Professional Liverpool appoints new chief executive

John Hall, a former managing partner of Bermans LLP, has been appointed as the new chief executive of Professional Liverpool, as the organisation continues to re-establish itself as a leading professional services sector group in Liverpool.

The removal of revenue from the North West Development Agency from Professional Liverpool in 2010 led to the redundancy of Mark Chadwick as chief executive.

Last month Chadwick launched a rival organisation called Liverpool City Regions: Business and Professionals.

Sixty one year old Hall has a career track record spanning 35 years. His successes include helping Bermans to grow from a turnover of £100,000 with 20 staff to a firm of over 200 staff with a turnover in excess of £5m and offices in Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow. Bermans were the advisers to Kenny Dalglish in his recent contract negotiations with Liverpool Football Club.

Before retiring from Bermans, Hall was a specialist in commercial litigation, acting for businesses including Midland Bank, now HSBC, and Carlsberg Tetley.

He also worked for major insolvency practitioners including Ernst & Young, KPMG, Cork Gully and Grant Thornton.

Since retirement in 2007 he has acted as a legal consultant to both established and start-up businesses.

Hall will initially be based in Professional Liverpool's office in the Foresight Centre at the University of Liverpool.

Professional Liverpool promotes the Liverpool city region as a centre of excellence for professional services. The organisation currently has a membership of more than 70 with an aim to expand to more than 100 over the next 12 months.

Hall said: "I have a number of initial objectives at Professional Liverpool which will include increasing membership to ensure that we continue to deliver what members want. To this end I will strengthen and add variety to our calendar of events.

"I am seeking to re-organise the board and find a new chairman to replace Stephen Burrows when he steps down. Finding his successor will be particularly difficult as he has done such a fantastic job.

"Although I want to continue to build on our strong relationship with Liverpool University, the board and I are planning, with the blessing of the University, to bring our office to the heart of the city's commercial district.

"I am also seeking to help the other professional and civic organisations and bodies towards working collaboratively on key issues. The one thing Liverpool needs is a very clear focus as to which lobbying group looks after the interest of our professional services sector. Professional Liverpool has now been here for 10 years, is well accepted and regarded, and is now ready for its second decade with renewed vigour. The support of our key members and interest from prospective new members fuels my confidence for our future.

"I am hopeful that within the next month or so we will sign a charter or memorandum of understanding with Liverpool University, Chamber of Commerce, Liverpool Vision, ourselves and hopefully The Mersey Partnership to work closely in taking various joint initiatives forward for the benefit of all businesses in the Liverpool City Region."

Professional Liverpool was set up ten years ago but has been repeatedly reorganised and relaunched and has failed to match the size and success of its counterpart in Manchester, Pro Manchester, which has over 200 members and produces a far fuller calendar of events and lobbying activity throughout the year.

The organisation merged with Merseyside Property Forum in 2009.

Jim Gill, former chief executive of economic development company Liverpool Vision, joined the board of Professional Liverpool in January this year.

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