Tag Archives: Weightmans

Weightmans Wednesday – Professional Liverpool

I have mentioned plenty about Professional Liverpool, and of the events I have attended previously. Therefore it was a real pleasure to attend this month’s Weightmans Wednesday in Liverpool, where I was able to listen and learn about the work that Professional Liverpool does in promoting the business community in the Liverpool City Region (LCR).

The speaker for the event was John Hall who is the former Managing Partner of Bermans Solicitors, and since 2011 has been Chief Executive of Professional Liverpool. During that time, Professional Liverpool has grown successfully as a crucial voice in Liverpool’s business scene, which meant I was really looking forward to learning more about the organisation. This is because whilst I already knew that Professional Liverpool provides excellent networking opportunities for businesses, I knew little about the great work they do in providing a voice for businesses in Liverpool.

John talked eloquently about how the organisation’s membership base has significantly grown since 2011. In addition, John talked about how the organisation provides a voice to the professional business community in Liverpool, and how the events hosted provide a valuable and educational insight into how businesses and the economic landscape is constantly changing. As I listened, I came to understand that Professional Liverpool is more than just about networking and promoting the LCR, as it is also about educating, developing and supporting the business community.

I also learned some interesting facts about Professional Liverpool, which I have listed below:

  1. Professional Liverpool has over 500 members.
  2. Members are from many industry sectors including law, finance, marketing, digital and more.
  3. They hold up to 100 events a year from networking lunches, training seminars to the flagship Cannes Do event, which this year raised £13,874 for charity.
  4. By supporting and representing the professional business sector within the LCR, Professional Liverpool has supported an estimated 107,000 jobs in 12,000 companies.
  5. The above helps in generating more than £8billion per annum in gross value added (GVA).
  6. A new Creative, Digital and Technology specialist group to support Liverpool’s creative, digital and tech community is being launched.
  7. Professional Liverpool also has other specialist groups including Development & Regeneration, Healthcare, Private Client, Property, Marketing & Communications and Corporate Finance.

What I have learned is that Professional Liverpool plays a massive role in supporting businesses, and working with public and private sector partners for the benefit of the city. It is through continual collaboration and the willingness of everyone to raise Liverpool’s profile and brand, that will be a decisive factor in the future. This is why the organisation is a tremendous asset to the LCR, and also why John and everyone involved in the organisation, from the board, the membership, and those who work behind the scenes at Professional Liverpool, deserve the respect and appreciation of the entire professional business sector in the LCR.

My thanks goes to everyone at Weightmans for organising the event. I would also like to personally thank John for sharing the story of Professional Liverpool, which was delivered with heartfelt passion, experience and also humour. It was such an uplifting talk that reminded me of how proud I am to work in our wonderful city, and I shall continue to support John and Professional Liverpool in representing local businesses, and to promote the city of Liverpool.

Thanks for reading!


Weightmans Wednesday – ABS Solutions

Health and fitness is important to everyone. There are so many gyms and other fitness establishments that offer services to customers looking to exercise for various reasons, which is why the fitness industry is currently booming. Like any other business however, fitness establishments need to have their individual style or brand to attract customers.

At last month’s Weightmans Wednesday bi-monthly event, I was delighted to listen to Connor O’Brien the founder of Absolute Body Solutions (ABS), talk about the story of his business. It was a very good story too, from opening the first gym in Speke, to the latest gyms in Liverpool City Centre, and also recently in Manchester. In addition, Connor also talked about the rigorous attention to detail involved with ensuring the business performs and delivers the highest quality personal fitness training to customers. Listening to Connor speak, I recognised the crucial qualities of relentless hard-work, a strong emphasis of quality and consistency of performance when delivering services to customers, as well as Connor’s own passion for fitness.

For myself, I had a particular interest in this event, and of what I could learn from it. The result from listening to Connor’s story, was that I learned of the difficulties of being a good personal trainer and business person, because there are so many responsibilities involved with running both the front and back-end functions of the business. From the personal training of clients, to looking after the finance, marketing, as well monitoring the performance and continual development of the 19 personal trainers employed by ABS, I can only imagine and admire the tremendous work and dedication of everyone involved, that goes into making the business successful. This is why a key takeaway for any business owner is to surround themselves with the right people.

Connor also talked about how the fitness industry is changing. This involved the growth of online platforms such as YouTube to deliver personal training online to a wider audience. In the long term, I believe it will be interesting to see how gyms and personal trainers make use of online platforms. However technology will need to be tailored to suit the needs of gyms, personal trainers and their clients.

Overall it was a very good event, with plenty for me to take away and ponder for myself. This is because I came away thinking about my own self-improvement in my work and personal life, learning new methods and consistently applying them to develop as a person and as a professional.

In conclusion, I would like to thank Connor for sharing his story, and also to everyone at Weightmans for coming together, to organise and deliver an interesting evening.

Weightmans Wednesday – Capital of Culture 10th Anniversary

2018 marks a decade since Liverpool was voted European Capital of Culture. Since 2008, it has transformed the city, and like millions of others, I have seen this through my own eyes, filling my heart with nothing but pride.

Last month, I had the pleasure of attending an event held at Weightmans LLP in Liverpool. The event featured an interesting presentation from Robin Kemp of Culture Liverpool, about Capital of Culture’s impact on the city, the upcoming 10th anniversary, and of the future cultural plans for Liverpool.

There was a rich tapestry of information that I learned about Capital of Culture. From the success of events such as the Giants Spectacular, Three Cunard Queens, Liverpool Biennial and Liverpool Pride, the effects of such a prestigious accolade cannot be underestimated. The impact of Capital of Culture, has boosted the local economy, and increased the city’s tourism profile, culminating in Liverpool being named as one of the top holiday destinations to visit in 2018.

Robin also briefly talked about Liverpool 2018, which is a year-long festival of programmes. The purpose of Liverpool 2018 is to celebrate the city’s cultural and creative heritage, and also to plan for and build upon the next decade. The festival includes events such as the Chinese Terracotta Warriors, Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta, Bordeaux Wine Festival, Future World of Work, Liverpool International Music Festival 2018 and many more interesting events. Looking at what Liverpool 2018 offers, this promises to be a creative, innovative and thought-provoking programme, which will showcase the city’s creativity to a national and international audience.

Capital of Culture has also helped Liverpool to attract new investment. This is evident through the development and success of major conference attractions held at ECHO Arena Liverpool and Exhibition Centre Liverpool, which has attracted major UK and international events. Such examples including the 2016 Labour Party Conference, MTV European Music Awards 2008, BBC Sports Personality of the Year, and the International Business Festival, amongst many other high profile events.

To conclude, I would like to express my thanks to Robin for giving a great presentation, and for whetting my cultural appetite. Finally I would also like to thank everyone at Weightmans, for organising an entertaining evening of culture, networking and conversation.

Bring on the next ten years, and beyond!

Weightmans Wednesday – Leaf Group

Who are Leaf Group and what do they do?

At last week’s Weightmans Wednesday bi-monthly networking event, I found out the answer for myself. What I found was a story not only about success, but also of overcoming obstacles.

The event featured Natalie Haywood, who is the founder of Leaf Group. Since forming in 2007, Leaf Group has grown successfully to encompass a chain of successful bars in Liverpool including Leaf, Oh Me Oh My, and One Fine Day, which has recently opened on Old Hall Street. I have had the pleasure of visiting these establishments, so this was an opportunity to learn about the origins of the business.

Natalie spoke a great deal about Leaf’s business journey. From the beginnings on Bold Street, to dealing with landlord disputes, raising finance, and the growing pains of the business, I was very impressed with Natalie’s story. As I listened carefully, I understood why Leaf has been successful, through offering a unique and successful service, whilst encountering and tackling difficulties.

In addition, Natalie also gave a glimpse into the soul of Leaf Group. This included talking about being creative and experimenting with new ideas, which is very important, because businesses must continuously adapt to remain competitive. At the same time, businesses must remain true to their core values and their customers’ needs, which is difficult to balance effectively, resulting in stressful times and problems that need to be overcome.

I also learned that businesses must be resourceful, resilient and tenacious. The hospitality industry is ferociously competitive, with many casualties littering cities like corpses on a battlefield. Therefore for restaurants and bars like all businesses, it is all about product and the customer experience. Customers have so much choice and the collective power, which make or break businesses.

Upon reflection, I admire Natalie for not only telling the story of Leaf Group, but also of the difficult times encountered. Anyone can speak about how successful they have been, but honestly describing what also went wrong, and of the lessons learned takes both honesty and courage, to reveal a sense of vulnerability to an audience. In my opinion, you learn more when you fail, but how you learn and respond is the key, and I applaud Natalie for showing the path to success involves encountering and overcoming failures.

Finally I would like to thank Natalie, and Rebecca Driffield and Sarah Jennings from Weightmans, for organising an excellent evening of networking.

Weightmans Wednesday – Clapperboard UK

Film and TV as a medium for storytelling has a real power. A power to make us laugh, cry and question through moving images, crafted by talent in front and behind the camera. Film and TV has the powerful ability to give people a voice, allowing them to express themselves creatively.

There are thousands of children and adults from disadvantaged backgrounds that feel isolated, troubled and without a voice. They feel unable to speak out on social and moral issues, which affect themselves, their families and their communities. At last week’s Weightmans Wednesday event, I listened to an interesting talk from Clapperboard UK, a small-successful award winning charity that works to address this.

This consisted of Maureen Sinclair and Colin Farrell (not the actor) talking about Clapperboard’s work. The charity’s purpose is to bring film making creativity and education into local communities across the North West. I learned how the charity works with young people, by giving them confidence and skills through training in-front and behind the camera. I also learned how Clapperboard empowers not only young people, but anyone who is disadvantaged, by giving them a platform to develop and produce issue-led videos from script to screen. These videos focus on important social issues such as racism, drug use, smoking, self-harm, bullying, knife and gang culture.

Maureen and Colin also talked about Clapperboard’s charitable work with schools, charities and organisations. I was really impressed with their work and passion for training young people, and giving themselves and others, a voice and an opportunity to express their creative endeavours.

I also understood that Clapperboard is more than just a youth charity. This is because they also encourage learning through creativity, evidenced through the many videos produced. Therefore the positive impact of the charity’s work cannot be underestimated.

I would like to thank Maureen and Colin for their excellent talk. My thanks also go to everyone at Weightmans for organising the event. This article is a token and a gift of my gratitude to Maureen and Colin. I say this because, as with all non-profit charities, Clapperboard relies on sponsorship and donations for funding. This is achieved through raising awareness of their profile and charitable works, and I sincerely hope this article helps them.

You can find more on Clapperboard’s work here.

Weightmans Wednesday – Liverpool Biennial

The joys of working in Liverpool are that there is so much happening. From new hotels, bars, restaurants, businesses, to the cultural richness the city has to offer, I am constantly keen to discover and learn about the many opportunities happening in the city.

At last week’s Weightmans Wednesday event, I listened to a very interesting talk given by Julie Lomax, from Liverpool Biennial. In a previous article, I had written about the positive impact the festival has had on the city of Liverpool. However I had little understanding of the purpose behind the festival. By the end of the talk, my understanding of the Biennial was clearer.

Liverpool Biennial is more than just a free festival of contemporary national and international art. It is about representing Liverpool’s past, present and future, using imagery to express people’s stories and ideas. This is achieved through an eclectic mix of exhibitions, films, events and performances, held in the city’s public spaces, galleries, museums and unused buildings. What this achieves is three-dimensional visual spectacles, of fiction and storytelling that brings Liverpool’s history to life.

From the talk given by Julie, I learned that Liverpool Biennial works with major arts organisations in the city, including FACT, Bluecoat, TATE Liverpool, Open Eye Gallery, Walker Art Gallery and more. I also learned how this year’s festival used a format of six episodes, which took viewers on a journey, through Liverpool history and culture, with stories interwoven between venues, places and performances. Finally I also learned that Liverpool Biennial is already working towards 2018. Who knows what artistic wonders await the milestone of ten years, since Capital of Culture?

I came away from the event feeling enlightened. What impressed me is how the Biennial has breathed life into parts of Liverpool, once unused and neglected. In conclusion, Liverpool Biennial is an asset, as it contributes to the city, both in culture and commerce.

Finally I would like to thank Julie for a fine cultural discussion. My thanks also go to John Kemp and everyone at Weightmans for organising a splendid evening, and for their usual mix of kind professionalism and hospitality.

Professional Liverpool Marketing & Communications Group Summer Social – Thursday 4th August 2016

Last Thursday, I attended a Marketing & Communications Group Summer Social event, organised by Professional Liverpool. Held at Bean Coffee & Cocktails, this was an informal event to bring together people from finance, and other professional services in Liverpool.

Apart from the usual networking opportunities, I wanted to attend the event, to show my support to Alex Clark from Professional Liverpool, and Sarah Gerard from Weightmans. Both of them did a splendid job in organising the event, and reflecting on the experience I believe it was a successful one.

So why do I believe it was successful? From my experience of attending networking events, I like to judge them on the atmosphere and surroundings. In this case, the atmosphere was informal, warm and friendly, that made me feel at ease and comfortable, whilst the choice of venue was ideal, overlooking St Paul’s Square, with a good choice of drinks and delicious canapés. I was also able to mix and interact with an interesting mix of people, which I enjoyed very much.

Sarah also talked about the Marketing & Communications Group of Professional Liverpool. I was particularly interested in how they plan to work, with the financial and professional sectors in the city, of which I am looking forward to hearing more about in the future. Learning about what is happening in the city, such as the Lord Mayor of London’s recent visit to Liverpool, is a keen interest of mine. Therefore I am aware that the incredible work of organisations such as Professional Liverpool, is vital in helping to raise the city’s profile.

I would like to personally thank Alex and Sarah, for organising a enjoyable evening, and to the staff of Bean Coffee & Cocktails, for their friendliness and hospitality. It is easy to forget the effort required to put these events together, so everyone deserves praise, in making everything possible.