Our Team

Meet the team: Managing Partners

Richard Naylor

Managing Partner
In Queensbury, Richard’s focus is on developing entrepreneurs, start-ups and growing businesses, as well as helping grow new and existing commercial opportunities, through mentoring start-ups, entrepreneurs and business executives. Richard also brings businesses together from differing markets.

Richard works mainly with overseas entrepreneurs, investors and high net-worth individuals who are looking to establish themselves in the UK or other jurisdictions. Within Queensbury Richard focuses on Strategy, Investors, Global commercial solutions, Immigration, Business mentoring and commercial management.

Outside of Queensbury Richard is involved with youth football and is a qualified level 1 football coach. He is a qualified Mindfulness teacher and is currently working towards his Personal Trainer qualifications.

Sarah Thorne

Managing Partner
Sarah is an award winning experienced programme and project manager, with over 15 years in the professional services industry.

Holding Partner and Director level roles in major global corporate organisations, Sarah has had the opportunity to work across a number of sectors from Retail, Telecoms, Manufacturing and Technology to Corporate Real Estate and Residential, working both nationally and internationally.

Sarah’s specialism is leading multi-disciplinary teams delivering major projects and programmes, supporting clients to achieve their real estate goals and business objectives. Sarah thrives when working with C-suite and Senior Leadership Teams to develop their portfolio strategy, and then helping them to deliver all the benefits desired.

Sarah’s previous clients include Nokia, General Electric, Vodafone, Specsavers, BT, EE, Equinix and Amazon, together with significant experience in the public sector and government bodies including Croydon Council, HS2 and The Metropolitan Police.

Sarah is a Trustee on the Women Leaders UK Board, and is a mentor supporting other women on their own career journeys, she advocates STEM career choices for young people and helps them develop their employability skills. Sarah ensures to balance work with spending quality time with her family and friends.

Partners

Maan Algailani

Partner
Maan is a qualified lawyer and esteemed business operator from Baghdad, Iraq. He also holds an MBA from the Anglia Ruskin University of Cambridge.

Maan’s core background has been in the energy sector where he has over 16 years of experience in the oil and gas industry operating in the MENA region providing high quality technical products and services through his energy services company Yall Elite based in London, with supporting offices in Iraq, Germany, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, and Canada.

Maan’s vast business experience and industry connections has earned him a seat on the board for some of the leading international companies as an expert advisor. At Queensbury, Maan’s main focus is on national and international business growth as well as business development and strategy.

Pav Benning

Partner
As a Partner and our Head of Immigration, Pav is an experienced Senior Immigration lawyer and specialises in handling complex immigration matters for individuals and corporate immigration matters for large companies and SME’s.

She joins with 10 years’ experience working for major leading law Immigration firms where she advised on all aspects of business and personal immigration with emphasis on entrepreneurs, investors and Sponsor Licence Management and Compliance.

In her early career Pav represented clients as an advocate at Immigration Tribunals and prepared cases for judicial review at the High Court. She is incredibly passionate about this area of law. Additionally, Pav has successfully obtained leave for clients on appeal and has overturned deportation orders.

Pav has extensive knowledge and experience in all aspects of the Points Based System, including providing organisations with legal advisory services, compliance audit solutions, and best practice seminars. Pav takes a consultative approach to delivering results for high net-worth and commercial clients.

Pav has spoken on matters of immigration law at distinguished establishments throughout her career including radio and television.

Bianka Hellmich

Partner
Bianka specialises in high-net-worth individuals, family offices and multi-family offices, within multi-jurisdiction client legal affairs ranging from tax, to property and litigation.

Trained at the US law firm Weil, Gothshal and Manges in Warsaw in 2003, Bianka quickly progressed before moving in 2004 to Clifford Chance in Warsaw as a Senior Counsel. Moving to London and Moscow office, she managed high level work from cross-border corporate transactions where she was instrumental in introducing Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and other premium financial clients, to large scale transactions in Russia and Eastern Europe.

In 2012 Bianka left Clifford Chance to create a private practice at Discreet law, focussing on managing multi-jurisdictional client legal affairs.

Her pedigree has made her a trusted advisor to high-net-worth individuals, family offices and multi-family offices, and clients within the entertainment sector, with many of her clients being globally recognised names including Madonna.

Bianka is a devoted philanthropist, a Trustee of Fashion for Relief (the charity founded by Naomi Campbell), whilst also being a supporter of UNICEF and the Mayor’s Trust for London a role in which she is proud to help vulnerable people in her home city.

Bianka is fluent in Russian, German and Polish.

Bianka joins QCL Associates as a Partner, heading up our International Private Client network.

Theresa Naylor

Partner

Team

Lisa Grigg

Office Manager
Lisa is the lifeblood of our business as she keeps all the operational side of the business running.

Lisa has extensive experience in the customer service field. Before coming to Queensbury, she was a Premier Relationship Banking Manager for Barclays Bank, speaking primarily to high net worth clients; she built relationships with them, made herself their main point of contact and helped ensure they were aware of all of their financial options. This helped them to make fully informed life decisions regarding matters such as their mortgages, lending and savings options as well as other banking needs.

Lisa has learned to manage tight calendars, keep deadlines and make sure all relevant information has been provided. She knows how to take ownership, gain the knowledge she needs and understand what is needed by others to build a strong, empathic connection with colleagues and clients. At Queensbury, Lisa is available to all colleagues and clients to make sure meetings go ahead, relationships are built and maintained, and that everyone has everything they need.

Kate Aspinall

Project Manager
As a Project Manager Kate has been privileged to work with a wide variety of clients, and some recognised brands, others embryonic start-ups. To become a trusted advisor Kate has had to demonstrate a sharp instinct for finding the heart of each organisation, then kindling its creativity to deliver exceptional outcomes. Her successes have depended unequivocally on nurturing the communication between clients and their stakeholders.

Kate is also passionate about helping young people realise their potential, particularly those who are from low aspiration backgrounds. Kate has a track record of matching young people with mentors in business to encourage ambition in the individual and provide an opportunity for businesses to evidence their social value in the communities in which they work.

When not at work you will find Kate cooking for friends, writing (sometimes play scripts, often shopping lists) or chasing two ridiculous labradoodles along the beach. With a love of theatre and comedy and having tried her hand at both, Kate harbours a small hope that one day she will see her work published.

Laura Borrill

Head of research and Social Media
Laura’s passion for research started back in 2009 after she acquired a diploma in Fine Arts. Her interest in science began in school and was noticed by local scientists who invited her to collaborate and challenge herself by participating in the EU Young Scientist Competitions. This resulted in Laura earning a 1st Degree Diploma in ‘Research Related to Biotesting Methods’ the very same year in Lithuania.

Laura spent the next 4 years participating in competitions and scientific fairs while presenting her team's ideas. Laura and her colleague Akvilė Gintautaitė gained recognition in Lithuania by earning another 1st Degree Diploma in ‘Seasonal Time Change Effects on Pupils' Short Term Memory And Cardiovascular Systems’ and a 2nd Degree Diploma in ‘Helio-Geomagnetic Storms’ Impact On Pupils' Short Term Memory’. During these practices, she gained vital experience that is successfully used in conducting research for clients at Queensbury.

Laura specialises in qualitative research. Since 2019 she has provided Queensbury's clients with over 20 reports on various topics related to businesses globally. Some of them include ED&I, franchise compliance, cargo charters, medical apps, Indian restaurants, CBD oils and edibles, spas, and entertainment venues etc.

She also manages our website as well as plans and creates content for Queensbury's social media on daily basis.

Interesting facts:

Laura is a qualified Hair Stylist with over 5 years of experience in beauty industry.

During free time Laura enjoys reading psychology related literature, spending time with her family, as well as, decorating her home and cupcakes.

Catherine Lord

Head of client Accounting
Catherine Lord Catherine is a qualified ACCA accountant with over twenty years experience in the production of monthly management and statutory financial accounts for Plc’s, Limited companies, partnerships and sole traders .

Having worked for a major UK brand, Catherine has extensive experience in audits, corporation tax, personal tax, payroll and VAT compliance, together with preparation, advising and checking of budgets and forecasts and the implementation of processes and controls.

Nafisa julia

Paralegal
Nafisa Julia is our junior paralegal working with our Head of Immigration. In 2020, Nafisa obtained a First-Class Honours in her Law with Spanish Law degree (LLB) from the University of Sheffield and due to her academic achievement, she was awarded a scholarship to do a Masters (LLM) in International Law and Global Justice. Nafisa is currently finalising her Masters and she is looking forward to starting her Legal Practice Course next year.

In the past, Nafisa was a group leader for CommLaw, a pro bono project which provides free legal advice for small businesses. CommLaw provided Nafisa the opportunity to immerse herself in a variety of practical aspects of commercial law. She was responsible for interviewing clients, conducting legal research and drafting legal letters of advice. Nafisa joined Queensbury because she wanted to work in an international yet close, collegiate environment. Having a mixed background and being a fluent Spanish speaker meant working at Queensbury would allow her to work with clients from across the globe.

In her free time, Nafisa likes to do volunteering work with local charities and has volunteered in several charities including Homeless Outreach. She also likes to read particularly about current affairs, international relations, and legal theory.

Mitch Mitchell

Marketing Specialist
Mitch is our digital, marketing and social media expert. Current examples of his work are Fashion for Relief and Women Leaders UK

Joanne Stoner

Business Development Manager
Joanne Stoner, a life-long entrepreneur, created successful start-ups and developed them into thriving companies. Her experience as Chairman of the Board, CEO/Founder, Vice President, and Director spans multiple sectors, including software, e-commerce, retail, and fashion. Stoner founded eDressme.com, one of the first e-commerce platforms for selling women’s fashion, carrying over 5,000 different styles. Growing the company to more than 15 million shoppers per month, eDressme.com was the number one website in primary dress category keywords on all search engines for nine consecutive years.

She appeared on the “Today Show” and created fashion segments for ABC’s “The View.” The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today quoted her as an expert in fashion, entrepreneurship, and e-commerce. The Top Ten Awards in New York City recognised Stoner as an outstanding business leader for innovative contributions in her industry. She sold her company to a major department store chain. As a Vice President for 4R Systems, a leader in supply chain software, she joined the start-up team founded by professors from the Harvard Business School and Wharton School of Business. She was the first e-commerce director for Lucent Technologies and led their internet initiatives. While at Liz Claiborne, Inc. in New York City, she launched and managed the Elisabeth Dress Line, growing the business to $45 million in two years.

She is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School.

Associates

Rosamund McFadden

Associate
Ros is the founder of Breastfeeding Hub Ltd., a Health Consultancy focusing on women and infants’ health and wellbeing, and a business consultancy, #KeepingMum, guiding employers through innovative ways to support their pregnant and breastfeeding staff. This is with an aim to improve their staff retention and gender equality in the workplace.

With a diverse background in design, corporate retail and, finally, a career as a health professional as a registered midwife, Ros is able to bring a wide skill set to her consultancies. In 2014, she qualified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) offering specialist support to all breastfeeding women no matter their needs; to improve societal health outcomes in the public and private sectors.

Described as a health professional with entrepreneurial tendencies, Ros has drawn on her commercial skills and professional experience to develop innovations to support the employer and employee, and has won many local entrepreneurial business awards.

Ros is delighted to become an associate for Queensbury Consulting and looks forward to offering her unique skills to our clients.

Dan Naylor

Associate
Daniel Naylor is the founder of a number of sports businesses and has been involved in sport (in particular football) for over 6 years.

Having spent most of his career playing at a high level with experience playing with Watford FC, MK Dons FC, Oxford City FC and St Neots Town FC, Dan has recently signed for Kempston Rovers FC.

At 17 Dan started his own football coaching company called DN Football Coach. The business being aimed at players aged 12-23 who were in, or around the academy system or professional game. Dan also provides 1-2-1 and group services as well as providing content to international companies for their own use.

Dan is currently completing his UEFA C license course and have a range of other coaching qualifications such as the Level 1 Talent ID course.

Additional qualifications include holding a level 2 and level 3 in Personal Training as well as a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sports Science.

Dan joins Queensbury to assist with our sports consultancy practice.

Lubana Kayani

Associate
Lubana is an Associate at Queensbury.She is an experienced Level 2 Accredited lawyer specialising in Immigration and Civil Litigation.

Throughout her career, Lubana has been involved in representing clients at various Immigration Detention Centres around the UK, Immigration and Asylum Tribunals and at County Court. She maintains a varied caseload that consists of professional, high risk and vulnerable clients. These have ranged from clients seeking immigration advice for their business to those who have been trafficked, fleeing persecution, victims of domestic and gender based violence and minors with age disputes. She has successfully represented clients with obtaining leave to enter and remain in the UK, asylum claims, landlord and tenant disputes and defending against re possession from private and public landlords. She also assisted clients with a variety of housing applications to their Local Authority. Lubana has also been involved in casework where judicial review challenges have been made to the Home Office. She is fluent in three languages and is a driven individual.

Her passion to deliver success for her clients and secure long term and life changing solutions demonstrates a unique combination of empathy and aptitude.

She has also played a part in driving changes in government legislation in the area of domestic violence.

Sarah crowhurst

Associate
Sarah Crowhurst BA Hons, ACA is a qualified chartered accountant with significant senior level experience of strategy review, development and business planning. Sarah has held Chief Executive, Strategy & Business Planning, Project Management and International Corporate Tax management and consultancy roles.

Sarah has experience of reviewing end to end planning from strategy development to performance monitoring and implementation of integrated business planning and performance processes. Sarah has led the strategic planning process working with the Board, Finance, Global Lines of Business and Shared Services to develop group strategy and strategic business plans. She has supported an Executive team and FTSE 20 Board in the challenge and review of business performance and strategy implementation.

Sarah has also worked and volunteered in the charitable sector. Most recently carrying out a strategic review of a Public, Private and Voluntary sector Partnership to address homelessness. She set up a CIO, recruited a team and led on implementation of the Homelessness Partnership strategy. Sarah has also held several Charitable Trustee and Non-Executive directorships.

Sarah is recognised as a fast learner with strong analytical skills and strategic insight. Sarah is skilled in prioritising to ensure critical path issues are identified up front and dealt with efficiently, building on not duplicating, existing work. Her approachable style ensures that effective relationships are built quickly with flexibility frequently demonstrated in her ability to adapt proposals and develop innovative strategic solutions.

Kris Thorne

Associate
Kris is an executive coach with over 10 years’ experience as a training project manager and change consultant, helping blue chip corporate clients to implement their business transformation and organisational redesign programs, integrating global business supply chains and driving cultural change.

She’s worked in multiple industries with international clients such as Jaguar Land Rover, Johnson and Johnson, Polaroid, Tate and Lyle, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, BG Group, Hoechst Celanese and Volkswagen Group.

This experience combined with being an expat for over 20 years and a small business owner gives her a unique insight into how businesses work and how people work best.

Kris’ bespoke coaching, training and consulting solutions enable SME and corporate business leaders and teams to create healthy, productive and profitable organisations. She helps businesses clarify their vision, mission, values and goals to focus on strategic plans for business growth.

She uses employee engagement diagnostic tools to uncover and address employees’ needs, and embed cultures of diversity, inclusion and psychological safety. Her coaching helps people develop the resilience and confidence to be flexible and adapt to change. Kris is also passionate about helping people improve their communication skills to create strong working relationships and develop empowering mindsets to optimise their performance.

Jon Thorne

Associate
Jon is a programme and project manager with over 20 years’ international experience providing Business Transformation, Change, Training and Project Management solutions to a wide range of global blue chip organisations in many industries, including pharmaceutical, financial services, petrochemical, retail, legal and public sector, across all functions, working with C suite executives, senior leaders, middle management and third party suppliers.

He is highly experienced in many project management methodologies, working with complex ERP and CRM systems such as SAP, Workday and Siebel. Jon has successfully delivered over 50+ projects on time and within budget, helping clients to successfully complete global corporate restructuring/mergers, achieve process and system implementation and integration, and provide training for up to 60,000 people. He has also built new business groups and services internationally, having responsibility for business development, project delivery and the recruitment, training and management of 30+ staff before deciding to become an independent specialist in 2003.

This experience, combined with being a business owner for nearly 20 years, means Jon has the ability to work at both the strategic/planning level and also be goal and detail oriented. He takes a hands-on and pragmatic approach to problem solving and meeting deadlines. She’s worked in multiple industries with international clients such as Jaguar Land Rover, Johnson and Johnson, Polaroid, Tate and Lyle, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, BG Group, Hoechst Celanese and Volkswagen Group.

This experience combined with being an expat for over 20 years and a small business owner gives her a unique insight into how businesses work and how people work best.

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