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Section 7: Contact Us

Get in contact with Working Free Ltd.

Introduction and profiles of the Technical Topic Contributors (TTCs)

Message from Charles Russam, Managing Director – Working Free Ltd

“We are the people behind Working Free.

Working Free is about developing a collaborative, interactive forum of information, views, comments and opinions about the growing number of work-related areas that senior, professional business people want to know about in helping them to earn their livings or achieve their personal business goals, operating on an independent basis.”

See below footer for contact details.

  • Andrew James
    Andrew James
    OnHand Counsel Ltd
  • Sophie Livingstone
    Sophie Livingstone
    Managing Director, Trustees Unlimited
  • David Bryan
    David Bryan
    Co-founder & CEO, BM&T
  • Sharon Constançon
    Sharon Constançon
    Chief Executive, Genius Boards
  • Simon Berry
    Simon Berry
    Managing Director, Professional Performance Ltd
  • Charles Russam
    Charles Russam
    Managing Director
  • Chris Dunn
    Chris Dunn
    TDA Transitions & Learning Organisation Ltd
  • Colin Howe
    Colin Howe
    Principal, Hillier Hopkins

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2019 Working Free Limited · Call us on 08081 565604 · Message Us · 73 High Street, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, MK16 8AB United Kingdom Disclaimer: Working Free Ltd cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or disadvantage that may arise out of reliance on any opinions, material or introductions made through this website and all those making use of these services should take appropriate business and legal advice and conduct appropriate due diligence before making any commitments.

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Andrew James
OnHand Counsel Ltd

Working Free is pleased to collaborate with Andrew James of OnHand Counsel Ltd as our Technical Topic Partner for Law Matters.  Andrew has been a qualified solicitor since 1987. He spent the first nine years of his career at a mid-sized City firm and followed this with partner roles at BP Collins in Gerrards Cross and IBB Solicitors in Uxbridge. He went ‘independent’ in 2008 when he set up OnHand Counsel Limited and has never regretted it!  He has over 30 years’ experience of handling an interesting and wide ranging caseload including private company and business sales and purchases, MBOs and joint ventures and a very broad range of corporate and commercial advisory and contract work, spanning a wide range of industries. Dealing with large multinationals right through to individual sole traders, he is experienced in dealing and negotiating with a broad range of people from different backgrounds with different cultures, perspectives, personalities, objectives and approaches.  Andrew lives and works in St Albans and dabbles in cricket, squash, real tennis, golf, guitar and origami.

Andrew would be happy to hear from you with your queries and issues – preliminary discussions are free  – and these might include referring you to other specialist lawyers,  working on the basis that anything of a substantive nature might lead you to engaging him on a professional basis.  This would reflect the standard Working Free approach and Terms of Business are available on request or at the time of engagement.   [email protected]

Sophie Livingstone
Managing Director, Trustees Unlimited

Sophie has been active in the charity sector for almost twenty years and has a wealth of experience as a non executive and executive leader.

Sophie serves as Chair of early years charity Little Village and is a trustee of the Royal Voluntary Service.  She is also co-founder and co-chair of youth social action charity Generation Change. In this role she represented the youth social action sector on the Steering Committee of HRH Prince of Wales’ #iwill campaign.

Prior to joining Trustees Unlimited, Sophie spent eight years as the founding Chief Executive of full time youth social action charity City Year UK.   She was introduced to City Year while she was Deputy Chief Executive of the Private Equity Foundation and led efforts to bring the organisation to the UK, raising initial funding and building a range of stakeholder support for City Year’s model of full time social action.

In 2016, Sophie received the Mayor’s Fund for London Individual Award for ‘outstanding achievement and lasting impact in tackling the skills and employment agenda for young Londoners from disadvantaged backgrounds’.

She was also listed in the Debrett’s 500 List of top “Philanthropists and Activists” in 2017 and in Management Today’s 35 Women under 35 list in 2011.

David Bryan
Co-founder & CEO, BM&T

“I’m a broadly experienced, international and commercial Chartered Accountant and MBA. I have many years CFO experience in industry and as founder of a plc acquisition team.  You can read more about me on LinkedIn. I am a founding partner of a boutique consulting firm – www.bmandt.eu  (please see our website).  Our firm specialises in cross-border turnarounds, performance improvement and M&A assistance. We are part of a European network and affiliated to a US firm. Our network comprises 180 professionals across Europe and North America, all experienced board level people who like to be hands on rather than writing reports.

I started in a regional firm of Chartered Accountants and on qualifying went to United Technologies, a very large industrial conglomerate. After a year out for an MBA, I joined Mayflower, a newly listed company. In the next 10 years revenues grew from £13m to £700m. Market cap went from £6m to £500m. A fantastic growth story. But five years later Mayflower was insolvent. An incredible 15 years’ experience and what brought me into the turnaround field. I was an interim manager for several years post Mayflower and began to work extensively with a US based turnaround firm’s European arm. After the firm was sold to a large consultancy in 2007 two of us reformed the European arm as an independent firm and gradually built up our network of liked-minded people and like-minded firms. Over the last ten years we have worked on turnaround and restructuring assignments and post-acquisition integration projects for clients all over Europe and North America. Clients have ranged from just a few million pounds in revenues to almost £1.5 billion. I was on the board of the TMA UK chapter for almost ten years and recently became President of TMA Europe.

My role is to help develop the content of this section on the WFL website, with oversight of all the Contributed Material that comes in, working with WFL to decide how best to handle it and, importantly, answering any queries that you might have – which, in some cases, might mean referring back to WFL.”

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced Practitioner, it is important that you acquire a broad and a sufficiently detailed understanding of the Turnaround Market, keep it all up to date and be able to relate it to your own professional Practice – and beyond – and fit it in to your personal business and lifestyle aspirations.

With WFL, we also organise individual and group face to face meetings for aspiring and established Practitioners, often collaborating with external organisations.  These can be ad-hoc responses to demand – in different places and of different sizes but broadly following pre-arranged Agendas and all tend to be priced differently.”

More info from [email protected]   This website offers many opportunities to email us – through the TTC facility. Additionally, you can always email us directly.

Please note the David Bryan is a co-author of “Best-practice Guideline – Turnarounds “ along with his business Partner, Alan Tilley of Bryan, Mansell & Tilley LLP and Stephen Cork and Katie Moffit of Cork Gully LLP.  This important booklet was published by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (the ICAEW) in May 2011.  The principles have not changed.  What will have changed are the metrics and the people-driven variables.  This Section of Working Free contains links to this Publication – and we thank David Bryan for making this possible.

Sharon Constançon
Chief Executive, Genius Boards

Sharon Constançon, Chartered Director, MBA and Chartered Secretary is CEO of Genius Boards.

Genius Boards specialises in Board Effectiveness, Corporate Governance and Director Mentoring.  Genius Boards has a specific focus on Board Evaluations approached from both a governance and people performance perspective, focusing on leadership, behaviour and communications.  Genius Boards focuses on robust Board Evaluations that address the difficult topics, making them easier to address.  The evaluation focus is on being fit for the future; providing tips and recommendations for the Chairman to deliver a Board at its best.  www.geniusboards.com

Genius Methods supports Boards and Executive teams by providing continuous professional leadership development for individuals or teams.  The Corporate Governance and Risk Reviews support Boards and Committees to focus on strategic governance and risk in additional to operational aspects.  We are passionate about empowering Company Secretaries and minorities in leadership teams.  www.geniusmethods.com

The Genius Group has worked with the full range of businesses from FTSE 100s to SME’s, listed, private, family, public sector, charity, housing trusts and investment trusts.  Regulated sectors in addition include financial services, insurance and NHS.

Sharon is Chairman of the South African Chamber of Commerce in London and, personally holds several Non-Executive Directorships.

Sharon can be contacted at  [email protected]

Simon Berry
Managing Director, Professional Performance Ltd

I’m Simon Berry and I am delighted to lead this Working Free Technical Topic focussing on Interim Management. You can read more about me below.  I’ve known Charles Russam, Managing Director of Working Free for well over twenty years –and  both of us have been intimately involved in the early days of Interim Management as we know it and the in-between years when it developed and become a major resourcing option for all well-run organisations as well as a burgeoning number of talented individuals keen to create new personalised careers on top of their mainstream employed  careers.  Charles Russam and myself have equally as progressive ideas about the line of travel of the Interim Management Sector and are keen to share these with you.

My task is to chair the everyday processes of managing the Interim Management section of the Working Free website.  This includes helping to develop the content of this section on the WF website, overseeing all the Contributed Material that comes in, working with WF to decide how best to handle it and, importantly, answering any queries that you might have  – which, in some cases, might mean referring back to WF.

“Simon has worked as an interim manager, consultant, coach, facilitator, trainer and speaker for the past eighteen years. Prior to that he was a UK director of NCR Ltd, a global computer company.

His clients have spanned many industries including technology, financial services, government, NHS and professional services and include organisations such as Intel, SGI, HSBC, Cobham, Polycasa, Thomas International, RBoS, Ace (now Chubb) and many more.

In addition, he has worked with over 2500 interim managers and consultants to help them build successful independent careers.”

Charles Russam
Managing Director

Charles Russam is the Founder and Associate Director of www.Russam-GMS.co.uk  which he chaired from 1982 until 2014. Russam GMS is the longest established Interim Management Provider in the UK and has a complementary and growing Search Practice which includes a specialist Practice for NED Search and also the Not for Profit/ Charity Sector and also has an international capability through www.WILgroup.net.

Charles founded the Interim Management Association in 1987 – www.InterimManagement.uk.com .

He also set up www.DevonshireHouseNetwork.co.uk , the successor organisation to the Devonshire House Management Club.  DHN is a people-focused membership club for Director-level professionals in leadership roles who have an instinctive focus on the human side of enterprise. DHN Members have a serious interest in all aspects of people at work and how people can flourish within whatever and wherever the work environment and context may be. Please see www.DevonshireHouseNetwork.co.uk

“In a sense, this website is a bit of a personal odyssey in that, after the past thirty five years in the Interim Management business, I am still having weekly conversations with senior executives looking to do Interim Management – or something similar – and not knowing where to start – or where the start actually is. So – writing it all down for the benefit of all others planning or embarking on a later-life, independently working lifestyle  – and collaborating with anyone with anything useful to say – seemed a sensible thing to do!”

Chris Dunn
TDA Transitions & Learning Organisation Ltd

Chris Dunn of The TDA Transitions & Learning Organisation Ltd has been advising senior business people on career transition matters for over 30 years.  He has a particular interest in releasing enterprise potential and he coaches, facilitates, consults and teaches in this sphere.

His original Entrepreneur Development Programme enabled 1,700+ executives to make the transition from corporate life into being their own boss.  Chris later applied his enterprise understanding in the franchise sector and worked with some of the biggest brands such as BP Connect, Boots Opticians, Pizza Hut, Costa Coffee and Snap-on Tools.

Chris manages this section of the Working Free website, pointing to what you need to know and where you can get it from.  He has a number of published works to his credit including Who Are Your Best People? (Kotze and Dunn – FT/Prentice Hall) and Starting a Business on a Shoestring (Penguin).  He is also the designer of a range of self-help training and development kits including Making Redundancy Work for You, Self-Marketing: A Guide to Creative Job Search and Business Success through People, a training analysis kit for small businesses.

To accompany his work in this section, Chris can make available chapters from Starting a Business on a Shoestring. He can also provide access to BASIS (Business Attitude Style Information System). This is an enterprise profile which provides insights into behaviour strengths and possible barriers to success for those wishing to set up their own business.  Further details are contained in Additional Resources at the end of this section.

Chris can be contacted at [email protected]www.tdatransitions.co.uk

Colin Howe
Principal, Hillier Hopkins

Colin Howe joined Hillier Hopkins in 1981 and has been a Principal since 1986. He provides broad commercial and taxation advice to business owners and their businesses. Colin helps clients maximise the value of their businesses and keep as much as is legally possible in their pockets after paying the taxman his share. He offers a combination of strategic and tax planning advice that is valuable to all businesses. Colin’s skills are particularly useful to business owners thinking about a sale in the short to medium term and to anyone thinking about acquiring a business.

As well as hand holding his long term clients Colin has guided a number of clients through the sale process (from inception of the idea through to completion of contracts) achieving maximum value at each step of the transaction.

Importantly, Colin Howe and Hillier Hopkins have more than 20 years’ experience working with senior executives operating on an independent basis and are accredited by IPSE. They can help simplify the process of running your business and save you tax.

Established in 1933, Hillier Hopkins is now one of the region’s leading independent Chartered Accountants with four offices in London and the South-East. We provide advice and support to individuals and businesses ranging from small family enterprises to large international corporations.

Whether you are an ambitious entrepreneur with a growing business, a Finance Director of a mature company, or planning your retirement, we would like to help you achieve your goals.

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