rhodes’ Manchester office, commented: “It is heartening to see that the sector seems to have turned the corner and pessimism has been replaced by optimism. 

“Domestic orders whilst up over the past three months, lagged behind exports which saw increased business with Europe, mainly because of a reviving German economy. An upturn in output and orders is anticipated over the next quarter. 

“More companies are planning to invest over the coming 12 months - a clear sign of increased optimism in the sector going forward. However, downward pressures on margins remain with most sectors still experiencing cost increases which cannot be reflected in increased selling prices, he said.”

Nationally growth is concentrated in the higher technology areas with electronics and other transport equipment the best performing sectors. 

Concludes Wilson: “Those Manchester manufacturers that have re-engineered themselves - through a combination of lean manufacturing techniques and embracing technology - should continue to prosper within the global marketplace. One of the key factors in maintaining a healthy business is commitment to R & D and ongoing investment throughout the company.”

Key report findings:

Ends

For further information please contact Toby Wilson at RSM Robson Rhodes on 0161 455 3329 or Joanne Fletcher-Wall at Bell Pottinger North on 01625 506425.


 

This feed contains news releases issued by the clients of Bell Pottinger North

www.bellpottingernorth.co.uk





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