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Meet our experts

Meet the top business leaders who deliver business-changing advice and determine the final Pioneer 10.

Michael Smoult

Partner at Gorvins Solicitors

Mike Smoult is a Partner in the Wills, Trusts & Probate Team, he joined Gorvins in 2011 was promoted to Partner in 2018. Mike is a member of the Society of Trusts & Estate Practitioners (STEP). Mike is a member of the Family Business Team and helps family businesses plan for the future. Mike also acts in complex estate disputes on behalf of clients for claims under the Inheritance Act 1975 and mental incapacity. Mike is well-known for his work applying to the Court of Protection on behalf of Deputy’s to gain Court approval on proposals for completing statutory wills.

Claire Challinor

Manager at Clarke Nicklin

Claire is a manager at Clarke Nicklin Chartered Accountants, based at Cheadle Royal Business Park in Cheadle, specialising in owner managed businesses from start ups to family businesses. She ensures clients receive the best advice on business structure, tax savings, and evolving the business as it grows.

Geoff Longden

Business Growth Enabler for Greater Manchester

My role is to support businesses in the Greater Manchester area, whether you bank with NatWest or not.

I work closely with the local business marketplace to support, develop and add value to SMEs by providing business advice, bringing together local businesses and hosting regular events.

Get in touch with me on 07919 298390 or geoff.longden@rbs.co.uk to let me know how I can support your business. Growth means different things to different businesses – tell me what it means to you.

You can also follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter – Geoff Longden and @geoff_longden

Image of James Myatt, Patent Attorney at Appleyard Lees

James Myatt

Patent Attorney, Appleyard Lees

James is a Patent Attorney working in our Chemistry & Pharmaceutical teams and is based in our Manchester and Halifax Offices. His particular areas of expertise are organic chemistry and pharmaceutical science having spent several years in academic and industrial research. James also works with clients in the food science, specialist materials and fuel chemistry sectors. James also specialises in analysing the patentability prospects of new ideas and working with start-up companies and entrepreneurs to help get their new ideas off the ground.

Paul Richards

Director of Development & Regeneration - Stockport MBC

Paul is the Director of Development and Regeneration for Stockport MBC and has previously been Property Director for Findel PLC, Homeforrm Group and Wine Cellar.

He has extensive senior level experience of managing occupational property portfolios and capital transformation programmes and is a Chartered Surveyor.

In his current role within the Council, he is responsible for the £1 billion investment into development and regeneration across the Borough, in addition to its culture and leisure team and economy, work and skills.

Sue Souter, Director at Souter PR. 30.09.13 Photo credit : Phil Tragen

Sue Souter

Director at Souter PR

Sue Souter has been working on PR campaigns for over 25 years, delivering story-based programmes for some of the UK’s biggest brands and organisations. In the last 12 years she has run her own award-winning agency. Former Stockport President of GM Chamber of Commerce, Sue is passionate about up-skilling people to take full advantage of the value of stories in a digital age to differentiate their businesses, increase engagement and drive lead generation. She works with a range of Stockport companies including Orbit Developments, international flooring business Resin Surfaces Ltd, as well as many of its SMEs and start-ups.

Image of Pete Tunstall, Director at Tangent Design

Pete Tunstall

Director at Tangent Design

A co-founder and Director, primarily involved in Web Account Management and steering the ship that is Tangent. Pete’s extensive experience means your project is in safe hands, and with a fantastic team Tangent Design aim to please.