Whistleblowing: top legal firm issues legal guidance for employers

A rise in workers “speaking out” about issues ranging from workplace safety to furlough fraud has led to legal whistleblowing guidance for employers from Thursfields Solicitors.

The leading Midlands law firm’s advice comes as the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted concerns about the legal standing of those who make their concerns a public issue.

Lisa Kemp, an associate director in the Employment & HR Law team at Thursfields, explained it is not always obvious that a worker is whistleblowing, which is a technical area of law with lots of angles.

Ms Kemp said: “While this is a complex subject, if a whistleblowing complaint is not spotted or is mishandled, an employer may find themselves on the receiving end of costly litigation.

“It is therefore crucial to understand that whistleblowing, in broad terms, is a worker disclosing information about past, present or imminent wrongdoing in the workplace or an attempt to conceal the same – typically to their own employer or a regulator.

“The disclosure of information can be oral or in writing and need not be formal, which is why a whistleblowing complaint can be easy to miss.

“Workers disclosing such information must have a reasonable belief that doing so is in the public interest.

“A worker acting purely in self-interest will not be protected, although they could well be protected for blowing the whistle about breaches of individual employment rights where the disclosure is also in their own personal interest.”

Ms Kemp pointed out that whistleblowing legislation protects workers, including employees, from being subjected to any detriment on the grounds that they have made a “protected disclosure”.

Employees are further safeguarded because if the reason or principal reason for their dismissal is that they made a protected disclosure, that dismissal shall be regarded as automatically unfair.

She said: “This is crucial, and employers need to know that there is no cap on levels of compensation which can be awarded in such cases, where interim relief is also available in some circumstances.

“Organisations should therefore be encouraged to see effective whistleblowing procedures as part of their good governance strategy.

“Effective whistleblowing procedures can uncover hidden occupational issues, and dealing with a complaint promptly will help to avoid issues escalating, therefore mitigating litigation risk and reputational damage.

“Fostering an open culture can also create better working relationships with loyal employees more likely to make an internal report than complain externally or publicly.”

Ms Kemp added: “Prohibiting staff from speaking out is not allowed, and therefore any provision in an agreement, including a worker’s contract, trying to prevent whistleblowing will be void, as will non-disclosure agreements seeking to gag workers making protected disclosures.

“We have a team of experienced lawyers who can support businesses by providing bespoke management training and drafting effective policies, and we also undertake investigations and defend whistleblowing claims.”

Any company or organisation needing more guidance on whistleblowing can contact Ms Kemp at lkemp@thursfields.co.uk or by calling 0345 20 73 72 8.

Ends (488 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk

Tel: 01905 677066

Or

ASAP PR – 07990 978257.

www.thursfields.co.uk

Twitter – @Thursfields

LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 140 staff in five offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Solihull and Birmingham.

Crowe supports leading European customs broker in its acquisition of two UK businesses

The corporate finance team in the Midlands office of national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm Crowe has advised a pan-European business that supports exporters and importers on the acquisition of two UK businesses.

Netherlands-based Customs Support Group (CSG) first expanded its operations into the UK with the acquisition of UK Customs Solutions back in October 2021.

Now CSG has also completed the acquisition of two further UK businesses this May: Osborn Customs Services, the Rochester-based customs clearance experts; and the Dover export agents KSI Portlink. The deal values have not been disclosed.Crowe’s corporate finance team was led by partner Andy Kay and director Chasz Coulsting, supported by colleagues Phoebe Turner, Jason Daft and Nick Martin.

Adam McGiveron and Emma Bryant from law firm Pennington Manches Cooper provided legal support to CSG.

Andy Kay said: “Crowe acts for CSG internationally and our colleagues in France, Italy and Ireland have also been advising on EU deals.“The Midlands corporate finance team has been instrumental in assisting CSG with the recent acquisition of two UK businesses and provided financial due diligence and transaction support services on both deals.

“With international trade being such a key component of growth for both EU and non-EU businesses, the skills and expertise of CSG are crucial in helping to keep trade flowing smoothly, in both directions.”

Sebastian Ootjers, mergers & acquisitions director of CSG, said: “We are pleased with the excellent support from Crowe’s corporate finance Team, as they provided us with vital insights needed to realise these acquisitions. We look forward to working with Andy and his team again, as we continue to build our presence in the UK.”

Ends (281 words)

For further information, please contact

  • Miriam Sherwood, Director, People Communications & Marketing, Crowe UK. Tel: (0)121 543 1900, sherwood@crowe.co.uk

Notes to Editors:

About us
Crowe is a national audit, tax, advisory and risk firm offering global reach and local expertise. We are an independent member of Crowe Global, one of the top 10 accounting networks in the world. With exceptional knowledge of the business environment, our professionals share one commitment, to deliver excellence.

We are trusted by thousands of clients for our specialist advice, our ability to make smart decisions and our readiness to provide lasting value. Our broad technical expertise and deep market knowledge means we are well placed to offer insight and pragmatic advice to all the organisations and individuals with whom we work. Close working relationships are at the heart of our effective service delivery.

For more information, visit: www.crowe.co.uk

Crowe industry recognition

  • UK Member of one of the top 10 accounting networks in the world (International Accounting Bulletin World Survey 2021)
  • Top charity auditor (Charity Financials Auditor Benchmarking and Charity Finance Audit Survey, 2009 – 2020)
  • Ranked 5th in the AIM auditors ranking by number of audits (AIM Advisers Rankings Guide, January 2022)
  • 9th largest audit firm in the UK (UK fee income of audit firms that audit PIEs – by fee income on audit, FRC Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession, Figure 33, July 2021)
  • Risk Consultancy of the Year 2021 for the second consecutive year (InsuranceERM) – Crowe was recognised to be at forefront of two key areas of focus for insurers in 2020: operational resilience; and environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, including climate change.
  • Awarded Bronze for Accountancy Firm of the Year – Large (2020 Citywealth Magic Circle Awards)
  • Global Mobility Provider of the Year (Global Payroll Awards 2020)
  • Employment Tax Specialist of the Year (Global Payroll Awards 2019)

Spitfire Homes’ latest Worcestershire development to be brought to market by Nicol & Co

Spitfire Homes has appointed Worcestershire’s leading independent estate agent Nicol & Co to sell 45 new properties currently under construction at Ombersley in Worcestershire.

The development, on a five acre plot to the north of Woodhall Lane, will feature a mixture of high quality two, three and four bedroom homes, alongside affordable housing.

Matt Nicol, managing director of Nicol & Co, said: “Spitfire Homes is a developer that shares our commitment to customer service and delivery, and we are very pleased to be working with them on this, their latest project in Worcestershire.

“Demand for more information is already very strong. We currently have 350 registered enquiries for the 45 properties and will be contacting people over the coming weeks to ascertain their precise requirements.”

Known for its design-led approach, Spitfire’s 45 homes at Ombersley will combine striking exteriors that are sympathetic to the local village setting, with high specification interiors in tune with the requirements of modern living.

Mr Nicol said the first properties will be ready for occupation by the end of the year and urged those interested in buying to take advantage of a window of opportunity to fine tune the specification and finish of their new home to their particular taste and requirements.

“This is a great location just ten miles from Worcester city centre and 5.5 miles from the centre of Droitwich. It is also minutes from Junction 5 of the M5, feeding into the national motorway network and Birmingham International Airport.”

The village, which was featured by global agent Savills in a list of the most desirable villages in the country, is a real magnet for foodies with the famous Checketts of Ombersley, the country deli and butchery, the highly-rated Venture In restaurant and popular pubs such as The Crown & Sandys and The Cross Keys.

Waitrose in Droitwich is also less than five miles away.

Ben Leather, managing director of Spitfire Homes, said: “As a forward-thinking estate agent whose standards and ethos closely align with our own, appointing Nicol & Co to sell our new homes in Ombersley was a simple decision.

“Matt and the team have a clear understanding of the requirements of the local market and a solid grasp on Spitfire Homes’ offer to the market and we look forward to working with them to launch this new collection in the coming weeks.

All homes will be heated by air source heat pumps and come fitted with electric car charging points as standard, helping to keep energy costs low and ensure the properties are equipped for now and the future.

The range of properties available to purchase will include a range of two, three and four bedroom houses.

Further details are available by contacting Nicol & Co’s New Homes Department on 01905 930404, or email spitfire@nicolandco.co.uk

Ends (468 words)

For further media information or interviews, please call:

Matt Nicol, Managing Director, Nicol & Co, 226 Worcester Road, Droitwich Spa, WR9 8AY

Tel: 01905 799072 

Notes to Editors

Established in 2009, Nicol & Co is an award-winning estate agency offering advice on sales, lettings, new homes and land purchase. The company combines the latest in digital media with traditional high street courtesy and service to provide the perfect blend of old and new technology.

Prepared and issued by ASAP PR – 07990 978257.

Major development for 50 apartments at historical Black Country site on market for £1.25 million

An historical site on the canalside in the Black Country with plans submitted to build 50 apartments has come on the market for £1,250,000.

Top Midlands property agents Bond Wolfe is marketing the scheme which includes the refurbishment and conversion of the Grade II-listed Boat Gauging House in Tipton, dating back to 1873.

This key building will house four exclusive two-bedroomed dwellings in a way that maintains the historic character of the listed property.

The remainder of the 1.1-acre site has already been cleared and plans have been submitted for two new-build apartment blocks that will contain further 46 apartments.

Block A will contain 10 new-build apartments with a mix of one and two bedrooms, and block C will house another 36 new-build apartments, again with a mix of one and two bedrooms.

James Mattin, managing director agency at Birmingham-based Bond Wolfe, said: “We are delighted to have brought this significant development opportunity to the market.

“The plans we have submitted are for 50 high quality, individually designed apartments, with the key design element being the four residences in the converted listed building.

“The plans we have submitted include 61 associated car parking spaces plus landscaping to make this historical canalside location a beautiful place to live.”

The Boat Gauging House is located at the Tipton Canal basin off Factory Road, which is on the main line of the greater Birmingham canal network.

It was originally used for calibrating new canal boats to make sure the weights of cargo that they carried could be accurately recorded.

More than 10,000 boats were gauged and registered at Tipton in the period between 1873 and 1900 and boats were still being gauged there in 1950.

Mr Mattin explained that the site was being sold with a long leasehold, and that access to a complete data room for the development was available to potential buyers.

This site is one of a number of development opportunities being bought to the market by Bond Wolfe, and interested parties can contact Mr Mattin on 0121 525 0600, 0121 524 1172 or by email at jmattin@bondwolfe.com.

Ends (348 words)

For further information, please contact: 

James Mattin, Managing Director, Agency,

2nd Floor, 75/77 Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 2AP

0121 525 0600 or 0121 524 1172, Email: jmattin@bondwolfe.com

www.bondwolfe.com

Issued by Andy Skinner, ASAP PR, mobile 07990 978257.

Editors’ notes

Bond Wolfe is an established commercial property practice based in Birmingham and  West Bromwich. Its services include commercial property sales and lettings, auctions, property investment, and development throughout the West Midlands.

Large luxury apartment in Grade II-listed country manor house for sale with DM & Co. Homes

A rare opportunity has emerged to buy a large and luxurious apartment in a Grade II*-listed country manor house located in an exclusive semi-rural area of the West Midlands.

DM & Co. Homes is marketing the three-bedroomed property at No.1 Berkswell Hall, which lies next to the village of Berkswell in the Metropolitan Borough of Solihull, with a guide price of £9

The ground floor apartment has a large breakfast kitchen dining area, a grand library sitting room, three spacious double bedrooms and several original features including high ceilings, spectacular ceiling roses and tall sash windows.

Kathy Griffiths, head of Premium at DM & Co. Homes, said: “This really is a rare chance to buy a luxury pad in what is a magnificently converted country manor house steeped in history.

“The driveway approach to this property is outstanding, with the buildings stunning architecture set within immaculately maintained grounds.

“The apartment is the largest of 16 at the property and quite simply takes your breath away because of its pristine presentation”.

“With almost 2,500 sq ft of accommodation it would be ideal either as a main residence or as a fabulous country escape, lock and leave but it has to be viewed to fully appreciate its splendour.”

Ms Griffiths explained that an historic residence has existed on the site since the 16th century when the Manor of Berkswell was created as a gift of the Crown.

It was originally the home of the Marow family, descendants of William Marow, a former Lord Mayor of London, and the property was substantially rebuilt in its present form in 1815 by Sir John Eardley-Wilmot, one of the Eardley-Wilmot baronets.

Between 1843 and 1860 the house was occupied by a school but was restored as a residence by Thomas Walker in 1861 and sold to Joshua Hirst Wheatley in 1888. Wheatley and his son served as High Sheriffs of Warwickshire in 1896 and 1934.

In 1984 the estate was sold for development and the house was converted into apartments, although the surrounding land is still privately owned by the Berkswell Estate and the Wheatley family.

Kathy said: “The grandeur and presence of this property is just incredible, from the long sweeping drive to the charming entrance hall still displaying the original servant call bells.

“Berkswell Hall retains many of its original features which make the Grade II*-listed building quite simply impossible not to fall in love with – it really does make you feel like Lord of the Manor!

“The apartment’s location on the ground level gives direct access to the grounds from three points including the library and bedroom two – it’s like having a huge garden without the maintenance!

“Upon entering it is hard not to appreciate the finish and thought that has gone into the interiors, with spectacular ceiling heights, remarkable ceiling roses and architraves, and stunning tall sash windows that drench the rooms with light.

“The large kitchen diner has an abundance of hand painted units, built in appliances and a central island, with plenty of space to cook, eat and entertain whilst soaking up the views over the impressive lawns.

“The sitting room really is the showstopper lined with an inspiring book collection, wood panelling and fabulous feature fireplace.

“Whilst there are three bedrooms, the current owners chose to transform the largest into an impressive dining room with office space, and the intricate cornicing and large marble fireplace make it a wonderful entertaining space.

“Even the corridor is delightful, leading to a lovely family bathroom, access to a quaint central courtyard area, and two further bedrooms.

“The principal bedroom is beautifully decorated with an impressive ensuite bathroom, and the light simply spills into this gorgeous room through the huge sash window.

“Bedroom two acts as a pretty, spacious guest room with double doors onto a charming patio, perfect for enjoying a morning cup of tea.

“The grounds here are simply spectacular, with acres of lawns and an abundance of beautiful trees maintained to exceptionally high standards, and there is plenty of parking at the front of the property, including a garage.”

Berkswell is a pretty village just two miles from Balsall Common and just over eight miles from Solihull, with Berkswell train station a short drive away, and the future HS2 hub only eight minutes away.

Birmingham International Airport is just under six miles away, as is the M42 providing excellent access to the major road networks.

Kathy added: “The location and transport links make this property a real option for London commuters – to enjoy country living while having very quick and easy access to the city.”

The apartment is on a long leasehold with 962 years remaining, and vacant possession is available on completion of the sale.

To view the Berkswell Hall apartment, call Kathy Griffith at DM & Co. Homes on 01564 777 314 or email premium@dmandcohomes.co.uk.

Ends (807 words)

For further information, please contact: 

Kathy Griffiths, Head of Premium, DM & Co. Homes

T: 01564 777 314 E: Kathy.griffiths@dmandcohomes.co.uk

Unit 2, Forest Court Shopping Centre, Dorridge, Solihull, B93 8FG

www.dmandcohomes.co.uk

Editors’ notes:

DM & Co. Homes is a local, independent estate agent covering Solihull, Dorridge, Lapworth, Tanworth-in-Arden and the surrounding areas.

The company has traditional high street offices at The Forest Shopping Centre, Station Road in Dorridge and at The Pavilions, Cranmore Drive in Solihull, along with a recently launched Land and New Homes division that is quickly growing.

It has made a major investment in its head office, based on Cranmore Drive, where its land & new homes, lettings, financial advisors, sales progressors and administration teams are based.

DM & Co. Home’s media team also operates from the Cranmore Drive offices, providing photography, video and content planning that attracts more than 100,000 views a month via YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.

Issued by ASAP PR – 07990 978257

Experienced lettings manager joins the team at Davidson Estates

Davidson Estates has appointed an experienced lettings manager to help meet growing demands for property in Birmingham city centre and its nearby plush suburbs.

Jaime Duffy joins the expanding estate agency after spending nearly three years in lettings across the West Midlands.

She started as a lettings negotiator at Connells estate agency in West Bromwich in 2019, was promoted to senior lettings negotiator at the company’s Wolverhampton branch in March last year and then became assistant lettings manager at the same branch in December.

Ben Davidson, the founder and managing director of Davidson Estates, said: “We are delighted to welcome Jaime to our team and I am sure she will quickly settle in.

“We were so impressed with her great personality at interview, and her positive attitude plus her experience at Connells made her the obvious choice for this job.

“Jaime has three years’ experience in the sector and has a demonstrated history of growing skills in negotiation, lettings, home inspections and all landlord and tenant matters.

“She is just the kind of lettings manager we need as we see demand for properties in the city centre, Edgbaston and Harborne continue to grow.”

The growing demand for city centre living has recently seen Davidson Estates opening a new office at 102 Colmore Row in the heart of the professional business quarter.

This expansion and the reopening of its head office at 14a Frederick Road in Edgbaston has resulted in the company creating seven new jobs.

Established by Mr Davidson in 2009, Davidson Estates made its name as the leading independent agent covering Edgbaston before spreading its wings across the city.

Ms Duffy, who was brought up and educated in the Black Country, said: “I’m thrilled to be joining such a modern and successful estate agency that focuses on prime areas in Birmingham. I can’t wait to help Davidson Estates succeed in its future growth plans.”

Ends (315 words)

For further information, please contact: 

Ben Davidson, Managing Director, Davidson Estates,

102 Colmore Row, Birmingham, B3 2AG

Head office: 14 Frederick Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 1JD

Tel: 0121 455 7727

Mobile: 07834 561 537

Email: ben.davidson@davidsonestates.co.uk

www.davidsonestates.co.uk

Editors’ Notes

Davidson Estates is an established estate and letting agency based in Edgbaston and Birmingham city centre, specialising in residential property lettings, property management, PRS Management (Build-to-Rent), residential sales, new build (presale) sales, land/site finding, development consultation, furniture, maintenance and refurbishments. Founded by Ben Davidson in January 2009, the business has built up an excellent reputation for its high level of service and is now regarded as one of the best and most reliable property agents in Edgbaston and Birmingham city centre.

Seven more Birmingham City Council commercial investments to go under the hammer

Bond Wolfe Auctions is once again offering seven freehold commercial ground rents on behalf of Birmingham City Council in its next auction on Thursday 19 May.

Ron Darlington, consultant director of Bond Wolfe, said: “Investors are always keen on bricks and mortar offering solid returns, and in an uncertain economic environment we are anticipating keen interest in the lots we are offering.

“The market for commercial ground rents has risen in popularity over recent years, especially from institutional investors looking for long term returns.”

In Sherbourne Road the ground rents on two adjoining properties will go under the hammer. The first has a 75 year lease from January 1973 with a ground rent of £7,000 per annum, subject to rent reviews every 21 years. The neighbouring property has a 70 year lease from October 1978 with a ground rent of £5,000 per annum, with rent reviews every seven years.

nother lot is for the freehold commercial ground rent on a two storey car show room and premises at 367 Moseley Road in Sparkbrook, which has a guide price* of £225,000+.

The business will remain unaffected, and the property has around 46 years unexpired at a ground rent of £6,750 per annum, with rent reviews every 25 years.

Across the city in Bordesley, the freehold commercial ground rent on Merit House in Stanhope Street is available with a guide price of £200,000+, and is subject to a 100 year lease from August 2015 with a ground rent of £4,000 per annum and rent reviews every 25 years.

At 31-33 Sutton Street, the freehold commercial ground rent for a 75 year lease from September 1961 producing £335 per annum with no rent reviews is offered with a guide price of £225,000+.

A guide price of £225,000+ is offered on the freehold commercial ground rent of a two storey premises at 8-10 Washington Street, which has a 75 year lease from September 1956 at a ground of £70 per annum with no reviews.

Radnor House, Radnor Street, Birmingham, has a 99 year lease from September 1978, and a ground rent of £5,000 per annum with rent reviews every seven years – guide price £150,000+.

The final Birmingham City Council lot being offered is 11 Pentos Drive, Birmingham, which is subject to a 99 year lease from 1987 and has an annual ground rent of £200, with rent reviews in April 2037 and April 2062 – guide price £75,000+.

The Birmingham City Council lots are among 158 lots that will appear in Bond Wolfe’s next auction which starts at 9am on Thursday 19 May. The auction will be livestreamed via Bond Wolfe’s website with remote bidding by proxy, telephone or internet only.

For more details and to register to bid visit www.bondwolfe.com/property-auctions-west-midlands/, or email auctions@bondwolfe.com, or call 0121 312 1212 or 01902 928 510.

Anyone with properties to sell in a future auction can arrange a free appraisal by calling the auction team or visiting www.bondwolfe.com/free-property-appraisal/.

Ends (490 words)

* Each property is subject to a reserve price which may be different from the guide price.  Please refer to the Important Information and legal pack(s) for further information and any additional fees which may apply.

 

For further information, please contact:

Suzanne Randell, Joint Managing Director – Auctions,

Bond Wolfe, 1st Floor, 75/77 Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 2AP

0121 312 1212, SRandell@Bondwolfe.com

www.bondwolfe.com, Twitter – @BondWolfe

Editors’ notes:

Bond Wolfe has a record breaking and award-winning team with over 300 years of combined property experience.  They sell all types of residential, commercial and mixed-use property, investments and land/development sites for private individuals and corporate clients. They will hold seven auctions in 2022 – on 9 February, 30 March, 19 May, 21 July, 8 September, 20 October and 8 December – as well as offering online auctions, selling properties nationally across the UK.

Man’s best friend to benefit again as Thursfields announces its three charities of the year

Birmingham Dogs Home has been selected for the second year running as one of Thursfields Solicitors’ charities of the year for 2022-23.

The charity, based in Catherine-de-Barnes, Solihull, will once again receive fundraising, awareness and volunteer support from the leading Midlands law firm for the next 12 months.

Two other charities will also benefit from Thursfields’ focused efforts from 1 May to 30 April 2023. They are:

  • Wings and Paws, another animal charity based in the Black Country, and
  • the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust, based in Worcestershire.

After receiving more than 100 applications, Thursfields’ staff voted on who should be the charity of the year for each of three areas served by the firm’s offices.

Thursfields’ chairman Nick O’Hara said: “We always take great pleasure in choosing and serving local charities every year.

“The fact that Birmingham Dogs Home is one of those charities for the second year running just shows how impressed our staff were with that organisation’s work.

“We are committed to the communities where we live and work and our team across Thursfields’ offices are all looking forward to raising as many funds as possible for each charity.

“We will also provide volunteers to help on projects and will seek to help raise awareness of the important role each charity plays within our communities.”

Fi Harrison, head of fundraising at Birmingham Dogs Home, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen again by the team at Thursfields.

“2022 is a very special year for Birmingham Dogs Home as we celebrate 130 years of caring for lost and homeless dogs across the Midlands.

“Thursfields’ support in our 130th doggie-themed fundraising challenges and activities is more vital than ever as the kennels at our two rescue centres are full of record numbers of relinquished and stray dogs.”

Clare Vowles, chief executive of Wings & Paws in Wolverhampton, said: “We are thrilled to have been chosen as one of Thursfields’ charities of the year.

“We started off as a small local charity, caring for the animals who needed our help at the drop of a hat, and now we’re expanding and helping those in need even more.

“The help from organisations such as Thursfields Solicitors goes such a long way and we couldn’t do what we do without the help of others.”

Emma Williams, operations and fundraising manager for the Grace Kelly Childhood Cancer Trust, said: “We are truly honoured to have been selected to receive support from the team at Thursfields.

“As a small charity based in Worcestershire we have a team that are dedicated to the values and objectives of the Trust working hard to support families facing childhood cancer.

“Our family support covers emotional, sibling, financial and bereavement support ensuring we are there for families when they need us at such a hard time.

“This partnership offers the Trust an incredible opportunity to work with a well-recognised and successful group of solicitors.

“We are looking forward to raising the much-needed funds and profile of the Trust and to building a partnership to benefit the vital work that we do.

“We also want to work alongside the aims of Thursfields to ensure that all involved have a positive and enjoyable experience of supporting a local charity.”

Ends (540 words)

For further information, please contact:

Dani James, Business Development Manager, Thursfields Solicitors

Email: djames@thursfields.co.uk Tel: 01905 677066

Or

Steve Dyson at ASAP PR – 01789 490786.

www.thursfields.co.uk, Twitter – @Thursfields, LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/company/thursfields

Notes to Editors

Thursfields Solicitors is one of the region’s longest established and reputable law firms, with more than 140 staff in five offices across Worcestershire and the West Midlands. Thursfields Solicitors provides a full range of legal services to business and the private individual, including property, family, employment and commercial law as well as probate and litigation. The firm has offices in Worcester, Kidderminster, Halesowen, Solihull and Birmingham.

Thriving commercial heating specialists Ignis group move to new premises, aided by John Truslove

Ignis Group Ltd called on property experts John Truslove to help secure larger premises to base its head office and facilitate continued growth after its workforce doubled in size through the recent pandemic.

Ignis Group maintains over 1,000 commercial buildings throughout the Midlands and surrounding counties, carrying out service, maintenance and installation of commercial heating and hot water systems.

With demand from existing customers and gaining new clients on a weekly basis, the firm soon outgrew its previous base in Moons Moat, Redditch.

Ignis director Terry O’Neill said: “With the rapid growth of the business over the last four years, we knew very early on we would outgrow our original offices in Redditch. After a long search aided by the team at John Truslove, we finally found our new base in Studley, Warwickshire.”

The company has taken a five year lease on the 2,987 sq ft premises at 3B High Street, Studley, which provides offices, workshops/stores, secure yard and separate staff parking.

Mr O’Neill added “The premises are a great match for our business operations and ideally located on the Worcestershire/Warwickshire Boarder. The team at John Truslove were great to work with and we have built a great relationship with them.”

Ignis Group is now one on the biggest independent commercial heating companies in the Midlands. Its customer base includes premiership football clubs and local manufacturing giants. The core business lies in education currently maintaining over 200 schools and universities throughout Worcestershire and the Midlands.

Mr O’Neill said: “Ignis was founded four years ago by me and fellow director, John Mackin. The business has flourished year on year, and we now have a team of 20 staff.

“Many of our clients, which include NHS, care homes and schools, remained open during the recent pandemic which allowed our growth to continue.

“We have built a strong reputation over the last four years with the hard work and high standards produced by our team. The premises will enable us to continue moving forward with the business and support our future ambitions.”

Ian Parker, joint managing director at commercial property agents John Truslove, said: “Ignis is an ideal tenant for our landlord client – an ambitious and growing company that has cemented itself in the area with its large local customer base. We wish them further success in their new home.

“Studley is a thriving village that is home to a growing number of businesses, and we are seeing property snapped up rapidly. Fortunately, our unrivalled portfolio of properties across the area means we are always in a position to help any growing business.”

Nishad Akram from Astwood Law represented Ignis Group in the tenancy agreement.

Ends (443 words)

For more information, contact:

John Truslove, Daralbee House, Archer Road, Redditch, B98 8DJ

01527 584242

Editor’s Notes

Redditch-based chartered surveyors and valuers John Truslove was established by John Truslove in 1981 and has become the market leading independent agent for commercial property in North Worcestershire and North Warwickshire as well as the wider West Midlands.

The firm was named Most Active Agent in Worcestershire in the Radius Data Exchange survey produced in conjunction with EG, the commercial property market magazine.

Joint managing director Ian Parker was also named Worcestershire Dealmaker of the Year AND Warwickshire Dealmaker of the Year for 2020. The survey year, which runs from August to August, saw John Truslove record a 36% increase in deals negotiated over the 12 months.

Issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR, mobile 07990 978257.

Principle makes first acquisition and opens a London office

Principle Estate Management, the national property business based in Birmingham, has made its first acquisition – acquiring a London firm and opening an office in the capital.

The purchase of Myhill Newman for an undisclosed sum increases Principle’s properties under management by 10% and brings a further 24 residential developments totalling 861 units into the business established by founder Brett Williams in April 2018.

Brett Williams said: “Bob Myhill was looking for a route to retirement in the coming years, and we were introduced by a mutual business contact.

“We quickly established that the two businesses would be a good fit, and the deal represents a very significant step forward in our growth.”

Chartered surveyor Bob Myhill remains with the business as a full time consultant and brings with him six additional office-based staff and an office on Wardour Street, Soho.

Mr Williams added: “The 24 additional residential developments we will be managing are mostly high quality residential management company instructions, many with concierges and other site staff, ranging from a six unit development close to Hyde Park to one of 164 units at Regents Park.

“Within this portfolio, there are some very exclusive residential properties, a number of which are valued at over £5 million.”

The deal also includes four commercial management clients, totalling 29 rented units.

Mr Williams said: “The new instructions fit nicely into Principle Estate Management’s portfolio being primarily management of residential apartment buildings with the additional capability of commercial and residential portfolio management.

“Myhill Newman has a reputation for providing a top quality service and we want to maintain this as it aligns with Principle’s founding aim of ‘property management, properly done’, and our vision statement formalised last year – to have a positive impact on the everyday lives of our communities.

Joe Jobson, joint managing director, added “We will be integrating Myhill Newman’s properties into Principle’s management systems over the next few months, giving our new clients access to our customer portal and other benefits to add to the existing service currently provided.”

The developments being integrated into Principle’s management are located across the boroughs of Islington, Camden, Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea.

“Our portfolio as of today is now 40% Midlands, and 35% London and South East, with the remainder nationally spread and includes over 8,900 units in more than 275 developments across the UK, as well as rented commercial and residential properties.

Bob Myhill said: “Having spent the last 30 years establishing Myhill Newman as a prime central London managing agent, I was keen to ensure that our clients would continue to receive a proactive and personal service. It soon became apparent that Principle worked with the same ethos and would be the ideal partner.”

Principle was advised by Kate Hackett of law firm The Wilkes Partnership in Birmingham, and Gavin Whitehouse of Halesowen accountants Bennett Whitehouse. Myhill Newman was advised by Colin Dunstall of lawyers Donaldson Dunstall in Bexhill-on-Sea.

Ends (487 words)

For further information please contact:

Brett Williams, Principle Estate Management LLP, Tel: 07954 078711 / 0121 289 4315

Email: BWilliams@PrincipleEstate.co.uk

www.PrincipleEstate.co.uk

https://twitter.com/PrincipleEM

https://www.linkedin.com/company/principle-estate-management/

https://www.facebook.com/PrincipleEstateManagement/

Editors’ notes:

Principle is a customer-focused managing agent providing a transparent property management service to the highest standards nationwide, focusing particularly on the management of apartment buildings. Principle Estate Management, based in Birmingham, launched in Spring 2018 and is led by experienced chartered surveyors. The business was born out of a passion for “doing it right” through a director-led, friendly approach combined with robust systems that maximize efficiency. Principle provides a service that sets the aspirational standard for other agents. The company manages modern apartment buildings, traditional blocks of flats, mixed use developments, private housing estates and private rented sector (PRS) or build-to-rent (BTR) developments, as well as portfolios of rented properties for residential or commercial landlords.