Home > About > Management Team

Neil Partlett

Chief Executive Officer

Neil joined CalaChem in 2013 as Managing Director, responsible for overall strategy, safety and business performance of the company. In April 2018 he was also appointed Managing Director for Briar Chemicals Ltd.
With almost 30 years’ experience Neil has held a number of leadership roles in a variety of manufacturing businesses.
Neil holds a PhD in Chemistry from Reading University and is an Alumni of London Business School.

Robert Gair

Chief Finacial Officer

Robert joined Briar Chemicals in 2018 as Chief Financial Officer, with overall responsibility for the finance function.  Robert is also Chief Financial Officer at CalaChem.

After spending the early part of his career in investment banking, Robert has held senior finance roles with a number of growth companies in the industrial and energy sector.

Robert holds a BSc in Mathematics from Edinburgh University.

Chris Bennett

Site Manager

Russell Clarke

Head of Commercial

Russell graduated with a PhD in chemistry, studying organometallic catalysis, from the University of St Andrews in 1993. This was after completing an honours degree in Pure and Applied Chemistry from the University of Strathclyde in 1988.


Russell started his career at Laporte Fine Organics in Teesside in 1993 in research and development before moving into a commercial management role with Dow Chemical in 1998. Russell then spent 8 years with Thomas Swan & Company based in Consett in a variety of roles including Commercial Director for the contract manufacturing business.

Russell joined CalaChem in April 2012 in the role of Commercial Manager before joining the Senior Management team as Head of Operations in September 2014. He was appointed Head of Commercial in November 2015 taking responsibility for research and development, purchasing and supply chain as well as having overall responsibility for the commercial performance of the company.

In April 2018 he was also appointed Head of Commercial for Briar Chemicals Ltd. He now has responsibility for the commercial performance of both CalaChem Ltd and Briar Chemicals Ltd respectively.

Mark Smith

SHEQ Manager

As SHEQ Manager for Briar Chemicals, Mark is responsible for safety, health, security and environmental control, including waste management.

With over 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, Mark started his career in R&D for Glaxo Welcome before moving into the agrochemical industry, supporting sites in the UK and across the globe.

Mark holds a degree in Medical Physics and is a qualified Chartered Occupational Hygienist and Chartered Safety Practitioner.

Graham Temple

Head of Operations

As Head of Operations, Graham is responsible for all production and manufacturing activities on the site and is a member of the Senior Management Team.

Graham has over 25 years’ experience in plant management, technical support and process development through his years working for Bayer CropScience, Aventis CropScience and Rhone-Poulenc Agriculture.

Graham holds a first class honours degree in Chemistry and Physics from the University of Brighton and is a Chartered Chemist and member of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Julie Brand

HR Officer

As HR Officer, Julie is responsible for delivering a full range of HR services to all stakeholders across site including recruitment and selection, benefits, payroll processes and employee relations.

Julie has over 20 years’ experience in customer-facing roles and holds a Diploma in HR Management and is a Member of the CIPD and the British Psychological Society.

Nick Burr

IT Manager

As IT Manager, Nick is responsible for leading the company’s technology strategy and managing overall IT operations and customer service.

Nick has experience in IT strategic planning, project management and operations, supporting companies worldwide.

Nick holds qualifications in IT service delivery (ITIL), Project Management (Prince2) and IT security (GICSP & GSLC) as well as being an active Member of the British Computer Society.

Stephen Hancocks

Commercial Manager

Steve joined Briar Chemicals as Commercial Manager in June 2018 and looks after Briars product and service offering to the Global Agchem market. Steve has a degree in Applied Chemistry from Nottingham Trent University.

After leaving university in 1996, Steve joined Cray Valley working as a Technical Services Chemist, formulating with unsaturated polyester resins and gel coats. In 2003 he moved into a sales role with Cray Valley covering Northern Europe/ME for Hydrocarbon Resins.

Steve moved to Eastman in 2008 and served as an Account Manager EMEA for 10 years, selling products into a diverse range of geographies and markets but predominantly into formulated adhesives for hygiene and packaging applications.

Kevin Lyon

Head of Finance

Kevin is the head of finance and is responsible for all accounting transactions, financial planning, reporting, audit, tax and treasury.

Kevin has over 25 years operating as a senior finance professional operating in a variety of industry sectors including shipping, oil & gas, electronics and FMCG, and has worked for small and medium sized companies as well as multi-nationals.

He holds a BA in Accountancy and Computer Science from Heriot Watt university and is CIMA qualified.

Clare Morton

Operations Resource & Compliance Manager

As Operations Resource and Compliance Manager, Clare is responsible for the management of the chemical process workers and their compliance with both internal and statutory standards.

With more than 25 years’ experience in the chemical manufacturing industry, Clare has gained vast knowledge in plant operation, new plant commissioning and process optimisation.

Clare holds a BSc (Hons) in Agricultural Chemistry from the University of Leeds.