Techniquest’s After Hours event set to get the X Factor

By Raspberry Jim,

After Hours 3

Techniquest is set to get the X Factor when its popular adult-only After Hours event returns in February.

The Science Communication-themed night will take place on February 23 at the Cardiff Bay-based science discovery centre with the regional finals of the FameLab competition set to take place.

Sponsored by insurance provider Admiral, the X Factor-style event will see science’s budding stars putting on a three-minute show in a bid to clinch the crown.

Participants must present their chosen scientific concept in the most creative, dynamic, or humorous manner possible to stand out from the crowd.

The winner of the UK-wide competition then gets the chance to tour the country as part of the Cheltenham Science Festival.

Also adding his scientific flair to the evening is leading physicist, speaker and writer Neil Monteiro.

The scientist will be hosting a series of interactive half hour workshops in the lab mixing a blend of psychology, science, and magic to create an unforgettable session for visitors.

Renowned for his enthusiastic approach to making science fun and relatable, the writer, and honorary Imperial College London lecturer, will be actively encouraging audience participation in his magic sessions.

Techniquest CEO Lesley Kirkpatrick said: “Our After Hours nights have become an extremely popular fixture in Cardiff’s events calendar attracting thousands of people from across Wales.

“February’s event is set to be bigger and better than ever with the exciting finals of FameLab being staged at the centre and the brilliant Neil Monteiro joining us in the lab.

“Whether you’re a fan of science or not, this is certain to be a very enjoyable night with something for everyone.

“This is one not to be missed.”

On the night guests will also have access to the venue’s full bar and 120 interactive exhibits, which have attracted over five million people to the centre since it first opened 30 years ago.

The state-of-the-art 360 Planetarium will also be giving guests a unique look at the galaxy while a science-themed quiz will also be testing visitors’ knowledge on the night.

The Grazing Shed will be offering a selection of food from their menu during the event, which will be available from its meal truck situated on the waterside of the building.

For more information and a full schedule of upcoming events visit














Lexington advises upon completed deals worth over £25 million in first twelve months

By Raspberry Jim,


Lexington 1-3


A staggering £25 million in transactions has been completed by Cardiff-based Lexington Corporate advisors in its first year.


The corporate advisory firm is celebrating the significant achievement as it marks its first year in business.


Since being established in January 2016 the Maltings-based firm has worked on completed transactions in excess of £25 million, co-founder and director Gary Partridge said.


This was achieved after it acted on significant deals, including the management buyout of the building contractor, A&N Lewis, and the sale of the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) care specialist, NewBridges, to TracsCare.


The Cardiff-based firm, which was founded by Mr Partridge and Nigel Greenaway, has also more than doubled in size increasing its headcount to a transaction focussed team of seven.


Significantly, Julian Baines MBE was appointed as chairman of the specialist firm mid-way through 2016, while Andrew Morris joined as director from UK Steel Enterprise in the autumn. A strong pipeline for 2017 has prompted the recruitment in January of Thomas Edwards as a manager in the team, who was previously a transactions specialist with accountants, Broomfield & Alexander.


Co-founder Mr Partridge said he was “extremely pleased” with the continued success of Lexington since its inception, and that everything was “on track” with the execution of the Firm’s strategic plans.


He said: “Since Nigel and I founded the firm, we have been thrilled with the interest shown in Lexington, the pedigree of our team’s credentials and the services it offers.


“Businesses from a range of sectors including aerospace, IT, transport, logistics, healthcare, business services, recruitment and financial services have become our clients and we have been fortunate enough to work with some magnificent entrepreneurs and family businesses.


“Thanks to this, we are confident in establishing Lexington as one of the leading independent corporate advisory firms operating in the mid-market – a goal which we feel we are well on track to achieving.”


Co-founder Mr Greenaway said: “This year has far exceeded our expectations. Not only have we acted on a number of significant deals, but we have completed a number of strategic review projects for businesses considering their exit options and have also been instructed by one of the UK’s largest private companies upon its acquisition strategy for entering a new market segment.


“As a result of this work, we have invested in our team welcoming a wealth of talent to the business, and partnering with Cardiff University which I’m sure will significantly enhance our offering moving forwards.


“We are always striving for success and are looking to work with even more owners, entrepreneurs, and corporates this year to deliver upon their growth ambitions and be with them as a Trusted Advisor for that journey.


“We have really healthy deal flow pipeline for 2017 and a number of significant projects in progress that will believe will be flagship deals, so this year is already looking exciting for us.”


Lexington Corporate Advisors specialises in providing strategic advice targeted at business growth, acquisitions, disposals and fund raising.  Lexington works right across the UK as Lead Advisor providing hands-on, trusted advice to companies and their owners seeking to facilitate growth and crystallise value.

Cardiff firm marks start of 2017 by expanding workforce

By Raspberry Jim,


GS new starter main

A specialist business advisory firm has marked the new year by adding a wealth of new talent to its growing Cardiff office.

Greenaway Scott, which specialises in advising the life science, technology, pharmaceutical and IT sectors, has welcomed Elle McCook, Catherine Jones, John Griffiths and Chelsea Parker.

Miss McCook, who has a Master of Laws (LLM) from Aberystwyth University, joins the firm from Hugh James Solicitors where she worked as a paralegal.

Having undertaken work experience with the firm while studying for her LPC at Cardiff University, Miss Jones joins the corporate team of Greenaway Scott headed up Nigel Greenaway.

With a degree in Human Biosciences, Mr Griffiths joins the commercial team, along with Miss Parker, who has a BSc Clinical Physiology with Respiratory Physiology, and joins the firm from Eversheds.

The commercial team of Greenaway Scott is made up of solicitors who are dual-qualified and have either a mathematics or science degree as well as legal qualifications to ensure all advisors have a strong understanding of their clients’ markets.

Director Matthew Sutton said: “This year is already looking exciting for us, following a successful 2016. The addition of all four new starters will further strengthen our offering. We are delighted to welcome Elle, Catherine, John and Chelsea to the firm and look forward to working with them to develop their skills even further.”

The new recruits follow the appointment of Lorna Bolton at the tail end of 2016. Miss Bolton joined from TES Aviation Group, where she was an in-house solicitor handling multimillion dollar transactions including the purchase of eight aircraft engines; the sale of an aircraft engine in the US; and the lease and consignment of two engines in Japan.

Greenaway Scott provide corporate, commercial and employment advice to companies, with particular sector specialisms in the life science, technology, pharmaceutical and IT sectors.



Cardiff Firm Greenaway Scott Marks Start of 2017 by Expanding Workforce


Ffilm Factory 35 among filming locations of major US TV show Will

By Raspberry Jim,

sony will main

Laurie Davidson who stars in Will

Sony UK Technology Centre’s Ffilm Factory 35 has been selected as one of the filming locations for a major US TV show which will inject millions into the Welsh economy.

Will, which details the fictional early years of playwright William Shakespeare, has been partly filming at Sony UK TEC’s 30,000sq ft facility since October – with the show based at Dragon Studios in Llanharan throughout its run in Wales.

The US show, starring actor Laurie Davidson as the titular character, has been partly filming at the Pencoed facility since October, with cast and crew continuing to film at the site.

The series’ run in Wales is expected to generate around £18 million for the Welsh economy.

The company behind the series, TNT, will also be shooting at other locations in and around South Wales and London.

Sony UK TEC managing director Steve Dalton OBE said the show’s decision to film at the site had sparked “excitement for the future” of Ffilm Factory 35.

He said: “For an international TV show such as Will to choose Pencoed for some of its filming demonstrates the endless potential for Wales’s flourishing film industry.

“It is an honour for us to welcome the cast and crew of this major series – which is the biggest budget American production to be shot in Wales to date.

“Their decision to partly utilise our Ffilm Factory 35 while being predominantly based at Dragon Studios, not only demonstrates the versatility of our space, which has now been transformed into 16th century London, but also Wales’ potential as a filming destination overall.

“This is an exciting step forward for Sony UK TEC’s Ffilm Factory 35. We are delighted to be working with the Will production, the creative sector is booming in Wales and we are pleased to be a part of it.”

Sony UK TEC was chosen as one of the filming sites due to its proximity to nearby Dragon Studios, which is Will’s production base while filming in Wales.

Will location manager Tony Hood said of the choice to film in Pencoed: “The proximity to Dragon Studios, our production base, was the key to the selection of Sony Ffilm Factory 35 and is something which was extremely beneficial to us during filming.

“The studio was a very good size, had good access for our crew, and was in easy access to the M4 – all of which were invaluable to myself and the crew.”

Since launching earlier this year it has already hosted a number of high profile TV productions including Decline & Fall starring Eva Longoria and Jack Whitehall.

The Ffilm Factory 35 benefits production companies with easy access to the M4, on-site security 24 hours seven days a week, access via four loading bays, a variety of on-site services including a canteen for catering, space to house unit base and crew parking, a cinema room for screening, and on-site post-production facilities.




Ogmore MP congratulates Sony UK TEC managing director on influential listing

By Raspberry Jim,

Sony Ogmore main

(From left) Sony managing director Steve Dalton OBE, Ogmore MP Chris Elmore,
and director of professional services Gerald Kelly

Newly appointed Ogmore MP Chris Elmore has visited Sony UK Technology Centre in Pencoed to congratulate its managing director on being named as one of the most influential manufacturers in the UK.

The Labour MP, who lives in Pencoed where the innovative manufacturing facility is based, said managing director Steve Dalton OBE should be “very proud” after being named among the top manufacturers in the country.

Mr Dalton was included in the Manufacturer Top 100 list out of hundreds of names across the UK-wide industry.

His recognition was thanks to Sony UK TEC’s world-leading approach to manufacturing focussing on the next generation of manufacturing processes while continuously supporting Wales’s business economy.

The award-winning facility produces thousands of high-quality HD broadcast and professional camera systems each year utilising a highly skilled workforce of over 400 people.

The impressive facility also manufactures state-of-the-art products for external businesses, including 8m Raspberry Pis, and energy efficient lighting products.

Alongside this, the diverse factory also houses a Business Incubation Centre which boasts over 300 tenants including those from highly innovative creative sectors, and a flourishing 30,000sq ft Sony Ffilm Factory 35, which has been used to film major productions including Doctor Who, Decline and Fall, The Chamber, and Will.

Mr Elmore, who has taken over the representative position from long-standing MP Huw Irranca-Davies, visited the facility to personally congratulate Sony UK TEC’s managing director.

He said: “Steve should be very proud to be on the Manufacturer Top 100 list.  It’s a testament to both Steve and the work the team have done over the last 10 years.

“Sony is a leader in technology sector and its long standing links to Pencoed and the surrounding communities is one of great pride for the company and its commitment moving forward is clear for all to see.

“The Sony UK Technology Centre is outstanding facility, my thanks to the team for welcoming me today.”

During his visit the MP was given a tour of the 300,000 sq ft facility by both Mr Dalton OBE and Director of Professional Services, Gerald Kelly.

On-site he witnessed the company’s highly skilled workforce spread across the factory floor using the latest next generation manufacturing techniques to create hundreds of products.

Managing director Mr Dalton OBE said: “We were delighted to welcome Mr Elmore to Sony UK TEC to demonstrate the breadth of production and innovation taking place at our facility.

“Mr Elmore is our local MP here in Pencoed so it is extremely encouraging to see his support for the manufacturing industry here and in Wales as a whole.

“This is a promising start to the new year and we would like to thank Mr Elmore for his visit.”

Sony UK TEC produces thousands of HD broadcast and professional camera systems each year. It also manufacture state-of-the-art products for external businesses, including 8m Raspberry Pis.

The Pencoed facility also houses a Business Incubation Centre and a 30,000 sq ft filming facility – Sony Ffilm Factory 35.





Maesteg garage set for major £200,000 refit

By Raspberry Jim,


Maesteg Main

3D mock up of how the refitted garage will look

A Maesteg petrol garage, owned and operated by Oil 4 Wales, is set to undergo a major £200,000 refit to dramatically enhance its facilities, adding a new café and extending opening hours for customers.

The Maesteg 24/7 Express Store and local community shop, on Llwdarth Road, will see a raft of improvements as part of the development work, which is set to start from January.

This will include an overhaul of the garage shop along with the creation of a spacious new café serving a range of hot and cold food and drinks and a much wider menu range.

Café opening hours are also set to be extended with the newly refurbished site remaining open to serve customers until 10pm.

The work is being carried out by independent oil distribution company Oil 4 Wales, which acquired the site along with the Globe Garage in Porthcawl last year as part of its portfolio expansion plans.

Managing director of Oil 4 Wales Colin Owens said of the major Maesteg refit: “We are delighted to be creating improved facilities for the people of Maesteg.

“This development will provide our loyal customers with the enhanced services they deserve when they visit us to enjoy reliable and fair fuel prices at our pumps.

“We look forward to unveiling the new and improved shop and café in the early part of next year with a special opening event to include our rugby ambassadors Dan Lydiate, Dan Biggar and many more.

“While the work is ongoing, we would like to apologise for the inconvenience this may cause, however the garage will remain open throughout the development.”

Work at the Maesteg garage will be completed between mid-February and March with a full range of services available to customers from that date.

Oil 4 Wales was set up in 2010 by Colin Owens with the aim of creating a truly independent oil brand that focused on providing a good deal to the communities of Wales.

It now supplies over 65,000 customers in Wales with a range of fuel services to homes, businesses, commercial premises, agricultural and retail premises from its depots in Blaenau Ffestiniog, Cardiff, Carmarthen, Felinfach, Milford Haven, Brecon and Powys.







Lexington’s new appointment is “perfect fit” for growing advisory firm

By Raspberry Jim,

Main tom

(From left) director Andrew Morris, Tom Edwards, and director Gary Partridge

One of the region’s fastest growing corporate advisory firms has strengthened its team with a new appointment.

Lexington Corporate Advisors, which specialises in providing tailored strategic advice targeted at business growth, acquisitions, disposals and fund raising, has welcomed Chartered Accountant Thomas Edwards.

The 27-year-old from Swansea joins the team from Broomfield & Alexander where he worked with entrepreneurs and growing businesses with a focus on advising management teams on MBO’s and shareholders on strategic disposals.

Thomas said: “I am delighted to be joining Lexington at an exciting time for the firm, with a number of live deals and many more in the pipeline. I am looking forward to being part of the team and contributing to the firm’s future success.”

Thomas is one of the very few professionals in South Wales who has pursued the prestigious ICAEW Corporate Finance qualification. He also has significant transaction due diligence experience which he will look to grow and develop further at Lexington.

Mr Edwards takes up the role of Corporate Finance Manager at the entrepreneurial advisory firm which was set up in January 2016, by Gary Partridge and Nigel Greenaway.

Drawing upon Gary and Nigel’s combined network, knowledge and over 40 years’ experience of working in corporate finance, Lexington works right across the UK as Lead Advisor providing trusted advice to companies and their owners seeking to facilitate growth and crystallise value.

Co-founder Mr Partridge said Mr Edwards was an excellent appointment for the firm.

He said: “He is a perfect fit for Lexington – he is hungry for success and his background and experience matches Lexington’s transaction focus coupled with his level headed, mature approach to business.

“He has slotted into our professional team and provided an added dimension to our services drawing upon his transaction due diligence expertise.

“We are delighted Thomas has joined Lexington as we deliver upon our plans for continued growth.” 


Greenaway Scott to open office at Swansea University

By Raspberry Jim,

GS office main

One of Wales’s leading business advisory firms is preparing to open a new office in Swansea University’s School of Management.

Greenaway Scott, which specialises in advising the life science, technology, pharmaceutical and IT sectors, will launch its Swansea office at the heart of the multimillion pound Bay Campus.

This will be the third office for the fast-growing firm, who will join businesses including Fujitsu on the campus which is a major hub of the University’s activities.

The new office’s location will enable Greenaway Scott to tap into the number of fast growing technology businesses in the area and help to enrich and enhance the Management School’s offering going forwards.

Its opening will also place Greenaway Scott in an ideal position to support and develop the latest graduate talents.

The new office will be run by senior director Rhian Osborne, who obtained a Neuroscience degree and Graduate Diploma of Law from Swansea University.

She will be joined by five qualified team members and a senior corporate lawyer which the firm is in the process of recruiting.

Ms Osborne, who is Head of the Commercial and Intellectual Property team at the firm, said: “The launch of Greenaway Scott’s office at Swansea University’s School of Management is an exciting step for us.

“Swansea University’s School of Management and Institute of Life Science has dramatically increased the number of specialist fast-growing technology businesses in Swansea and its immediate area, so this felt like an ideal location for Greenaway Scott’s third office.

“It places us firmly at the centre of some of the most progressive research being carried out and gives us access to the latest graduate talent.

“We welcome the opportunity to develop a significant strategic partnership with the University to enhance their research and offerings even further.”

Professor Marc Clement, Dean of Swansea University School of Management said: “The School is delighted to welcome Greenaway Scott to the Bay Campus. The School is fortunate to be able to have industry and academia working alongside and collaborating in the same building to really offer our students a unique student experience.”

Greenaway Scott already has a track record of working with a number of high-profile university spin-out companies including TrakCel, a success story from Swansea University. The firm’s Oxford office was launched in 2016 on the back of its successful relationship with Oxford University, where it has advised spin-outs including Carbon Materials, Navenio and Silicon Fuels.

Greenaway Scott provide corporate, commercial and intellectual property advice to companies, with particular sector specialisms in the life science, technology, pharmaceutical and IT sectors.


Could this be the end of excessive confiscation orders?

By Raspberry Jim,

Emma main

Solicitor advocate Emma Harris

Excessive confiscation fines levelled against company directors convicted of an environmental breach could become a thing of the past thanks to a landmark Welsh ruling, says expert solicitor advocate Emma Harris.

Miss Harris, solicitor-advocate at specialist fraud serious fraud, crime and regulatory law firm Blackfords LLP, said the fines, which can stray into hundreds of thousands if not millions of pounds, could now be successfully challenged thanks to the ruling in Wormtech Ltd vs National Resources Wales (NRW).

Miss Harris successfully represented defendant and former company director Jacqueline Powell when the prosecution appealed to have her confiscation fine increased significantly after conviction.

She said: “We represented Ms Powell, from the Caerwent recycling company, at Cardiff Crown Court, in what proved to be a landmark case for confiscation proceedings.”

The company was prosecuted after it was accused of abandoning hundreds of tons of rotting food on land in Monmouthshire following the company’s liquidation.

Ms Powell and fellow director Jonathan Westwood were prosecuted and both were handed suspended prison sentences and ordered to carry out unpaid work and banned from acting as directors for five years.

Subsequently Powell received a £60,000 confiscation order and Westwood was ordered to pay £30,000. Prosecutors then appealed to have the confiscation amounts increased further to cover the significant clean-up costs incurred at the site.

After a hearing, the Court of Appeal ruled that Jacqueline Powell cannot be pursued personally.

Following this Miss Harris said: “This case has a profound impact on the way that company directors can be held responsible when a company is alleged to have committed a criminal offence.

“The prosecution’s approach would risk making every company director liable to the confiscation regime whenever a company broke the criminal law.

“Our client is pleased that the Court has reached a sensible decision in respect of the financial responsibility which any director can hold in the event that a company finds itself in criminal or regulatory proceedings.”

With the conclusion of this case, what does Miss Harris believe the longer-term implications for company directors are?

She added: “This judgement can only be encouraging for company directors who have been left open to hefty confiscation orders previously.

“I believe we are likely to see fewer appeals for an increase to confiscation order amounts or possibly more realistic appeals for a smaller increase if at all.

“Confiscation orders, combined with legal fees and fines can reach into the hundreds of thousands and potentially devastate a company.

“We hope that this appeal will spell the end of excessive confiscation orders.”

Miss Harris said that if company directors believe they have fallen foul of environmental legislation it is vital they consult a legal expert at the earliest opportunity.

Earlier intervention could help to minimise the damage and limit the possibility of prosecution and potential confiscation proceedings.

Miss Harris said: “If proceedings have been instigated then ensure you are represented in interview. This is something many people believe they do not need to do, but we can advise clients of all the things they could have raised in interview which might have stopped the prosecution from moving forward.”

Blackfords LLP is a leading serious fraud, crime and regulatory law firm based in Cardiff and London which has covered some of the UK’s most high-profile, large scale and complex cases.


Emma Harris is a qualified barrister who cross-qualified as a solicitor in 2011. She specialises in regulatory law, representing environmental clients in appeals before Natural Resources Wales and other professional bodies.




Is This The End Of Excessive Confiscation Orders?



UK trade mark filings increase is ‘insurance’ over EU uncertainty say Cardiff IP experts

By Raspberry Jim,

Uncertainty over the future of EU trade marks following Brexit has sparked a surge in the number of UK application filings, a leading Cardiff intellectual property specialist has reported.

Wynne Jones IP said that, since the June referendum, clients who file trade mark applications in the EU, are also now filing separate UK applications, even though EU ones still cover the UK.

Also, many are refiling their entire EU trade mark portfolios at the UK Intellectual Property Office.

This comes in the light of uncertainty as to the status of EU trade marks once the UK leaves the European Union.

The IP experts said figures showed UK trade mark application filings were up 33% in August 2016 compared with the same period in 2015.

The same month also saw applications for UK registered designs soar by 95% more than August 2015.

Trade mark attorney and partner, Victor Caddy, from the Cardiff intellectual property specialist said: “Businesses hate uncertainty, and so with all the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, they are understandably looking for ways to minimise  the risk of problems downstream when the UK leaves the EU.

“The full implications of the UK leaving the EU are not yet clear for intellectual property rights such as trade marks and designs.

“It is important to remember that EU registered trade marks and designs are still in force in the UK, but what businesses are looking for is some kind of insurance policy over what might happen in the future.

“Although some kind of process for dividing EU trade marks into separate EU and UK ones is highly likely in due course, we do not know what it will entail, what risks will be associated with it, when it will be available, or how much it will cost.

By filing UK applications now, businesses can remove all that uncertainty and invest in their brands with confidence.

“Wynne-Jones IP encourages those with EU trade marks and designs to review their portfolios, any agreements with third parties, and the geographical scope of their usage and to seek advice in the lead up to Brexit to safeguard intellectual property rights

Wynne-Jones IP is a firm of Intellectual Property specialists that have been based in Cardiff, Telford and Cheltenham for over fifty years. The firm advises businesses and inventors in a wide range of sectors worldwide on all aspects of patents, trademarks, design rights and copyright.