I was one of the founding partners who set up Pannone Corporate in 2014. We effectively performed an MBO of the commercial part of Pannone LLP – a top 50 law firm at the time. I joined Pannone LLP in 2004 as a partner, having worked at a regional law firm and two international law firms prior to that. I am now the firm’s senior partner – a role that I really enjoy, having been the managing partner when we formed ten years ago.

When the opportunity arose for a new firm to be created from the commercial teams at Pannone LLP, I knew it could work. I saw it as the “ best of both”,  in the sense that we were creating something completely new but with people and clients who had worked together for many years, in some cases almost 30 years.

Reassuringly familiar, but refreshingly different was always how I saw it. I believed that if our clients could see we were going to support them in the same way they had come to expect, with the same team of people, then they would give us a chance!  Even with this conviction I was still nervous – setting up a new law firm isn’t usually what you do, at least not back in 2014. There was a huge amount of work to be done by everyone involved to get us to the starting line. From the autumn of 2013 to February 2014, it was pretty much a non-stop adrenaline rush.

The firm today is both similar and very different to where we started. We have retained the vast majority of the clients we started off with, and many of the people who took the leap of faith with us are happily still here. We have also added many more new clients and team members since 2014, so it looks and feels different to 2014, while still retaining the strong culture that we started with.

The best thing
The best thing about my job is the daily interaction with our clients and team. I consider myself a people person and l like few things better in life than meeting clients (new or long established) and discussing their business, challenges, and opportunities.

Standout moments
My favourite memory of the last ten years? That is a difficult question. The launch party is definitely up there! I would also include every new client win, every tender success, and every time someone chooses to join us to spend part of their career with us. The legal profession is ultimately a people business, and we genuinely have a great group of people at Pannone which comes across to clients on a daily basis.

The achievement I am most proud of is helping to create a sustainable, profitable law firm that is able to offer its staff a supportive, engaging, and collegiate working environment. We are a stronger firm now than when we started off 10 years ago and that is down to our people and clients.

What also makes me proud is that so many clients, including household names such as boohoo, DHL, Iceland, and New Balance to name only a few, have placed their trust in us.

The future

I see the North West business community going from strength to strength in the next ten years, building on the incredible achievements during the last ten. With a change of government looking very likely in the next six months and a genuine commitment to more devolved powers to the region (amongst others) as a consequence of a new administration, it looks a promising outlook for our region.

For our firm, I see the next ten years as growth years. We have invested heavily in IT in the last 12 months and our new infrastructure puts us in a good place from which to grow – adding more people and more clients. We have never sought growth for the sake of it – we have always sought sustainable, profitable growth. I genuinely cannot see why more clients in the region and beyond would not want to see what we have to offer!

One word

If I had to describe us in one word – ambitious.

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In the final piece in our series commenting on Manchester’s aims to achieve net zero by 2038, we look to the future and offer our predictions as to some of the key environmental issues for businesses going forwards.

Manchester’s objectives – and the UK as a whole – are clear, as are the opportunities for businesses to cooperate and participate in achieving net zero. As we have highlighted in our previous blogs, businesses can no longer shy away from their environmental impact, and must integrate ‘green’ issues and how they consider them in their day-to-day operations.

But what does this mean in practice?

Whilst environmental impact is not a new concern for businesses, unlike in the past, in the next few years the promotion of environmental objectives will be placed onto at least an equal footing and importance as other daily business concerns.

Appreciation of environmental impact

As we have highlighted in previous blogs in this series, there are many ways in which businesses can help contribute to Manchester’s goals.

All of these measures however require businesses to evaluate their environmental footprint, and then to take measures to address specific issues arising. For example, we have previously touched upon cycle to work schemes and onsite EV charging. Whilst not necessarily applicable to every business, these are perhaps obvious areas for businesses to consider if they can reduce their carbon impact.

Likewise, our blog series has also commented on the potential to retrofit the built environment. There are a number of potentially ‘easy wins’ in this regard, in terms of upgrading insulation and heating systems, but there are cost consequences.

We recommend that businesses take the time now to consider all aspects of their operations, and assess where and how measures can be taken to contribute to the net zero aims. It would be advantageous for businesses to undertake this task now, before they are compelled to do so, in order to best position themselves going forwards in light of expected growth in this area.

Lengthier due diligence exercises

As environmental awareness increases, and local and national drives to achieve net zero pick up pace, we anticipate that this will be reflected in more protracted and complicated due diligence exercises.

We have touched upon some of the relevant concerns within this series, but the net result will require businesses to consider additional matters when considering purchases and acquisitions. For example, where new build commercial properties are constructed with the benefit of on-site energy generation, issues of licensing, regulatory requirements and health and safety will need be incorporated into enquiries. The consequence of considering such additional matters will be to increase the cost of, and time required to complete, legal due diligence.

Cultural change

It is accepted that net zero cannot be achieved overnight, and will require a concerted and consistent approach across all sectors. That being said, change needs to start somewhere and may for many businesses require a cultural change and significant revision to their current operating procedures.

Such changes can only flow from the top of an organisation, and the active promotion and furtherance of environmental aims cannot be seen or treated as a simple tick-box exercise. The achievement of net zero will require a new mindset and a genuine prioritisation of the objectives to be achieved.

Solid foundation for environmental claims

In contributing to the region’s net zero aims, businesses may want to promote their own environmental credentials – either by way of encouragement of others, or to promote the steps they are taking. However, organisations must remain mindful that any ‘green’ claims they publish about themselves must be accurate and not misleading. Recent years have seen an almost overnight increase in the number of ‘greenwashing’ claims, and the Competition and Markets Authority is actively investigating claims of sustainability.

In order to avoid falling foul of these novel causes of action and litigation, businesses need to be conscious of the way in which they publicise their net zero actions and, where necessary, have in the background clear data to demonstrate the validity of their claims – for example, in terms of their environmental sustainability or net zero achievements.

Increasing importance of ESG scores

Environmental, social and governance scores have existed for many years, although historically they have been used by financial institutions to benchmark their performance against competitors and assess likelihood of default by a business.

The last few years has seen a rapid increase in their prevalence, across all sectors, and we predict that they will only play an ever more central role over the coming years. Not only does the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive serve to mandate the inclusion of ESG scores within companies’ annual reporting processes, but this information will also likely play an increasingly seismic role in M&A deals, and is already being seen as a key influencer in investment decisions:. Investors will require clear and unambiguous confirmation that their investments have verifiable ‘green’ credentials.

Carbon accountability

Han-in-hand with the increase in ESG scores, we anticipate that the next few years will see an increasing awareness, and benchmarking, of carbon accountability. Manchester has already provided information as to how much carbon its net zero measures have saved, and we consider it is only a matter of time before similar information is volunteered by other sectors.

To date, these scores have mainly been used by aviation companies to provide information as to the carbon impact of individual flights, but we anticipate their spread into construction, hospitality and retail.

As worldwide efforts to achieve net zero increase, and consumers become more alive to their own environmental impact, carbon scores will likely become increasingly omnipresent and a key driver of consumer behaviour. It may be the case that carbon limits are in time placed on businesses, and potentially individuals, as further drivers of change. For example, similar initiatives have been introduced by some banks which have already started to offer card accounts with an in-built carbon tracker.

In time, it may be the case that retail goods, and other purchases, are provided with an individual ESG/ carbon accountability score in much the same way that energy efficiency ratings currently attach to white goods.  We therefore recommend again that business look now at where their main carbon spend is occurring, and what measures may be available to address and reduce this.

War on plastic

Although our series has not focussed on the war on plastic, Manchester’s actions towards net zero are taking place against the national background of this issue. The government has stated its desire to avoid all avoidable waste by 2042, and recent years have seen the prohibition on sales of certain items, such as single-use plastic cutlery, and the introduction of the plastic bag charge.

Businesses are not immune to these measures and have been equally affected by the Plastic Packaging Tax and extended producer responsibilities, both of which serve to impose waste management cost obligations on businesses for the packaging they generate and handle.  Whilst the purpose of these regulations is to encourage and incentivise durability, repairability and recycling, and move away from disposal as the default option at a product’s end of life, the additional costs generated are almost certainly going to be passed on throughout the supply chain.

As part of the suggested internal review and assessment identified at the start of this piece, businesses need to start considering now whether any of their produced items can be redesigned using environmentally friendly components, or re-packaged in a way that supports environmental targets.

What does the future hold?

Absent of a crystal ball, no one can predict with certainty what tomorrow may bring, but so far as the achievement of net zero and climate action are concerned, the route is clear: preservation of the environment is to be promoted.

We suggested at the outset that businesses may want to consider now (before they are obliged to do so) what their environmental footprint is and how they may be able to reduce this so as to contribute not only to their immediate community, but also the wider objectives stated by Manchester and central government.

Whilst this will almost certainly result in immediate costs being incurred, these perhaps pale into insignificance given the greater good to be achieved.

Photo: Sakorn Sukkasemsakorn

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In our penultimate article on Manchester’s intention to become a zero carbon city by 2038, we consider this week the built environment, the measures available to help contribute to objectives, and the implications for those involved in the management and/ or transaction of real estate.

Manchester’s Climate Change Framework estimates that housing, and the built environment generally, may contribute up to 30% of the city’s total carbon emissions. Real estate is therefore considered to be a key driver in efforts to achieve carbon neutrality, with buildings being categorised as ‘net zero’ if they have no net carbon emissions during either their construction or operation.

However, the obstacles to overcome to achieve this objective are two-fold: not only is it necessary to remedy defects or environmentally prejudicial characteristics within existing stock, which includes those premises constructed before there was the current awareness of climate change; but in addition, net zero requires that those buildings yet to be designed or constructed also contribute to the target to be achieved.

What has Manchester done to date?

Despite the enormity of the task at hand, numerous retrofitting measures are commonly available, for example: installation and upgrade to energy-efficient lighting; high efficiency boilers; installation of double-glazing; and cavity wall insulation.

Although these measures may not be considered individually onerous or overly time-consuming, wholesale retrofitting of existing stock is not without cost. To meet its net zero aims, Manchester estimates that around 84,000 properties will require retrofitting, at an anticipated cost of between £25,000 to £30,000 per property. With only limited funding available for retrofitting, the question remains: where is the money going to come from?

In addition, current plans to retrofit real estate portfolios do not operate in a vacuum and take place against the continued introduction and implementation of the Building Safety Act. That Act, supported by secondary legislation, prescribes and mandates new regulatory obligations in respect of building safety and fire management provision. Building safety is paramount, but those involved in the design of new builds will need to consider how best to balance the achievement of net zero and carbon neutrality whilst also ensuring the total safety of a building throughout its lifetime.

What about future builds?

A significant proportion of the real estate infrastructure which is expected to exist in 2038, being Manchester’s deadline to achieve net zero status, is yet to be designed and constructed. Therefore, there also needs to be consideration as to how these future builds will help towards reaching that goal. This requires consideration not only of how those buildings will operate once in occupation, but also how embodied carbon (being the carbon contained within construction and civils materials) will be either managed or off-set. This will require a full review of all aspects of a supply chain to ensure that materials are genuinely carbon neutral in their production.

We have already touched upon some of the measures which can be introduced to an in-occupation building to help limit climate change, but in addition to domestic measures, designers may wish to consider the introduction of on-site renewable heat and electricity generation, such as photovoltaic sensors, as well as district heat networks.

The UK Green Building Council’s framework definition of net zero carbon buildings recommends that onsite renewable energy sources should be prioritised and should be pursued by building developers, owners and occupiers, where feasible. Not only is it anticipated that the presence of such measures may increase a building’s value, but it will also concurrently reduce pressure on the national grid.

What are the practical implications?

Implicit in all of the foregoing is that a building’s Energy Performance Certificate (‘EPC’) is going to become an increasingly important document over the coming years. Whilst they are already central to many transactions, we anticipate that their contents will be subject to additional review and transactional discussions. For example, going forwards, it is likely that EPCs will need to be carefully scrutinised during transactions, with the buyer working to achieve full understanding as to when the EPC will expire, whether any measures can be taken to improve the rating and if they have been appropriately registered.

In parallel, we anticipate that corporate due diligence, to the extent it involves real estate transfers, will also become more protracted. For example, there will need to be careful consideration as to whether retrofitting is necessary, who is to be responsible for this and whether any such revisions are permitted within the lease in place. In addition, where on-site energy generation is available, owners and occupiers will need to be mindful of the ownership of the generating plant, as well as apportionment of the additional regulatory burdens which accompany the generation of energy.

In respect of this specific example, where building designers and/ or owners wish to benefit from the cost-savings associated with on-site heat and electricity generation, they also need to consider whether such use is permitted in terms of relevant planning authorities, as well as the possible health and safety considerations which may arise from its operation.

Conclusion

Whilst the move towards net zero is a laudable aim, the consequences for real estate are significant: the scale, extent and cost of retrofitting existing properties is sizeable, but in addition there are also numerous opportunities for the sector to take the driving hand in bringing about real change.

Our final commentary piece next week will bring together recent articles, together with our predictions going forwards for what net zero will mean for both Manchester and the country as a whole.

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In the third of our series of blogs commenting on Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s intention to become net zero, we look this week at efforts being made to help influence and ‘nudge’ behaviour towards achieving the objectives.

Whilst any form of encouragement or guidance seeking to unilaterally change an individual’s behaviour could be interpreted as having somewhat sinister overtones, the Council is eager to be seen as leading by example and has already modified its own operations in this regard.  

For example, Greater Manchester has appointed a number of Neighbourhood Climate Change Offices, to help empower communities to take local-level action and to help build climate resilience, including encouraging cycle to work schemes, turning down heating, and turning off electrical appliances when not in use. 

Can behavioural change impact net zero?

Changes in behaviour and pervading culture will not come overnight but, equally, they have to start somewhere. Greater Manchester is not alone in seeking to achieve net zero, with central government also having made a similar commitment to achieve 100% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, compared with 1990 levels. 

However, responsibility does not rest solely with government and as the Climate Change Committee’s 2021 progress report to Parliament suggested, public engagement – and individual actions – are key enablers for achieving net zero, with the actions taken by consumer, workers, households and businesses being central to achieving the net zero objectives. 

That report went further and suggested that behavioural change can play a role in almost two-thirds of emission reductions, through adoption of low-carbon technologies, such as electric vehicles and increased use of green public transport.

How is behavioural change to be achieved?

In its net zero strategy, published in October 2021, central government stated that public engagement plays a significant role in driving green choices. At that time the government set out its approach to support green choices, which was underpinned by six core principles. Whilst these were developed primarily with the public in mind, it is accepted that they may apply equally to businesses. The six principles are: 

  1. minimise the ‘ask’ by sending clear regulatory signals;
  2. make the green choice the easiest;
  3. make the green choice affordable;
  4. empower people and businesses to make their own choice;
  5. motivate and build public acceptability for major changes; and
  6. present a clear vision of how we will get to net zero and what the role of people and business will be.

As the Energy Minister, Greg Hands MP, accepted to the House of Lords Environment and Climate Change Committee, it is not the business of government to force behavioural change on individuals, but rather it is the government’s role to, “encourage, incentivise and enable,” moves towards the objectives to be achieved.

In other words, far from imposing unilaterally mandated changes on individuals, what the government seeks to encourage is that individuals take ownership of their own environmental impact, and in turn contribute to local, national and global objectives.

A government survey has found that 85% of people are either concerned or very concerned about climate change and willing to do something about it in their own lives. However, any such actions must be affordable, accessible and achievable without any significant detriment to the individual. Any measures implemented must also be equitable for all. 

For example, a report published by the Cambridge Sustainability Commission in April 2021 evidenced that between 1990 and 2015, nearly half of the growth in global emissions was due to the richest 10%, with the wealthiest 5% alone contributing over a third. That report suggested that policymakers target the ‘polluter elite’ to make changes to their lifestyles, such as imposing levies on high emissions technologies and long-haul flights.

By contrast, one universally-accessible solution introduced by Greater Manchester is the introduction of 50 zero emission buses as part of the authority-controlled ‘bee network,’ with an additional 50 vehicles being delivered in March 2024. An additional 250 vehicles are expected to be delivered over the next three years.  It is estimated that the adoption of zero emission buses will reduce carbon emissions by 1.1 million tonnes.  This is a resource which is available equally to all, yet which is likely to serve to help shape behaviour by encouraging use of green public transport.

What we expect to see over the coming years, following on from government-led schemes and enabling legislation, is an increasing awareness by consumers as to the environmental impact their actions and the products they buy may have. This in turn is likely to result in further behavioural changes, including the gradual transition towards a circular economy and continued war on plastic.

Conclusion

George Eustice MP, when Secretary of State for the Environment, stated that:

Behaviour change is quite integral to many parts of government policy, but to tackle these complex environmental challenges is a shared endeavour. We all have a shared responsibility, and many of the policies we have are partly about government having a role in regulation to make certain choices easier, so that the public can make the changes we want them to make to get better environmental outcomes.

Although at first blush one may view the idea of subtle influences to behaviour and nudging as slightly sinister acts by those in positions of power, the objectives to be achieved are broadly to be welcomed, and it is clear that local actions by individuals will cumulatively bring about significant changes. 

That being said, questions do remain as to by whom, and on what basis, those individual objectives are to be determined, as well as the global (as opposed to local) impact actions will actually have, especially if other countries and agencies are not pursuing identical goals. For individual behavioural changes to have a meaningful impact, there does need to be a unified approach, which may be difficult to achieve.

Those concerns aside, the takeaway message is clear and there are low-cost steps that everyone can take on a daily basis to act in a less wasteful, and more environmentally-friendly, manner.  

Next week we will look at the built environment and how real estate initiatives may be able to help contribute to Manchester’s net zero aims.

Photo credit: cagkansayin



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In the second of our series focusing on Manchester’s aim to become a zero carbon city region, we take a look at transport and travel. It is well accepted that transport is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, contributing just less than a quarter of all UK domestic emissions in 2020. Emissions from cars and taxis account for more than half of this figure.

Greater Manchester is not alone in facing a significant challenge, but it has clear objectives in response, which mirror those being pursued at a national level.  For example, in the Department for Transport publication ‘Decarbonising Transport: Setting the Challenge,’ the UK Government has set itself an ambitious target of zero emissions across all modes of transport by 2050. The publication anticipates achievement being attained through a combination of facilitating the transition to large-scale use of zero-emission vehicles, and supported by the implementation of a meaningful and effective refuelling infrastructure, including the installation of 300,000 public charge points by 2030.

How does Manchester hope to achieve its aims?

Within its own operations, the Council has committed itself to reducing direct emissions by replacing its fleet with electric vehicles, and hopes to reduce its emissions by between 35%- 45% by 2025.

The city region is eager to encourage sustainable and accessible travel options across its boroughs but beyond its own activities, the wholesale uptake of zero-emission vehicles faces a number of significant logistical hurdles. For example, electric vehicles require somewhere to re-charge and whilst for many it is possible for their vehicles to be charged at home overnight, within Manchester approximately 60% of homes do not have access to off-street parking.

For those who do not have access to home charging, their only option will be to access the public network. Pending the development of improved battery technology and mileage, the fundamental difficulty of availability of charging stations is not easily overcome.

To meet objectives it is expected that by 2030 there may need to be upwards of 3,000 additional public charge points within the Manchester region. Manchester has published the EV Charging Infrastructure Strategy which sets out its role in providing more charge points, but the Council is reluctant to install on-street charge points as these can:

“cause obstructions to pavements and street clutter, and we do not support the use of cables crossing the pavement to charge vehicles at the roadside… as these can cause trip hazards.”

Recent figures indicate that Manchester is perhaps some way behind other regions in the UK in this regard, with around 24 charging points per 100,000 population, compared with the UK average of 42 per 100,000.

Although there is no statutory duty to provide public charge points, Manchester is looking at opportunities within council-owned car parks to expand the public network for residents and businesses, and within the last few months there have been announcements to construct charging ‘oases’ within the city to address some of these concerns. However, replicating the service provided by petrol stations is not without some hindrance. Whilst there are a number of different charging systems available, with varying recharge speed from a few minutes up to several hours, were Manchester to be successful in its aim then it will need to ensure that re-charging is able to take place on demand and within a reasonable period of time.

Central Government plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 are well under way, but by contrast the uptake of electric vehicles remains sluggish. For example, by the end of March 2022 there were still less than 2,000 plug-in cars registered in Manchester, equating with around only 1% of the total number of cars registered. This is below the UK average of 2.4%.  Whilst the transition will not happen overnight, to enable individuals to move freely, efficiently and at low-cost, whilst also being environmentally friendly, there needs to be a viable alternative to current combustion engines.

Hydrogen is being considered as an alternative fuel source although the enabling technology still requires refinement and, in addition, there are very obvious safety risks arising from the storage and use of this fuel. Current plans for hydrogen fuel appear to be restricted to the haulage sector, and do not extend to domestic and residential travel. Therefore, this is not something which will necessarily help to achieve objectives in the shorter term.

Barriers to implementation

The aims are laudable and are to be welcomed.  However, despite their increasing presence, electric vehicles are far from the predominant mode of transport and the impact of the Government’s intended ban on the sale of fossil fuel vehicles will not be fully appreciated for many decades yet. Likewise, the transition to a net zero transport network is likely to be many years away.  The fact that success will not be achieved overnight is not a reason for the objectives not to be pursued in the interim, but implementation must be mindful of the very real logistical problems that need to be overcome.

There are also concerns as to how ‘green’ electric vehicles actually are, and the level of ‘carbon debt’ created during their manufacture. For example, at present not only are electric vehicles generally more expensive to buy, but their production requires the input of significant volumes of fossil fuels. In addition, questions remain as to how electric vehicles, specifically their batteries, are to be stored and disposed of at end of life.

The electricity required to power electric vehicles also needs to be sourced from within the national grid, and the mass charging of vehicles at peak times is likely to put a strain on the system. Although wind and solar and renewable energy sources are currently active within the network, the proportion of energy generated by them is not only intermittent but also lags far behind the energy generated through fossil fuel usage.

What can businesses do to assist?

There are no statutory requirements at present for businesses to contribute to net zero through assisting and enabling a greener transport network.  Whilst grants are available, the transition to green and sustainable alternative fuels remains a costly option, which is also accompanied by logistical issues and numerous other considerations.

That being said, the objectives have been stated loud and clear and, in order to position themselves, businesses may want to consider the feasibility of alternative fuel and transport. For example, car share and cycle to work schemes may be one option, but it is accepted that these may not always be possible or practicable depending on the nature of the work undertaken by an organisation.

Alternatively, business may wish to consider providing electrical charge points and, for those involved in the haulage sector, it may be worthwhile exploring the availability and applicability of hydrogen to their operations, despite technology realistically still being a few years away from wholesale adoption.

As corporate ESG scores increase in importance, especially following the implementation of various sustainability reporting requirements, businesses would be well advised to give careful consideration to actively implementing ‘green’ measures within their day to day operations, including in respect of their transport and travel needs.

Such changes will not come overnight, and will require a concerted effort to achieve them, as well as behavioural and cultural change.

Our next commentary piece will consider how behaviour may be influenced and shaped to assist the transition to green technology. To read our first blog in the series, visit https://pannonecorporate.com/manchesters-move-towards-net-zero/

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Over the coming weeks, we will take a closer look at Manchester’s concerted aim to become net zero. We will cover each area of the city’s focus and look at how businesses can play their part in achieving ambitious sustainability targets.

Let’s start at the beginning. Greater Manchester has long been at the forefront of urban decarbonization, and its drive towards net zero continues at pace. The city launched its first plan for collective climate action in 2009, which in turn led to the establishment of the Manchester Climate Change Agency and Partnership.

The measures have had a positive impact and the city was able to achieve a demonstrable reduction of 54% in its carb emissions between 2010 and 2020.

However, the city is not one to rest on its laurels and considered that further reductions were possible, especially in light of national and global aims relating to climate change. Notwithstanding its own significant achievements, Manchester declared a climate emergency in July 2019 and committed itself to halving again its carbon emissions within the next five years.

The city does not operate in isolation and accepts that its own direct carbon emissions make up only around 2% of the city’s total. However, the authority does have power and influence over a range of administrative and infrastructure matters, which it is hoped in turn will themselves contribute to the objectives to be achieved.

What is Manchester doing to achieve net zero?

The city has publicly stated the view that, “everyone has a part to play,” in limiting the effects of climate change and has set out its intentions to achieve net zero carbon in its Strategic Outline Business Plan. The Plan, which is bolstered by bespoke climate action plans for each of the authority’s 32 wards, lists a number of arguments in favour of the move, including establishing the city – and North West as a whole – as a leader in clean energy, which it is hoped in turn will attract private sector investment and help deliver wider social benefits, such as reducing fuel poverty.

The Council has identified 48 actions which can be taken – by itself and the city as a whole – to help focus minds, which can be summarised under the following broad topics:

  1. Buildings and energy
  2. Transport and travel
  3. Reducing consumption-based emissions
  4. Carbon storage and sequestration
  5. Emissions savings.

What objectives are being pursued?

Taking each category in turn:

  1. Buildings and energy

The Manchester urban area, and city centre in particular, is a significant estate and magnet for the use of utilities and energy. It is therefore a prime candidate for savings, in terms of the existing built environment as well as future energy usage. For example, the Council has already stated its commitment to reduce CO2 emissions from its estate and streetlighting by 50% by 2025, and a further 50% by 2030, to be achieved through a programme of retrofitting and local energy generation, including solar farms.

That being said, decarbonisation of the built environment is no easy feat and requires consideration at both the new build and retrofit stages of a building’s life.

In respect of future construction, the Council has produced a Buildings and Energy Strategy for its estate and has produced a Manchester Build Standard for future developments.

The above goes hand-in-hand with the retrofit of existing premises, which includes considerations as broad as the provision of (and energy supply to) heating alternatives, installation of energy-efficient fixtures and fittings, increasing thermal comfort and lowering energy bills.

Going forwards, all developments within the Manchester area will need to be mindful of the city’s drive towards net zero, and will have to incorporate sustainable concepts and energy efficiency into their construction proposals, including energy generation and usage. Not only has the Council declared that it will give additional weighting to environmental credentials in future tenders, but companies themselves are becoming more alive to the importance of ESG scores, which are featuring more prominently in pre-contract discussions.

  1. Transport and travel

There is a balance to be struck between improving liveability and ensuring access into the city centre and other areas within the authority’s control through low-cost public transport, and ensuring that such travel and opportunities are provided on solid environmentally friendly credentials.

In connection with its own vehicles, the Council is replacing its fleet with electric vehicles and charging infrastructure, which is estimated will save around 900 tonnes of carbon annually (c.£9.8 million). The move towards electric vehicles is a huge logistical exercise, which will be decades in the transition, but is nonetheless one the Council is eager to pursue.

As laudable as the aim is, there are clear logistical hurdles in the way. For example, not only are there immediate and significant financial costs associated with the decarbonisation of travel, but the technology remains very much in its infancy and at developmental stage. Additionally, were these obstacles to be overcome, there are planning and spatial issues arising in connection with the installation of electric charging points. It remains to be seen what volume of energy generation will be required to realise the objectives, which leads to the question as to how that energy is to be produced in the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to allow green travel to remain a viable alternative.

Whilst there is ongoing discussion around the possible use of hydrogen as an alternative fuel source, to date these exchanges have focussed on haulage and logistics as opposed to domestic travel. Despite its relative cleanliness, the use of hydrogen does come with its own significant risk factors.

  1. Reducing consumption-based emissions

There are a number of measures being taken, at both local and national level, to reduce consumption-based emissions and those arising from supply chains generally. For example, mirroring measures taken by central government, Manchester has indicated its intention to phase out single-use plastics and other non-recyclable products.

The last few years have seen an increasing behavioural and cultural shift towards the circular economy, and away from the take-make-use mentality. The national government has stated its desire to avoid all avoidable waste by 2042 and although this objective will not be achieved overnight, regulations are already in force working towards this aim, such as the successful introduction of the plastic carrier bag charge in 2015, and the prohibition on sale and supply of plastic straws and single-use cutlery.

In addition, the UK has recently seen the introduction of the Plastic Packaging Tax and Extended Producer Responsibility regulations, both of which serve to impose waste management cost obligations on businesses for the packaging they generate and handle.  Whilst the purpose of these regulations is to encourage and incentivise durability, repairability and recycling, and move away from disposal as the default option at a product’s end of life, the additional costs generated are almost certainly going to be passed on throughout the supply chain.

Businesses need to start considering now whether any of their produced items can be redesigned using environmentally friendly components, or re-packaged in a way that supports environmental targets.

  1. Carbon storage and sequestration

Manchester is eager to promote carbon storage solutions, and has introduced a Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy which includes an intelligence-led approach to tree and hedge planting.

To date, over 7,000 trees have been planted, as well as five community orchards, with the aim of not only increasing the aesthetic attractiveness of the urban area, but also to best position the city ahead if expected future climate changes. 

  1. Influencing behaviour

The Council is eager to be seen as leading by example and, in turn, influence the behaviour of others. For example, to date it has embedded zero carbon as a priority into its Service Plans, has appointed three Neighbourhood Climate Change Officers, and has arranged both private and public lobbying of the GM Pension Fund to divest from investment in fossil fuels.

That being said, change will not come overnight and there also needs to be a degree of consensus and agreement as to how and in what way cultural changes are expected to occur. There is already discussion within the UK, as well as other countries, regarding the implementation of ’15 minute cities,’ programmable digital currency and, at its extreme, social credit scores. These are highly overt ways of compelling an expected behaviour, but are likely to meet resistance in the event of their unilateral imposition.

At this stage, the Council encourages individuals to take responsible actions – which can also be replicated across businesses – including:

Conclusion

The Combined Authority states that it ‘takes climate change seriously,’ and the objectives it seeks to achieve are to be welcomed. The decarbonisation objectives are not simply to meet Government guidelines, but are also intended to provide a framework for others to follow and to improve the lives of those living and working within Manchester.

However laudable the objectives are – at both a local and national level – they are not without their real and significant obstacles, which do need to be addressed before the aims can be fully realised.  Certainly, the objectives cannot be achieved overnight, in isolation, nor by one city alone. That is not to say that the aims should not be pursued, but they do require a considered and coordinated approach across numerous authorities.

Although many of the details as to the future landscape and specific actions expected of both businesses and individuals remain to be confirmed, the direction of travel is clear.

In the absence of a statutory compulsion to do so, we recommend that businesses undertake an internal review of their systems, production methods and environmental impact as soon as possible, to identify areas where more could perhaps be done. This process will help to position organisations in the most favourable position for further environmental regulations, which are undoubtedly on the horizon, and will also help work towards those collective aims intended to be achieved by the Combined Authority.

In our next blog in the series, we will cover the issue of transport and travel.

Picture: The Tower of Light – Manchester’s low-carbon energy centre (credit: Philip Openshaw)

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Once again, both individual lawyers and teams at Pannone Corporate have featured strongly in this year’s Chambers 2024, consolidating the impressive showing in the Legal 500 rankings, which were announced last month.

Chambers and Partners identifies the best law firms globally, from multi-nationals to boutiques, based on independent research and analysis of feedback from clients, peers and the wider market.

Highlights from this year’s Chambers 2024 include:

So, what do our clients say about us?

Corporate: “They understand the market and the needs of clients and formulate them into pragmatic solutions.”

Employment: “A great all-round team of high-level thinkers with the ability to transfer that knowledge into actionable solutions.”

Litigation: “No stone is left unturned and every correspondence is well considered.” 

IT: “Pannone’s commercial awareness is a key distinguishing factor of them as a firm.”

Commenting on this year’s results, senior partner Paul Jonson said: “It’s excellent to see such positive feedback from clients, highlighting our strong and client-orientated approach, robust and highly professional advice, ability to translate complex legal matters, and a clear commercial awareness – all important and consistent qualities across the firm.”

Chambers produces annual rankings of teams and individuals according to their area of specialism. They take into account: client service; technical legal ability; depth of team; commercial vision and business understanding; diligence and value for money.

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Pannone Corporate has strengthened its cross-sector expertise, after being appointed by a trio of high-profile clients – TalkTalk, Silentnight, and ExamWorks.

The North West law firm will provide legal support to UK connectivity provider, TalkTalk, which operates Britain’s biggest unbundled broadband network, while the firm has also recently been appointed by renowned sleep brand, Silentnight.

In addition, Pannone has joined a panel of external advisers for ExamWorks – a market leading service provider to the insurance, legal, and healthcare sectors. The company specialises in a range of services, including accident aftercare, medical reports, health assessments and rehabilitation treatment.

Paul Jonson, senior partner at Pannone Corporate, said: “We’re delighted to be appointed by such respected brands – each of which has carved out a strong, market leading position in their chosen sectors. To be aligned with key industry players is a step forward in our growth journey.

“It’s also really pleasing that each of the brands is North West born and bred, while possessing a national and international reach that demonstrates the strength and depth of our regional economy. We look forward to working alongside TalkTalk, Silentnight, and ExamWorks moving forward.”

Earlier this year, Pannone was appointed by The Lowry, New Balance and Beauty Bay, strengthening its retail and leisure credentials.

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Pannone Corporate has announced the promotion of five people, as it continues to invest in future talent across the law firm.

Effective from 21 July, Arshnoor Amershi has been promoted to Associate Partner in the Corporate team, having joined the North West firm as a trainee solicitor in 2011. Ranked as an ‘Associate to watch’ in leading legal directory, Chambers and Partners UK, Arshnoor specialises in all aspects of corporate legal work, including mergers and acquisitions, disposals, and debt and equity investment.

She recently advised on the sale of Up & Away Aviation – a provider of aircraft cleaning and detailing services – to US-based group, Unifi Aviation. Unifi is the ground aviation services company that forms part of the Argenbright Group, which Pannone has previously acted for on its cross-border strategic investment in risk-led intelligent security solutions provider, Amberstone Security.

Arshnoor is joined by Andrew Walsh who, having qualified as a solicitor in 2017, is also promoted in the Corporate team, becoming a Director. Andrew was instrumental in assisting Dutch client Boels Rental and French-listed company Visiativ SA continue their buy and build strategy in the UK.

In the last 12 months, the Corporate team has seen unprecedented activity levels and headcount has risen from 10 to 14 as a result, putting the team in a perfect position to capitalise on significant growth opportunities in the market.

Commenting on the promotion, Arshnoor said: “I’m delighted to have been promoted to Associate Partner in the Corporate team, as we continue to make our mark in the North West M&A market.

“Having joined the firm as a trainee solicitor, it’s hugely satisfying to have moved up through the ranks, while playing a part in the growth of the firm. It really is an exciting time to be at Pannone, as the firm’s growth story continues to unfold.”

In total, Pannone has promoted five people. These include the promotion of three lawyers to Senior Associate in the well regarded Dispute Resolution team – Callum Halley, who specialises in commercial disputes and who joined the firm in 2019;  Gemma O’Brien, who also specialises in commercial disputes and joined Pannone in the same year; and Elizabeth Walsh, who joined the firm in 2018 and advises on contentious trust and probate disputes, as well as commercial disputes.

Paul Jonson, senior partner at Pannone, commented: “Pannone has an unwavering commitment to invest in people. Our staff represent the future of the firm and have an integral role to play in helping us to reach our long-term goals.

“The promotions are all thoroughly well-deserved and testament to the passion and dedication of our team.”

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With a year under his belt at Pannone Corporate, we speak to real estate solicitor, Dominic Beddow, on his legal career so far, the importance of being able to ‘switch off’ from the day job, his passion for the Toon Army, and his mission to ‘indoctrinate’ his wife and daughter into Geordie life!

Tell us a little bit about your experience before joining Pannone in April 2022.

“I started my legal career in 2016. At the time I was a paralegal specialising in landed estates. My role primarily involved dealing with first registrations of land, Farm Business Tenancies, generational tax planning (Inheritance Tax), and registration and sales of woodland.

“During my training contract, I did seats in commercial real estate (mainly landlord and tenant issues), corporate (predominantly buying and selling of pharmaceutical companies and dentistry practices), as well as employment, where I acted for employers dealing with wrongful termination claims, and also large-scale redundancy exercises.

“After qualifying in October 2020, I went into the ground rents team, where my work primarily involved asset management for a large freeholder, dealing with anything from simple Deeds of Variation and Licences for Alterations, to managing the legal side of large works projects, such as merging multiple flats/properties into one.”

What route did you go down, in terms of training and qualifications?

“I studied Law with Business at the University of Liverpool, before completing the Graduate Diploma in Law at BPP Liverpool. I then moved to Chester, where I started legal life as a paralegal, whilst simultaneously studying the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law at the weekends. I completed my LLM Masters around the time I started my training contract.”

Why did you choose this route?

“During my A-Levels, I was still torn between a career in law and one in business, and so I decided to undertake a combined honours degree. I enjoyed both disciplines, but it was clear from an early stage in my undergraduate degree that law was the route I wanted to go down.”

Tell us about your role at Pannone?

“I am a solicitor in the real estate team. I primarily cover landlord and tenant based issues, with a specific focus on leases of units in major shopping centres. I also deal with purchases of development land, advice regarding overage, assents of land, and general transactional work.”

What was it that attracted you Pannone?

“I had trained and qualified at the same firm in Chester, which is a fantastic city and one which I am proud to call home, but it’s a relatively small legal community compared to Manchester. I was ready to make a move to a new firm and a new city.  I’d heard great things about Pannone, and got in contact with managing partner, Nicola Marchant, who invited me in for an informal chat. After a further conversation with the senior team, I knew straightaway that Pannone was the perfect firm for me.”

When it comes to the day job, what is the most satisfying aspect?

“It has to be learning something new on a daily basis, and never being allowed to remain within your comfort zone!”

What does a typical day look like?

“Every lawyer will say this but, quite simply, there is no such thing as a ‘typical day’.  I will sign off for the day with a good idea as to what the next will involve, but it’s very rare for that not to change. Business never sleeps, so I often start my day dealing with new matters which have come in overnight. Every day is different, which is a challenge, but one I enjoy.”

What are your career ambitions?

“I aspire to become a partner one day but, more importantly, I want to reach a stage where I am confident in as many aspects of my role as possible, with a following of clients who can always rely on me to be able to deal with anything they throw at me.”

If you were managing partner for the day, what’s the first thing you would do? 

“I would introduce a family fun day! Lawyers generally have an inability to ‘switch off’ – even when we’re not working, we are thinking about what needs to be done, which can sometimes impact on those around us. As such, I would introduce a day, every so often, when families are invited to the office, where they can meet the team, take part in fun activities, and see what we do. Looking after your own mental health is so important, particularly in a fast-paced working environment. Something like this could really make a positive difference.”

What can the legal profession do to better support clients? Does anything need to change?

“For me, it’s about delivery of information. We spend a large part of our lives learning the theory of law, the technical aspects, and how to think and speak like a lawyer. This is great for passing exams, but often doesn’t translate well to clients, who typically want a straight answer, delivered in a user-friendly manner.

“Law can also be portrayed in a certain way – think Harvey Specter in the television series, Suits! However, the reality is somewhat different. You meet such a wide variety of people in this job, from all walks of life, and I would like to see this side portrayed more.”

What would you be doing if you didn’t have a career in law? 

“If I didn’t have a career in law, I would love to be involved in the business side of football.”

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

“I’m a relatively new father, and I enjoy nothing more than taking my daughter to Chester Zoo. She adores animals, and her excitement during those long walks around the zoo are positively infectious!

“Outside of family life, I am a passionate (sometimes overly passionate) Newcastle United fan. I don’t get to as many games as I used to since my daughter was born, but I have worked hard to indoctrinate my partner and daughter into Geordie life, much to the dismay of my partner’s Liverpool-supporting family!”

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A 14-strong team of Pannone fundraisers took to the streets on Sunday to compete in the 20th Great Manchester Run.

Taking part in both the 10k race and the half marathon, the team raced around the streets of the city, taking in sights such as Beetham Tower and Old Trafford Football Ground, before finishing the race along with more than 25,000 other participants.

The Pannone team were raising money for one of the firm’s chosen charities, St Ann’s Hospice, with more than £2,500 being raised so far.

Paul Jonson, senior partner at Pannone Corporate, said: “Congratulations to everyone who completed the Great Manchester Run, in what were very hot and sunny conditions!

“It’s fantastic to see so many of the team coming together to support one of our chosen charities, St Ann’s Hospice – an amazing charity which carries out such vital work across Greater Manchester. It’s also really pleasing to see the values and ethos of the firm come to life on the streets of Manchester.”

St Ann’s Hospice is a Manchester institution and one of the oldest and largest adult hospices outside of London. It provides care and support to people with life-limiting illnesses, as well as to their families and carers.

The Pannone team have a number of other charitable events lined up in support of the charity, including a Tough Mudder challenge later this year. If you would like to support the team, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/pannone-corporate-llp

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Michael McNally lives in Heswall on the Wirral and is an associate partner in Pannone’s employment team. In this instalment of My Life in Law, he tells us about his 17-year career in law and what’s changed in the industry during that time.

What was your experience prior to joining Pannone?

I qualified in 2006 and have always specialised in employment law, even spending some time before qualification working as an employment law advisor. Before joining Pannone in September 2020, I worked at Hill Dickinson and Freeths.

I’ve always worked in commercial employment law advising employers and have particular experience working with clients in care, retail, transport and logistics, leisure and retail, and manufacturing. I’m also an experienced employment tribunal advocate.

What’s your current role and why did you join Pannone?

I joined as a Director and became an Associate Partner last year. The firm has a great reputation, both for the quality of its work and culture. Having worked here for a couple of years, I’ve not been disappointed in either regard.

What route did you go down, in terms of training and qualifications?

The standard route for my generation of law at university, LPC in the Chester College of Law, followed by a training contract. I did approach things a little differently though and did my training contract in local government at Chester City Council, as it was then.

Why did you choose this route?

I wouldn’t say I chose it, as such – it just seemed the most obvious way of becoming a solicitor at the time. With hindsight, I appreciate you don’t need to do a law degree at university to become a lawyer. If I had my time over again, I would have done a non-law degree and then the conversion course before the LPC.

What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?

Understanding what the client wants to achieve and then helping them to achieve it. I enjoy the technical side of the law, but working with the client is the most satisfying part of the job.

What does a typical day look like?

There isn’t one! The best thing about being an employment lawyer is the variety.

A day could include drafting an article first thing, then working with the corporate team on a transaction. After lunch, there could be a preliminary hearing in the employment tribunal by video and, later in the day, I could be on a call with a client’s HR Director and CEO discussing a re-organisation.

If you were managing partner for the day, what’s the first thing you would do? 

Give myself a long-term contract in the role, as I’m not going to get much done in a day!

What would you be doing if you didn’t have a career in law? 

My original reason for going into law was because I thought it would be a good way of becoming a football agent, so maybe I’d have ended up doing something like that! Although, to be honest, it’s not a job I would want now, but when I was 15 it seemed like a great career!

What can the legal profession do to better support clients? Does anything need to change?

I have been lucky enough to work at firms and with lawyers who I think do a very good job of supporting clients. The focus should always be on providing the client with responsive commercial advice.

Going forward, I think law firms will need to offer a wider range of business services than they do now – similar to how many accountancy firms will offer other services (including legal support in some cases). The profession is also going to need to adjust to the changes that technology will bring, particularly in respect of AI.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Being a Liverpool season ticket holder; I enjoy going to regular Champions League finals!

Do you have any particular skills/talents that your work colleagues may not know about?

This is more of a talent that I wish I had, but I went through a phase a few years ago of tinkering with watches. I still aspire to assemble my own watch one day – making one may be beyond me!

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600-miles, nine consecutive days and a lot of mud and rain later, employment partner Jack Harrington has conquered the notorious Vietnamese Ho Chi Minh trail – all in the name of charity.

Along with six friends, Jack set off on the once in a lifetime charity challenge at the end of March, cycling from Hanoi in the north of the country, before heading south through jungle routes and mountains to Hoi An. In often hot, wet and muddy conditions, the group cycled between 95 and 140 kms each day, spending two consecutive days covering around 200 miles.

The cycling feat, which was delayed for three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was completed in memory of friend Dean Masom, with money raised being donated to The Dean Masom Hope Tribute Fund (supporting The Christie) and Once Upon a Smile, the only charity of its kind to provide emotional and practical support to bereaved families.

Jack said: “Sadly, in 2010 we lost our friend Dean, who died at just 39 from a brain tumour. When we agreed  to embark on this cycling challenge we decided to use it to raise money for the memorial fund set up in Dean’s name to support the incredible work that is carried out at The Christie into cancer research and treatment, while also supporting the brilliant work done by Once Upon a Smile.”

 On his return from Vietnam, Jack said: “This was by far the hardest thing I have ever done, but we all managed to finish it!

“It’s fair to say that we’re all exhausted after cycling nearly1,000 km over nine days through a mixture of gruelling heat, driving rain and kamikaze drivers! On the final day, in temperatures over 30 degrees, we climbed the infamous Hai Van pass and eventually finished the ride in the lovely town of Hoi An. We’re delighted to report that, together with the original sponsorship, we have raised nearly £10,000 for two fantastic charities.”

If you would still like to donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/team/velovietnam1

 

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In our latest instalment of My Life in Law, we catch up with employment solicitor, Lorna Shuttleworth.

She tells us all about her career journey with Pannone over the last five years and why she’d love to see more animals in the office!

When did you join Pannone Corporate?

I first joined Pannone Corporate in April 2019 as a paralegal in the real estate team. I left in September 2019 to complete my LPC and returned in September 2020 to start my training contract.

I’m now a solicitor in the employment team after qualifying in September 2022.

What was your role/experience prior to joining?

I graduated from university in 2018 and went to work for an investment platform in Salford Quays. My role was two-fold: Quality and Audit Supervisor; and CASS SME. I split my time between monitoring compliance with the FCAs CASS rules, training members of the client services team, and carrying out quality checks and audits.

Prior to and during my studies, I also worked in various roles including as a sales assistant at Next and in hospitality at Manchester United.

Why did you join Pannone?

Whilst at university, I undertook various vacation schemes and had a number of interviews at large national firms, but I didn’t feel that they were quite right for me. I decided to try a different industry but, after a few months, I realised that wasn’t for me either.

I came in to discuss the paralegal position at Pannone and was surprised at how welcome I was made to feel from the first day. I could tell that I would be supported and valued as part of a team.

What route did you go down, in terms of training and qualifications?

I studied law at the University of Leeds and graduated in 2018, moving away from law for a short while before starting as a paralegal at Pannone in April 2019. I then went on to complete the LPC alongside an LLM (Masters in Legal Practice) at BPP in Manchester and returned to Pannone to start my two-year training contract in September 2020.

Why did you choose this route?

I decided whilst doing my GCSEs that I wanted to pursue a career in law and knew early on in my degree that I wanted to be a solicitor. At the time, this was really the only route which was openly discussed for qualifying into private practice.

What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?

Finding a solution to a particularly challenging issue is always satisfying – one of my favourite parts of this role is that there is always a new challenge cropping up; it never gets boring!

What does a typical day look like?

Every day is different. In the employment team, we deal with both contentious and non-contentious matters, so I might be reviewing contracts and handbooks, or preparing for a tribunal. Most days, there are urgent queries to deal with, which could relate to any day-to-day employment issue from disciplinaries, grievances or managing sickness absence.

What are your career ambitions?

Personally, I’d like to keep learning and continue to improve. Over time, I’d also like to offer the same level of support that I have received to more junior members of the firm and help them to develop.

If you were managing partner for the day, what’s the first thing you would do? 

Bring in a ‘Cats in the Office’ policy – having my cat roaming around and popping up on video calls is the main thing I miss about working from home!

What would you be doing if you didn’t have a career in law? 

When I was at school, I always said I wanted to be a graphic designer – unfortunately, I wasn’t too talented at art or IT! I’d also love to do interior design, so maybe something creative.

What can lawyers/the legal profession do to better support clients? Does anything need to change?

At an individual level, I think we can all be better at open and honest communication, keeping clients updated – and avoiding ‘lawyer talk’!

In terms of the legal profession more broadly, more diversity and inclusion across the board would be beneficial – it would help us to better understand the needs of our clients and, as a result, support them in more appropriate way. I think the legal profession is becoming more inclusive gradually, but there is still more to be done.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Since we spend a lot of our time at a desk, I love getting out for a walk somewhere quiet at the weekend when the weather allows! On a rainy day, it’s relaxing at home with my cat, Merlin. I also have a season ticket for Manchester City, so I go to matches with my Dad and Grandad.

Do you have any particular skills/talents that your work colleagues may not know about?

I used to do Latin and ballroom dancing when I was younger, although I’m not sure I’m very skilled in that anymore!

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Employment partner Jack Harrington is taking on the notorious Vietnamese Ho Chi Minh trail later this month, as part of a charity challenge in memory of friend Dean Masom.

The seven-strong group – who were supposed to take on the cycling fundraiser three years ago, but had to cancel it due to the COVID-19 pandemic – will set off on 26 March.

The team will cycle for nine consecutive days, starting from Hanoi in the north of the country, before heading south through jungle routes and mountains in temperatures reaching up to 35 degrees. Cycling between 95 and 140 kms each day, they will spend two consecutive days covering around 200 miles, before finishing their once in a lifetime challenge in Hoi An.

So far, Jack and the team have raised £3,500, which has already been donated to their chosen charities – The Dean Masom Hope Tribute Fund (supporting The Christie) and Once Upon a Smile, the only charity of its kind to provide emotional and practical support to bereaved families. The group now hopes to raise a further £3,500 three years on from when the initial trip was set to start.

Jack explains: “Sadly, in 2010 we lost our friend Dean, who died at just 39 from a brain tumour. When we agreed  to embark on this cycling challenge we decided to use it to raise money for the memorial fund set up in Dean’s  name to support the incredible work that is carried out at The Christie –into cancer research and treatment, while also supporting the brilliant work done by Once Upon a Smile.

“The small matter of a global pandemic may have set us back a few years, but we’re determined to take on the infamous Ho Ch Minh trail. After several training rides in Spain, we’re now set to finally begin the challenge later this month.”

The Dean Masom Hope Tribute Fund was set up to support brain tumour research at The Christie. Currently little is known about brain tumours, with research projects only receiving minor funding at present.

Jack added: “Throughout Dean’s life, and brief illness, he made those who loved him very proud and was a keen fundraiser. I’m sure he’d be very proud of the tribute fund and the work it’s helping to support, as well as everyone involved.”

Pannone Corporate is one of a number of corporate sponsors supporting the team’s efforts on 26 March. These include: Northstone, Peel L&P, Aptus Utilities, Eurogold, E3P , NJL Consulting,  Daintree, Verlingue  and Tritech.

Paul Jonson, senior partner at Pannone Corporate, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be supporting Jack and the team on what is an epic challenge. After months of training, and years of waiting, they’re all set to take on Ho Chi Minh trail  and raise money for two extremely worthy causes. We wish them all the very best on their nine-day challenge.”

If you would like to donate to the challenge, visit https://www.justgiving.com/team/velovietnam1 

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Pannone Corporate has strengthened its retail and leisure credentials with a trio of client wins, after recently being appointed by The Lowry, New Balance and Beauty Bay.

The North West law firm will provide legal support to the renowned North West arts centre, The Lowry, while the firm has also recently been appointed to the legal panel for New Balance – a global sports footwear and apparel manufacturer. In addition, Pannone has joined the legal panel for skincare and cosmetics retailer, Beauty Bay.

Paul Jonson, senior partner at Pannone Corporate, said: “Retail and leisure remain a core part of our experience, and we are delighted to kick off the first quarter of the year with such positive additions to our expanding client portfolio.

“The Lowry, New Balance, and Beauty Bay, are all prominent brands across key their own retail and leisure sub-sectors, and help to strengthen our industry credentials in the regional market, across a range of teams and specialisms.”

Last year, Pannone was appointed by Costcutter and The Fragrance Shop, as well as being reappointed to the Boohoo Group legal panel. Pannone Corporate works alongside a growing list of retail and wholesale businesses including Bestway and Iceland.

Jonson added: “Retail and leisure are hugely varied and constantly evolving sectors, which continue to demonstrate dynamism in the face of strong economic headwinds and changing consumer dynamics. Whether it’s sports, fashion, arts and culture, or beauty, each has distinct challenges and opportunities. Our team is perfectly placed to support clients as they continue on their growth journey – both domestically and overseas.”

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Pannone Corporate has announced the promotion of two longstanding members of the team to Partner.

Effective from 3 February, Jonny Scholes has been promoted to Partner in the firm’s Dispute Resolution team. Jonny has been with Pannone since its inception in 2014, having previously worked at Pannone LLP joining in 2005. Jonny has built up a strong reputation in his field, particularly in the area of contentious trusts and probate – a top tier practice area for the firm in the Legal 500 rankings.

He is joined as Partner by Daniel Clarke, who leads the Corporate Recovery and Insolvency practice at Pannone. Like Jonny, Daniel joined Pannone LLP nearly 20 years ago and qualified in 2006. Daniel advises on all aspects of corporate and personal insolvency, including administration, bankruptcy, CVAs/IVAs, and restructuring and re-organisation.

Commenting on his promotion, Dan said: “I’m delighted to have been promoted to Partner alongside Jonny, during what is an exciting period of growth for the firm. The investment we make in talent is integral to our ongoing success – not just for the Corporate Recovery and Insolvency team, but for the firm as a whole.”

Jonny added: “I’m very proud to have been promoted to Partner and I look forward to helping Pannone continue to flourish alongside a group of wonderful and hard-working people.”

The promotions follow a number of recent appointments, as the firm continues to invest in future talent. As part of the recruitment drive, Joshua Dolan joins the firm as a solicitor in the Dispute Resolution team; Will Newman has been appointed as a solicitor in the Real Estate team; Ciara Scanlon joins in the Employment team as a solicitor; Natasha Mafunga has been appointed as a solicitor in the Dispute Resolution team; Jack Taylor further strengthens the Dispute Resolution team, also joining as a solicitor; with Renée Neophytou completing the raft of appointments, joining the Corporate team as a solicitor.

Paul Jonson, senior partner at Pannone, commented: “Each promotion and appointment represents Pannone’s commitment to investing in our people and the future of our business.

“The Partner promotions are thoroughly well deserved. Jonny and Dan have both demonstrated true commitment, dedication and passion to the firm, acting as a real example to those rising through the ranks, and they should be incredibly proud of their achievements.”

 

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North West law firm, Pannone Corporate, has announced the promotion of seven people across its team, including two promotions to Associate Partner.

Effective from 21 July, Bill Dunkerley has been promoted to Associate Partner in the firm’s Regulatory team. Since joining the firm in 2019, Bill has quickly built up a strong reputation in the area of regulatory interventions and prosecutions, including corporate and gross negligence manslaughter, health and safety offences, with extensive experience advising and assisting care providers.

He is joined as Associate Partner by Michael McNally, who joined the Employment team last year as director. He advises employers on all aspects of employment law, including regular representation and advocacy in the Employment Tribunal. He has particular experience working with businesses in the care, manufacturing, transport and logistics, retail, leisure and hospitality sectors.

Commenting on his promotion, Bill said: “I’m delighted to have been promoted to Associate Partner alongside Michael, during an exciting period of growth for Pannone Corporate.

“It’s a real honour to have moved up through the ranks, as we look to build on the momentum achieved across the Regulatory team, and the firm as a whole.”

In total, Pannone has promoted seven people. These include: Arshnoor Amershi, who has been promoted to Director in the Corporate Services team, where she specialises in all aspects of corporate legal work, such as M&A and disposals, reorganisations and restructuring; Andrew Walsh, who joined Pannone as a trainee solicitor seven years ago, rising up the ranks to become Senior Associate in Corporate Services; and James Brandwood, who has been promoted to Senior Associate in the Real Estate team. In addition, Radhika Das, who joined as a Legal Executive in 2018, has become an Associate in the Employment team; together with Lauren Beech, who has been promoted to Associate in Commercial Services.

Paul Jonson, senior partner at Pannone, commented: “These promotions represent Pannone’s commitment to investing in our people and the future of the firm.

“The Associate Partner promotions are thoroughly well deserved. Bill and Michael have both demonstrated a clear focus on both technical excellence and commercial advice  in a short space of time, to provide a high quality service to clients. Everyone who has been promoted should be incredibly proud of their achievements.”

The promotions follow the recent appointments of Paul Jagger as Debt Recovery Manager, joining from Ward Hadaway, together with Dominic Beddow, solicitor in Real Estate, Lauren Whittaker, Foreign Lawyer, Regulatory, and Belinda Cheung, Associate, Corporate.

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North West law firm, Pannone Corporate, has strengthened its team with a number of appointments, as it continues to invest in future talent.

As part of the latest recruitment drive, Joshua Dolan joins the firm as a solicitor in the Dispute Resolution team, where he will provide support across a range of areas, including advising on disputes for international clients. With particular experience in the UK and European transport sector, Joshua previously worked on the first ever collective proceeding case granted by the Competitions Appeals Tribunal on an “opt-in” basis.

He is joined by Will Newman who has been appointed as a solicitor in the Real Estate team. He will work alongside partners James Harris and James Wynne. He will be responsible for advising on a wide range of transactions, including titles, refinance and leases for both landlords and tenants across a range of sectors, including hospitality, industrial and retail.

Ciara Scanlon joins in the Employment team as a solicitor. Having recently qualified as a solicitor, she will support the team in delivering employment law advice, as well assisting in employment tribunal claims.

Ciara is joined by Natasha Mafunga who qualified in 2020. Natasha has been appointed as a solicitor in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution team, where she will work across the team’s specialisms, including contested trust and probate matters and commercial litigation.

Jack Taylor further strengthens the Dispute Resolution team, also joining as a solicitor. Jack will have a particular focus on Real Estate litigation, providing practical and commercial advice to a range of clients across the team’s key sectors.

Renée Neophytou completes the raft of appointments, joining the Corporate team as a solicitor, working alongside partners, Mark Winthorpe, Tom Hall, and Tim Hamilton. Renée will assist clients on issues including mergers and acquisitions, disposals, joint ventures, and shareholder reorganisations.

Paul Jonson, senior partner at Pannone, said: “We’re delighted to welcome our latest recruits to our growing team.

“As a firm, we’re committed to hiring and investing in young talent. We recognise the value they can bring to the firm and our clients and I’m confident they will all be a real asset across our Dispute Resolution, Corporate, Employment and Real Estate teams.”

Joshua Dolan commented: “Pannone has an excellent reputation for the diversity and quality of its work, as well as its portfolio of clients. I was also attracted by the great team dynamic, not just within Dispute Resolution team, but across the entire firm, and I’m delighted to be joining at such an exciting time, in terms of growth and opportunity.”

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The Legal 500 rankings have been released, with Pannone Corporate once again performing exceptionally well in the annual listings. In total, 26 lawyers feature in Legal 500 UK commentary for their standout contribution to their respective practices. This includes:

The firm’s practice areas also continue to rank highly amongst those within the profession. Pannone has top tier practice areas in TMT/ media and entertainment and private client litigation. A further 12 practices areas are ranked and recommended in the listings. These cover:

Paul Jonson, senior partner at Pannone Corporate, commented: “Once again, the firm has demonstrated both strength and depth in key practice areas, by delivering high quality, commercial and practical legal advice to clients across a broad range of sectors and specialisms.

“We’re delighted to be ranked so highly across a large number of core practice areas with 10 practice areas featuring in tiers three and above.

“The team continues to deliver exceptional work for our clients and this is shown in the number of individuals who are recognised by the Legal 500 – whether that’s seasoned professionals, or future talent coming through the ranks. What’s always particularly pleasing is the number of positive comments that are made by clients, which feature so prominently in this year’s research.”

Standout comments include:

‘This company really does work together to get the best advice and knowledge to give the client the best service and outcome.’

‘Pannone are highly professional, committed and thorough. Very personable and highly experienced, they cleverly see around corners and help protect concepts, IP and business projects for the future. Good to have alongside any venture.’

‘This practice exceeds all expectations and always meets our needs in full. There are a range of specialists available who always deliver exactly what we need.’

‘They know what we do, how we operate and have made themselves indispensable. They see risks, opportunities and weaknesses that we don’t; they go over and above the brief.’

‘The team’s strength lies in efficiently making complex matters understandable and providing practical tools to achieve the desired goal.’

‘Pannone Corporate strikes nicely the fine balance between the big law firm capacity to handle a complex case without losing the small law firm responsiveness and personal touch. They work and communicate well as a team. High-profile commercial litigators.’

‘Pannone Corporate is a firm with an extremely strong presence in property litigation. They have an excellent client base in the North West of England and are strong enough to take on a wide range of clients from around the country. The firm has achieved prominence through building in-depth expertise in its chosen fields.’

The Legal 500 analyses the capabilities of law firms across the world, with a comprehensive research programme revised and updated every year to bring the most up-to-date vision of the global legal market. The Legal 500 assesses the strengths of law firms in over 150 jurisdictions.

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The results of Chambers 2022 have been announced with impressive results for individual lawyers and teams at Pannone Corporate.

Chambers and Partners identifies the best law firms globally, from multi-nationals to boutiques, based on independent research and analysis of feedback from clients, peers and the wider market.

Chambers produces annual rankings of teams and individuals according to their area of specialism. They take into account: client service; technical legal ability; depth of team; commercial vision and business understanding; diligence and value for money.

Commenting on this year’s results, senior partner Paul Jonson said: “We’re delighted that so many individuals and teams have been acknowledged in this year’s Chambers rankings, with particular note to our Intellectual Property team, which has moved up to tier two.

“It’s excellent to see such positive feedback from clients, highlighting our strong and client-orientated approach, robust and highly professional advice, ability to translate complex legal matters, and a clear commercial awareness – all important and consistent qualities across the firm.

“I’d like to congratulate everyone who’s been included in this year’s rankings for their continued hard work and commitment to delivering a first-class service to clients across all specialisms.”

The rankings 

Specialist Area 2022 Band Region Ranked Lawyers
Construction Emma Judge – Band 4 (individual)
Corporate/M&A: Lower Mid-Market 2 North West Arshnoor Amershi – Associates to watch

Tom Hall – Band 3

Mark Winthorpe – Band 3

Tim Hamilton – Band 3

IT 3 North West Amy Chandler – Band 2
Intellectual Property 2 North West Amy Chandler – Band 3

Melanie McGuirk – Band 2

 

Litigation 3 North West

 

Paul Jonson – Band 1

Sarah Bazaraa – Associates to watch

Partnership 4

 

UK Wide Paul Jonson – Band 3

 

Partnership: Contentious UK Wide Paul Jonson – Band 3 (individual)
Real Estate North West Gareth Birch – up and coming
Real Estate Litigation 3 North West

 

Gemma Staples – Band 3

 

Restructuring/ Insolvency North West Richard Wolff – Band 3

Daniel Clarke – up and coming

 

 

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A six-strong Pannone team took part in the annual Manchester Legal Walk earlier this week, to raise money for the North West Legal Support Trust – the local arm of the Access to Justice Foundation, which funds local advice services.

Money raised from the 10km walk, which started at Manchester Civil Justice Centre, before heading out to Chorlton-on-Medlock and finishing at the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, will be used to help local agencies keep operating and provide access to justice to as many people as possible.

The event, which involves both legal professionals and justice advocates, takes place each year in 27 cities across the UK, including Liverpool, Leeds, London, Birmingham and Glasgow.

Ben Blatch-Hanlon, a solicitor in the dispute resolution team, has taken part in a number of walks in three previous locations. He was responsible for organising the team’s involvement in this year’s event. Walkers included Lorna Shuttleworth, James Brandwood, Georgina Bligh-Smith, Heather Morris, and Emma Hafez.

Ben said: “The Legal Walk is a fantastic industry event to be involved in, raising much-needed funds and awareness of a vital service that has been severely affected by the pandemic.

“Through the charitable efforts of the legal and justice profession, we can play a small part in helping to fund a service that offers free advice to some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in society – making a huge difference to their lives.”

The Legal Advice agencies work to help prevent homelessness, resolving debt problems, gaining care for the elderly and disabled and fighting exploitation.

If you would like to support the team and make a donation, simply visit:  https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/PannoneCorporateLLP

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Chambers and Partners identifies the best law firms globally, from multi-nationals to boutiques. Underpinned by independent research and analysis of feedback from clients, peers and the wider market, Chambers produces annual rankings of teams and individuals according to their area of specialism.

 

The rankings take into account: client service; technical legal ability; depth of team; commercial vision and business understanding; diligence and value for money. The results of Chambers 2021 have been announced with strong results for individual lawyers and departments at Pannone Corporate.

 

Commenting on this year’s results, senior partner Paul Jonson said: “Pannone Corporate is punching well above its weight in this year’s Chambers rankings. When you compare our team to the firms ranked at the same level as us, we have nearly twice as many individuals named – as a proportion of our headcount – than our closest regional counterpart.

 

“I’d like to congratulate the colleagues who have been recognised and our team as a whole. Our people are our greatest asset. Put them together, and it creates something that is even more compelling than the sum of its parts.”

 

The rankings 

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