About us

Black Cat are an independent building consultancy formed in 2015 by three surveyors who wanted to create a firm which is open and transparent for its employees and delivers an excellent service to its clients.

As an experienced team we pride ourselves in presenting solutions with costs and timescales and not just problems.

  • Asset 1

    Nationwide service

    We operate across the United Kingdom, from our offices in Manchester, Bristol and London

  • Asset 2

    Best in class service

    All our staff are employed at Associate Director level and above, ensuring that we are able to provide best in class service to our clients.

  • Asset 3

    Technical support & honest advice

    Our team of experienced individuals provide technically proficient and commercially focused advice and support our clients and we are not shy about providing an opinion.

  • Asset 5

    Working together

    We work collaboratively with our clients and we pride ourselves on getting under the skin of your business so that we can tailor our advice to your specific requirement and facilitate the best outcomes.

Our teams

Manchester Team

Location

The Lightwell
61-63 Brown Street
Manchester
M2 2JG
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Telephone

0161 359 4312 0161 359 4312

manchester Team

Fran Anderson

Team Administrator

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manchester Team

Alex Baldwin

Director

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manchester Team

Marek Baldwin

Director

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manchester Team

Stephen Barnes

Director

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manchester Team

Chris Bright

Design Director

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manchester Team

Kevin Cramer

Director

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manchester Team

James Dyson

Director

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manchester Team

Ben Golby

Director

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manchester Team

James Green

Team Administrator

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manchester Team

Amie McGagh

Director

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manchester Team

Eric Roberts

Director

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manchester Team

Nicole Rosebury

Team Administrator

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Our teams

Bristol Team

Location

St Brandon's House
27-29 Great George Street
Bristol
BS1 5QT
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Telephone

0117 926 9923 0117 926 9923

bristol Team

Jennifer Cobner

Team Administrator

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bristol Team

Oliver Elms

Associate Director

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bristol Team

Oliver Folkes

Director

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bristol Team

Lisa Fone

Director

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Our teams

London Team

Location

4th Floor
14 Marshalsea Road
SE1 1HL
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Telephone

020 7407 6287 020 7407 6287

london Team

Diego Alves

Director

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london Team

Lucia Bravo

Director

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Fran Anderson

Team Administrator

Social

My property industry career began 13 years ago with Colliers and I have since worked for DTZ and CBRE. As I have always worked within building consultancy, I have a full understanding of what the team needs from me to make them as efficient as possible for the clients benefit.

During my career, I have managed national public sector contracts, administered client accounts and co-ordinated national portfolio instructions and project teams alongside the usual administration requirements.

I pride myself in providing best in class support to ensure that standards and reporting procedures are aligned to our client’s requirements and that the client experience of using Black Cat is better than any service they have received previously.

My downtime from the office is primarily spent with my son and partner doing all kinds of activities.  I have a passion for baking and like to try new recipes all the time however, I will not be appearing on The Great British Bake Off anytime soon as I am quite traditional in my baking skills.   I adore reading, musicals and tattoos of which, I have over ten.

Alex Baldwin

Director

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During my decade long career, I was primarily employed at Workman LLP where I quickly worked my way up to the position of Senior Associate before joining Black Cat in the Spring 2018.

My career has found me working primarily within the industrial, office and retail sectors and my experience has seen me further develop my skills in all aspect of professional and project work for investment funds, private investors, landlords and occupiers.

The fresh and exciting approach to building surveying which Black Cat utilise is one which I relish the opportunity to learn.  The focus and attention to detail which I deliver on each piece of work for every client ensures that we meet all their requirements.

I have two young boys who are keen footballers so most of my time is spent carting them from one thing to another.  When I eventually get some actual downtime, I spend it with my family and do occasionally get to watch the best team in the land and all the world, Manchester City Football Club.

Marek Baldwin

Director

Social

Following graduation in 2010 I returned to Workman LLP in their Manchester office, where I’d spent my placement year. I built my career over the next 7 years progressing to Associate level, before joining Black Cat in 2017.

Although my focus has primarily been on the commercial property sector working on shopping centres and office buildings, I have experience in all aspects of professional and project work acting for a variety of investment funds and institutional clients. I’m focused and diligent in my work to ensure my clients get the level of service they require and that results are delivered.

In my spare time I’m a keen amateur golfer (emphasis on the amateur) and also a keen globetrotter with the aim to visit as many places in the world as possible.  Like most of the team, I am incredibly sociable and enjoy spending time with friends and family when I can.

Stephen Barnes

Director

Social

I am one of the founding Directors of Black Cat Building Consultancy and specialise in Due Diligence, Project Management and Dilapidations.

I have over 20 years’ experience operating within the industrial, manufacturing, office and retail sectors. I advise a range of investors, funds and occupiers with property interests regionally, nationally and occasionally I act within Europe.

I have held positions within DTZ, Savills and latterly CBRE and have a broad experience. I take the time to understand our clients’ business interests, performance requirements and their wider business strategy and then tailor our advice and reporting formats to suit their specific requirements.

The equestrian world is where I like to spend my spare time with my wife and daughters and although watching them jump obstacles is incredibly nerve-racking, to watch them compete and enjoy the sport is a very proud moment for me. As much as I enjoy the equestrian world, there is nothing like being on the open sea with just my family and we always look forward to where our next sailing holiday will take us.

Chris Bright

Design Director

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I started my design career over 35 years ago at an architectural firm.  I have since worked for developers, a design agency (Fitch) and Workman for the intervening years. 

My design work has seen me work within all the major sectors (retail, leisure, industrial, offices) and for some of the biggest brands out there with examples including Harley Davidson and Disney.  I have also been involved in most of the major shopping centres in the UK with the Bullring in Birmingham being a particular highlight.

During my career, I have kept my knowledge up to date with the latest design standards so the clients can feel confident that the service I provide meets all of their requirements.

I have quite a few daughter’s so my weekends are often filled with being a taxi driver and carting them from one place to another with help from my wife.  When I do get some downtime, I like to catch up on the latest cinema offerings or spend quality time with my family.  I am a keen motorcyclist and can often be found riding my bike to meetings, to the office or just for general enjoyment.

Kevin Cramer

Director

Social

I have over 30 years’ experience as a Chartered Building Surveyor working predominantly in the private commercial, industrial and retail sectors. Latterly, I have also been involved in a number of student and private rented sector projects.

During my career, I have gained particular experience in complex refurbishment projects, development monitoring, dilapidations, due diligence and providing general advice on property upkeep and maintenance.

I regularly represent investment funds, private investors, landlords and occupiers and provide strategic property advice tailored to suit their particular requirements. I always deliver on timescales and provide accurate, honest, best in class advice without compromise.

In my spare time I enjoy keeping fit and am a volunteer guide dogs boarder which involves me caring for trainee guide dogs at the weekends, which if truth be told, is not vastly dissimilar from caring for my children when they are home from university.  Football is another passion of mine and I like to spend as much time as possible in the Lake District fell walking with my family and friends. 

James Dyson

Director

Social

As one of the founding Directors of Black Cat, I pride myself on delivering on the values and principles of this business. I get to know our client’s businesses so that I can provide commercially focused advice based upon not just my technical knowledge but my understanding of their priorities. I am inquisitive and enthusiastic. I challenge everyone and everything, including our clients, to make sure they are getting the best solution.

I have previously held positions at Deloitte and CBRE where I have gained invaluable experience in delivering commercially focused property advice and services. I have a broad range of experience across Office, Industrial and Retail sectors. Whilst I specialise in Project Management and Contract Administration, I have experience of Neighbourly Matters, CDM Co-ordination, Dilapidations, Tenant Alterations, Project Monitoring and Technical Due Diligence surveys.

I was born and raised in Wigan which meant that I grew up with a pie in one hand and a rugby ball in the other. Unfortunately, my fondness for the former scuppered my chances of making a professional career in the latter. I now have a wife and two very demanding young daughters so in what little spare time I do have, I try to stay involved in rugby as much as I can and catch up with friends as often as possible.

Ben Golby

Director

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I have been a building surveyor for ten years and have previously held positions at DTZ and latterly CBRE. I undertake the full sphere of building surveying work with a specialism in technical due diligence and dilapidations.

I have purchased buildings for a range of institutional clients across all sectors including shopping centres, offices and industrial and have worked on some of the largest transactions in the UK and Europe.

I was born in Somerset and moved to Manchester in 2005 which is a fantastic city and a great logistical base to service the UK from, especially important when my clients own stock in Falmouth and Aberdeen. My claim to fame is having been a contestant on “Deal or No Deal”.  My evenings and weekends are often spent with either my wife and daughters or the other love of my life, Burnley Football Club where I am a proud season ticket holder.

James Green

Team Administrator

Social

The last few years of my professional career have been spent away from the desk as a touring musician, but I have recently found a new home in Black Cat as I have ventured into the realms of property and administration.

Although I’m a relative newbie to the surveying world, since joining Black Cat I have been quick to absorb a wide-ranging knowledge of the industry, performing the usual admin tasks whilst pushing myself into new realms in order to best assist the rest of our surveyors and support staff. I am also involved in the digital marketing side of the business, including social media, preparation of marketing materials and maintaining the company website.

As you can imagine, my interests outside the business are largely performing and composing a wide variety of music, as well as taking a keen interest in culture and politics, and spending time with my wife, family and friends.

Amie McGagh

Director

Social

I have over 17 years’ experience as a Chartered Building Surveyor working in both the private and public sectors, including commercial, industrial, retail, leisure, defence and education sectors.

I graduated from the University of Salford in 2002 and started my career at EC Harris (Arcadis) where I spent 12 years and became chartered in 2007. I then moved to Aedas (AHR) for 8 years, where I progressed to Regional Director during that time.

I have a wide range of experience encompassing both core building surveying and project management. During my career, I have focused on asset management and delivering new build, repair and refurbishment projects. I also have experience in managing condition surveys, dilapidations, pre-acquisition surveys, repairs and maintenance.

I regularly lead a multi-disciplinary team to deliver capital schemes to a successful conclusion, communicating closely with clients and advising on implementation strategies. I have represented a variety of clients including public authorities, trusts, private investors, developers, landlords and occupiers, providing tailored advice to suit their needs. I pride myself on going the extra mile, delivering on time and providing impartial trustworthy advice.

In my spare time, I enjoy days out with my family and taking my children to various activities such as dancing, swimming and horse riding. When I find the time, I enjoy socialising with friends and watching my local football team.

Eric Roberts

Director

Social

I have over 40 years’ experience commencing in 1977 with the majority of that time spent at Partner/Director level, developing and managing building surveying services within the various permutations of Bernard Thorpe and DTZ which ultimately became Cushman and Wakefield.

I am active in all aspects of building surveying but take a particular interest in Project Management, Employers Agent, Due Diligence and Dilapidations. My client and sector lists are very broad and cover the full spectrum of the property industry including education and the public sector. The opportunity to work with the talented individuals in Black Cat was too good to miss, so retirement can wait a while!

My personal time is spent mostly gardening, taking walks in the countryside as a means to keep fit and spending time with my wife, children and family whenever I get the chance to see them.  In the most recent years, I have become a grandfather for the first time and spending time with her is truly one of my most favourite things to do as it is quite amusing to see what new fangled ideas have cropped up since my children were young.  Although it may seem that my personal time is quite a sedate life, have no fear because if I am allowed near a trampoline, go-kart or axe-throwing, I become a fiend and am at the front of the queue for my turn.

Nicole Rosebury

Team Administrator

Social

My professional career began 4 years ago within a business which provided financial services to SME’s and the experience I received during this time has enabled me to fully understand the absolute importance of making sure we run smoothly as a company so that our clients receive the best possible service from us.

I ensure that my knowledge is constantly being tested and expanded upon so that I can provide our clients with the best service offering we can. By constantly learning new skills, I am able to make sure that clients of Black Cat are receiving the best client experience available and that their requirements are being met by our constant strive to deliver a best in class service.

I spend much of my downtime with my family, friends and partner socialising and enjoying life.  I am a keen equestrian and take part in dressage competitions throughout the country to further develop my riding skills.  Musical theatre, films and concerts are also particular interests of mine and are something which I try to attend at least once every month.

Jennifer Cobner

Team Administrator

With a secretarial background going back almost 30 years I have worked the length and breadth of British (and international) industry, covering transport, antiquities, publishing, academia and now, for the last 10 years or so, property.

Having worked with contractors, designers and surveyors, on site and in the office, I am now well equipped to tackle any support my teammates require of me, in order to provide best service to our clients.  My efficiency online, and knowledge of IT helps us produce top quality documents and services to better inform our clients with what they require.

Away from the office I remain young by frequenting the fantastic bars and music venues Bristol has to offer, along with eating well and exploring the surrounding areas with my partner on foot.  I love to travel, ably assisted by the excellent policies Black Cat holds, and we are always hiring a younger member of our families to take care of the beloved wildlife in our garden.

Oliver Elms

Associate Director

Having graduated from the University of the West of England in 2014, I joined CBRE in Bristol and quickly gained experience in the full range of building surveying disciplines whilst working with large institutional clients. I became chartered in June 2017.

Whilst I have experience in all aspects of building surveying, I have particularly strong experience in technical due diligence, dilapidations, contract administration and neighbourly matters.

I left CBRE to help build a new building surveying team at Stride Treglown in 2018, but when approached to join Black Cat and offered the chance to work for a small business, the opportunity was too good to resist.

Black Cat have created an environment which puts clients first and empowers its surveyors to focus on providing the best possible service, by removing the constraints of a corporate business model. I have found that working in such an environment, alongside such a motivated group of professionals, is very rewarding.

Outside of work I am a dedicated rock climber, training in the evenings and travelling all over the country at the weekend. My annual leave is dedicated to travelling widely in pursuit of this and I have climbed all over Europe and as far away as Africa. I also have a keen interest in film and art.

Oliver Folkes

Director

I have over 20 years’ experience as a Building Surveyor, much of which was spent as a Director at CBRE. I have worked on the full spectrum of commercial buildings, including large office and mixed-use buildings during my six years in London.

I have particular experience of managing refurbishments of retail parks and the reconstruction of fire damaged buildings but also regularly undertake acquisition surveys and dilapidations work.

With my background of working within large multi-disciplinary property consultancies I aim to provide commercially astute and well-rounded advice to assist my clients in achieving the best outcomes

My time away from the office is often spent travelling the world with my wife Emma during which, we ensure that we immerse ourselves in the culture of the country we are visiting as often, the best experiences we have are those that are not planned or in a tourist book. When I am not travelling, I enjoy spending time with my family and am also a keen gardener.

Lisa Fone

Director

I started my property career as a secretary at King Sturge in 2002. After completing a distance learning degree via the College of Estate Management, I became Chartered in 2009. I worked for 10 years within the King Sturge/JLL office in London and then relocated to Bristol in 2013 progressing to Associate Director within this time.

I have worked with a number of blue chip clients and investors providing strategic advice on a range of projects across various property sectors including commercial, industrial and retail. I have a broad experience including dilapidations, contract administration, due diligence surveys, reinstatement cost assessments, planned maintenance programmes, defect diagnosis and licences to alter.

I joined Black Cat in July 2018 and fully embrace the ethos of putting the client first and providing well rounded practical advice. I am passionate about surveying and providing a service to be proud of.

Outside of being a Black Cat, I generally spend my weekends standing by the side of a rugby pitch watching my sons play and my husband coach. When I do get a spare moment, I like to take my mad spaniel for a long walk followed by a visit to a nice country pub!

Diego Alves

Director

I am a civil and structural engineer by background but commenced my façade engineering career with the then newly formed Arup Facades, then headed the Atkins façade team before moving to CBRE in 2008 to head up their Façade Consultancy. As a Façade Consultant for over 30 years, I have gained a wealth of experience, particularly in the commercial, residential and retail sectors.

Over the years, I have been involved with facades in all types of properties in the UK and abroad including hotels, offices, shopping centres, student accommodation developments and high rise buildings including the complex façades of The Leadenhall Building and 20 Fenchurch St (better known as The Cheesegrater and the Walkie Talkie respectively), both iconic London buildings.

I represent investment funds, private investors, landlords and occupants alike dealing with all façade related matters including expert witness, fire related issues, technical due diligence for acquisitions and vendors, technical audits, defects analysis and planned preventive maintenance schedules, where my hands-on experience and expertise have helped clients achieve their full commercial and technical objectives.

Since the tragic events of Grenfell, I was heavily active in fire related issues having represented my company in assisting Government organisations in the preparation of guidance to the industry. My involvement with these bodies has helped property owners, many of which have large portfolios in the UK and abroad, with up to date advice and guidance.

My extra-curricular activities include travelling, music, the arts, cooking and entertaining family and friends at home. I am an active member of my local Rotary Club which helps me put something back into the community through charitable events and fund raising. I enjoy playing snooker and aspire to having breaks in double figures one day!

Lucia Bravo

Director

I am a Façade Engineer and Architect with more than 10 years of experience in the consultancy business. I have been fortunate enough to work on many different projects around the world, including Spain, China and the UK. I love leading challenging projects to a successful end and have managed jobs across all phases, from concept design to execution.

 

In the last four years, I have been providing a wide range of façade consultancy services to investors, landlords and occupiers. My expertise covers existing and new building envelopes and includes, among other responsibilities, the execution of façade condition surveys and technical due diligences, preparation of maintenance programmes, assessment of performance issues and coordination of façade repairs, specification writing and quality control of the design and installation of facades systems. Most recently, I have been involved in the preparation of façade fire risk assessments, as well as coordination of any related repair works to ensure compliance.

 

My free time is mostly spent at airports and the new places they represent. I love travelling and have a bucket list full of wonderful places waiting to be discovered. I am also a very arty person and enjoy both seeing and creating art. These days I am very much into printmaking, photography and street art. Finally, I have found in improv theatre a laughing therapy that never fails to entertain me, and I have been doing it on and off for many years now.