Hillyer McKeown: What we learned from entering the Law Society awards

Latest news story from Hillyer McKeown:

Anyone who has ever entered an award knows that submissions take quite an effort to produce. In a busy business, this means balancing the available time and resources to compile to submission and deciding: would it all be worthwhile?

When Hillyer McKeown received details about a Law Society award the first (and obvious) part was choosing which category to enter. The decision was made to enter Marketing and Communications.

Then came the real work!

We chose to showcase the National Apprenticeship Week campaign which took place from 6th to 10th March 2017. Strategically, this campaign celebrated our apprentices, demonstrated our commitment to being an ‘employer of choice’ to attract and retain quality talent while also raising awareness within Hillyer McKeown of the valuable contribution our apprentices make to the business.

The online campaign promoted the individual stories from our apprentices, told in their own words: why they chose to do an apprenticeship, their thoughts about the experience so far and what they would like to do next.

We were surprised with the award result: Highly Commended!

We were delighted to come second given the calibre of national firms who entered the same category.

During the campaign we learned that the creativity, drive and dedication of our in-house team produced material which attracted more online interest than was expected across the country.

Since the award we have learned that recognition increases confidence: in-house the hard work has been widely praised and appreciated, and some of our apprentices have now entered the High Sheriff Awards, Cheshire’s prestigious awards for business performance.

If you’d like to hear more from our apprentices, view the campaign material on our NAW17 website landing page.


Sales off to a flying start as home buyers flock to view new show homes at Minshull Way

Sales at Minshull Way, Lovell Homes’ development in Rock Ferry, got off to a flying start last weekend as home buyers flocked to be the first to view two new show homes.

Lovell hosted a Halloween-themed launch to unveil the new show homes providing sweet treats for prospective buyers to enjoy. Visitors over the weekend were impressed with the spacious rooms, contemporary design and stylish features when they viewed the three-bedroom Donley and two-bedroom Singleton show homes. Both properties feature high quality finishes including integrated ovens with stainless steel gas hobs, integrated fridge freezers and UPVC double glazed windows and have their own off-street parking and gardens with patios.

Minshull Way is set to create a thriving community of 110 two and three-bedroom homes with prices starting from just £106,995. Using the government-backed Help to Buy: Equity Loan, which can help first time buyers and families looking to move up the ladder buy a new-build property with just a 5% deposit, a two-bedroom Singleton can be purchased with a deposit of just £5,350 with the homeowner then requiring a mortgage for 75% of the property value and the government providing an equity loan to cover the remaining 20%, which is interest-free for five years.

The development benefits from excellent transport links, offering easy access to the M53 and is just

5 miles away from Liverpool city centre. It also boasts a number of parks nearby including the garden village of Port Sunlight and local shops and amenities are less than a mile away.

Clare Noakes, regional sales director for Lovell North West said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the interest shown at our show home launch at Minshull Way we saw lots of visitors and some fantastic sales. We got into the spirit of Halloween by serving complimentary sweets and cakes and giving our sales office a spooky makeover which seemed to go down a treat with prospective purchasers!

“The excellent price and location of these homes, alongside our reputation for delivering quality new homes means we’re expecting to sell these properties very quickly.”

Visit the new show homes at Minshull Way, 2 Canterbury Road (off New Chester Road), Rock Ferry, CH42 2EQ from Thursday – Monday between 10am – 5pm and 11am – 4pm on Saturdays.

For all sales enquiries, call 0151 515 4373.

B&M Waste are finalists at Birmingham Business Awards

Carbon Neutral, B&M Waste Services have been nominated for not just one, but two prestigious awards at Downtown in Business’ Inaugural City of Birmingham Business Awards. The company is up for Employer of the Year and the Environmental & Sustainability Award.

Providing businesses with a waste recycling service and striving to achieve 100% diversion from landfill, B&M Waste officially expanded into Birmingham in August this year, creating 10 new jobs. As a company who cares, they chose to work with Birmingham Children’s Hospital as their local nominated charity, taking part in the Big Sleuth Challenge as well as one employee recently abseiling down the Three Brindley Place building in Birmingham to fundraise.

Birmingham businesses can now benefit from using an award winning and fully accredited waste recycling service. B&M Waste have been Carbon Neutral since 2011 and were recently assessed to PAS 402:2013 level, ensuring customers receive a truly environmentally friendly service.

Voting has now closed, and the results will be announced at the awards evening on Thursday 9th November.

Neil Curtis, Managing Director, said; “Locating to Birmingham has already proven to be a great success, and we are truly honored to be shortlisted for two fantastic awards. Without a great team of people providing excellent customer service we wouldn’t be where we are today and I can’t thank our loyal customers and employees enough. It’s great to be working in such a diverse and prosperous city and where businesses are so enthusiastic about recycling and protecting the environment.”

Bridging Finance – A New Audience – An Appetite for Bridging

As Bridging Finance Solutions continues along its pathway of continued growth and expansion, the firm begins to explore where new customer groups lay in terms of a wider demographic. John Hardman, Head of Sales at Bridging Finance Solutions considers the facts, reviewing trends across 2017 for BFS, and determines what makes a ‘typical bridging customer’:

“Whilst bridging is much more concentrated in London and the South East, the Midlands through to the North of England continue to see growth in the short term market both in numbers and volume as investors continue to look for maximum yield combined with capital growth, two elements that are starting to come under some pressure in certain areas in the South.

“Whilst the value of a typical loan in the North is considerably lower than in the South, the market is no less buoyant in terms of physical numbers of transactions due in the main to the number of hungry experienced property investors, landlords and builders that exist in the region. With regards to Scotland and Northern Ireland appetite has generally been tepid from short term lenders , partly due to differentials in property law and also perceived liquidity issues.

“The average age of a bridging customer age is 56, compared to 37 for a standard mortgage. As individuals approach the age of 50, thoughts inevitably turn towards retirement. It is a common fact that many have not provided anything like the amount they should have towards retirement. Direct property investment offers a flexible simple and lucrative method by which someone can plug this funding gap . The large majority of investors age above 50 are gearing their portfolio towards providing an adequate income in retirement coupled with growth in their capital.

“In terms of employment status, a significant proportion of our investors currently are either self- employed builders/property investors. This has always been the case  as this demographic has the knowledge to quickly assess the viability of a project to, for example, refurbish a property and turn a profit. Despite that, we are seeing more and more employed or retired clients who have taken the time to research this market via the internet, trade press or DIY programmes and are keen to ‘have a go’ themselves.”

John concluded: “Ultimately what we are seeing is a general increased appetite for bridging across the board. The North is as buoyant as the South, however, property prices naturally dictates that loan values are considerably lower. Over 50’s will naturally look at property to boost their pensions whilst self-employed people have a tendency to explore alternative ways to finance a project. The market is opening up and individuals are recognising the scope and value of bridging to help them meet their end goal.”

B&M Waste Services has completed the implementation of an Enterprise Management Platform and Mobile solution from AMCS

Wirral-based B&M Waste Services has completed the implementation of an Enterprise Management Platform and Mobile solution from AMCS, the world’s leading application provider for the waste and recycling industry.

The new system, which is part of a major investment in technology infrastructure, is a demonstration of the company’s continued commitment to providing outstanding customer service and will also help to realise significant operational efficiencies.

Carbon-neutral B&M Waste is one of the first to migrate their legacy system to the Enterprise Management solution on the AMCS Platform, and will use it to manage a number of tasks including the improved planning of collection rounds for over 30 trade waste & recycling vehicles.  In doing so, it has already reduced mileage and fuel consumption.

The system is also able to take into account a range of other factors such as disposal locations and customer sites with restricted access or limited collection times, helping to reduce the potential for missed collections.

Drivers of the company’s collection and delivery vehicles have also been issued with mobile devices, which enable real-time communication and assist in a proactive customer service approach and the speedy resolution of any issues or queries that arise. 

Commenting on the implementation B&M Waste Services, Grahame Henderson – Finance Director, said:

“The new system has enabled us to continue to improve upon the excellent level of service that we strive to give our customers, whilst also helping us to operate more efficiently both commercially and environmentally. We have been an AMCS customer for a number of years and the support we have received from the AMCS technical and project management teams has been invaluable over this time. It has given us the confidence we need to make an investment of this magnitude, which we believe will play an important role in underpinning our continued growth.”

Elaine Treacy – Head of Sales at AMCS also commented saying:

“The AMCS platform is inspired by global market trends and is designed to automate, standardise and optimise all business processes from waste collection to processing and materials trading. We look forward to building on what is already a very strong relationship with B&M Waste Services and working with them to realise the commercial and environmental benefits of increased digitalisation.”

Hillyer McKeown ‘Highly Commended’ in national Law Society Awards 2017

Club sponsors, Hillyer McKeown has been Highly Commended by the Law Society in the Excellence Awards. The award category was for Marketing & Communications in which they celebrated the valuable contribution their apprentices make to the business, and the economy as a whole.

National Apprenticeship Week 2017

The award submission focused on National Apprenticeship Week, during which time the Hillyer McKeown apprentices shared their individual stories about what motivated them to begin an apprenticeship, their first-hand experiences, and their wishes for the future.

A number of their apprentices commented on having the opportunity to gain invaluable practical skills in a professional environment, and being able to progress into their chosen area of interest.

For Hillyer McKeown the development of top talent is key, and the valued contribution our apprentices are making is helping to grow our business.

Further information

For more information about apprenticeships for individuals and employers, contact the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) https://www.gov.uk/education/apprenticeships-traineeships-and-internships

To hear the stories from Hillyer McKeowns apprentices, visit their National Apprenticeship Week page https://www.hillyermckeown.co.uk/celebrating-10-years-of-national-apprenticeship-week-2017/


Hays Travel Now Open in Moreton

The latest news about Hays Travel and their new Moreton shop:

Hays Travel is the biggest independent travel agent in the UK and we’re delighted to have found a great location at Hoylake Road, Moreton, where we are now open for business.

For more than 30 years we have been sending Brits on their holidays of a lifetime, providing great knowledge and experience along with all the security you would expect from a long-established business. In these days of uncertainty, it is important that you can book with complete peace of mind you can be assured of that with Hays Travel as we have both ABTA and ATOL protection.

As Hays Travel are completely independent, we can offer you a huge range of tour operator and cruise holidays, such as Jet 2, First Choice, Thomson, Thomas Cook, Royal Caribbean, P&O, Fred Olsen and 725 others!

Don Bircham, Managing Director at Hays Travel, says: “Our independence allows us to provide the customer with a huge range of holidays and compare prices with all the major UK tour operators. We are under no pressure to sell a particular holiday, unlike many of our key competitors who are incentivised to sell only one or two companies. “Hays Travel is also well established across the Wirral and the North West, with existing shops in Bebington, Birkenhead, Heswall, Wallasey, Prenton and Ellesmere Port, as well as locations right across the UK. The combination of our well-trained, experienced travel staff and the very latest travel technology will ensure we find the right holiday for you at a very competitive price.

Independent travel is becoming increasingly popular and we have all the tools at hand to build a holiday that is right for you in terms of destination, flights, hotels, duration and that special individual touch. We are delighted to have Amanda Coleman appointed as shop manager in Moreton, Amanda is local having lived in Moreton for 43 years and been in the travel industry for 30 years; Amanda was previously very successful as our shop manager in Wallasey. Amanda is joined by Eloise Calvert, Kerrie Bushell and Stacey McGlynn. Each of our stores has a cruise expert, and Moreton is no exception. Drop in and have a coffee with Amanda our shop manager and her team to discuss your next great adventure,” So whether it’s a Cruise, flight only, an independent itinerary put together specifically for you, a romantic weekend break, a traditional fortnight in the sun, or a once in a lifetime dream long-haul destination, Hays Travel can fulfil all your wishes.

And don’t forget about our complete foreign exchange service – we have all currencies available on demand at the very best rates.

Hankinson Group shared best practice alongside Prime Minister Theresa May in The Parliamentary Review

Our dugout sponsors Hankinson Group appears alongside Prime Minister Theresa May in the 2016/17 Parliamentary Review.

Established by former minister The Rt Hon David Curry in 2010, The Parliamentary Review’s September release is now a key fixture in the political calendar.

Following an invitation from Chief Editor the Rt Hon David Curry, the Hankinson Group features alongside the Prime Minister and a small number of outstanding organisations in a document that looks back on the year in industry and Westminster. The main aim of the Review is to showcase best practice as a learning tool to the public and private sector.

Across all policy areas, The Parliamentary Review is sent to over half a million leading policymakers. The articles in the Review act as both a blueprint for success and a template for reform.

The Prime Minister commented that ‘this year’s Parliamentary Review follows a significant year in British politics’, and this is reflected in the articles from leading journalists and best-practice representatives alike.

The PM’s former cabinet colleague, Sir Eric Pickles, who was recently appointed Chairman of the Review, said: “It has never been more important for government to hear the views of business and the public sector in a constructive forum. It is also a vital time to share best practice and progress.”

The Parliamentary Review’s director Daniel Yossman concurred, saying “Hankinson Group and other hardworking organisations from across the country have come together to make this year’s Review possible. Sharing knowledge and insight with both peers and government is essential work and I am delighted that this year’s Review will reach every corner of the British economy. It’s always a real joy to hear from policymakers who tell me that something they have read in the Review has had an effect on their thinking. It is my belief that innovation is contagious, if only it is given the platform to spread. It is the Review’s purpose to provide this platform and I am confident we are fulfilling it.”

Speaking about their involvement In the Review, Hankinson Group Chief Executive Stephen Hankinson said: “We all work exceptionally hard to ensure that Hankinson is at the forefront of its sector. It is great to see the government taking a keen interest in what we are achieving in our sector and we are delighted with our inclusion.”

You can view an e-copy of the Review here: https://www.theparliamentaryreview.co.uk/editions/construction-engineering/construction-general


Lucky Number 7 for Searchability at the MARA Awards

News from our back of shirt sponsors Searchability:

This month our back of shirt sponsors Searchability got some fantastic news as they were announced as finalists for a whopping 7 industry awards! Searchability specialise in IT, Digital and eCommerce Recruitment and already have an impressive 5 awards under their belt. Founder Martin Blythe and the rest of the team in Chester are hoping to add to their collection at this year’s Marketing & Digital Recruitment Awards in November!

Searchability are up against some stiff national opposition for: Best Recruitment Website, Best Client Service, Best Candidate Experience, Recruitment Consultant of the Year, Marketing Star of the Year, Best Tech Digital Team and Agency of the Year! The team are hoping that the last year’s hard work and success will pay off with some fresh wins in November!


Conveyancing Team at Hillyer McKeown is Delighted to Win National LFS Award

The conveyancing team at Hillyer McKeown has won a national LFS award for Best Direct Conveyancing Firm 2017. The winners were announced on 20th September at an awards dinner in Birmingham.

The LFS awards are particularly sought after in the conveyancing industry with competition being strong this year as there was a 50% increase in the number of entrants compared to last year.

The awards celebrate both businesses and individuals who demonstrate excellent service. The panel of prestigious judges subject each entry to a rigorous 7-stage evaluation to ensure balanced and fair results. From initial assessment they were looking for commitment to client service, staff development, and innovative solutions to ensure continual improvements. The evaluation also included secret shopper scoring, client testimonials, and a 20 minute interview with each entrant.

Caroline Jones, Partner, commented on winning the award:

“We are absolutely delighted and surprised by winning such a prestigious award. The surprise is because we were up against some really tough competition. While we make every effort to provide a superb service, we didn’t imagine being awarded the Best Direct Conveyancing Firm in the country.  This award reflects the commitment and hard work our teams put into making each transaction as smooth as possible.”

To find out more about our service, visit the website or contact our team at enquiries@law.uk.com or call 01244 318131