Central Court - Meet the team
Picture taken in 1901.
5 Southampton Buildings is an impressive Grade II listed Victorian property with a Jacobean style façade. The building first housed the Patent Office, created as a result of the Patent Law Amendment Act in 1852, which required “true copies of all specifications to be open to the inspection of the public”.
The rapid increase in the number of patent applications during the late 19th Century led to the commission of architect Sir John Taylor to develop and extend the building in 1891. Taylor retired in 1898 and the project was taken on by Sir Henry Tanner through to its completion in 1902. The redeveloped building boasted an impressive new galleria style structure which hosted the ever expanding patent library – described in ‘Engineering’ 1897 as “the finest library of science and arts in the whole world”.
During the Second World War, 25 Southampton Buildings was hit by a V1 flying bomb – a doodlebug – and was badly damaged. Fortunately not one document of importance was destroyed. The building was restored and continued to house the Patent Office until 1991 when more space was needed once again.
Many patents, which play a part in everyday life, have been registered at the Patent Office. Some examples include Meccano, Lego, Aero chocolate bars and photo-booth technology.
LEO purchased the building from City and General in 2005, the building, now known as Central Court, opened in November 2005 and retains many of the building’s historical features.
Now on to some information on the background of the team, that keep Central Court working:
Peter Kitchener joined LEO in 2007 as a CRA working with the business centre team at 33 St James’s Square, progressing to a CRS role with conferencing responsibilities. During his time with LEO, Peter has subsequently worked across a variety of centres in a management capacity; including 78-79 Pall Mall, 2 Eaton Gate, 53 Davies Street, 28 Grosvenor Street and now Central Court. Peter’s current role is Senior General Manager overseeing Central Court, 21 Gloucester Place and 17 Cavendish Square.
Stefania Pace started as a CRA at 45 Pont Street in 2014, progressing to a CRS before moving to Hudson House as a DGM in training. Stefania then moved across to 53 Davies Street as a DGM and as of June, is a GM in training at Central Court. Previously, Stefania worked as a flight attendant but does not like flying!
Andrius Banevicius has been with LEO since 2008, working at Central Court as a CRA with IT / Telecoms responsibilities and then progressing to a CRS. In his spare time, Andrius is a keen predator fisherman and a die hard Lithuanian basketball fan!
Milena Rak moved to LEO with a strong customer service background from her time working in hotels and joined Central Court as a CRS in October 2015. Milena is Central Court's centre readiness representative and takes pride in maintaining LEO's 5-star standards.
Elizabeth McLean was identified as a great candidate for LEO whilst working at the post office near St James’s Square and was asked to come along for an interview. Liz brought her excellent customer service skills to Central Court back in October 2015. Liz is a former dancing champion for Scotland!
Orsolya Molnar joined LEO in November 2015 as a CRA at Central Court and is a highly valued member of the team. After lots of hard work, Orsi has recently passed her driving test!
Georgia Webber graduated from Hertfordshire University earlier this year with a degree in Sports and Exercise Science and joined the LEO Central Court team in May. Georgia’s cousin also works for LEO at 78-79 Pall Mall!
Nikola Vilhardova joined the Central Court team in May and works as a CRA. Nikky is a keen tennis player and also has a very creative side as her father is an artist. Nikky is also the centre's social media ambassador.
Aimee-Louise Gannon changed career when she joined LEO in July 2016, moving from her role as a Nursery teacher to a CRA at Central Court. Aimee is the official Christmas tree decorator for Central Court!