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Who we are

Work Pirates was founded in 2020 by James Eves and Michelle Minnikin, right in the middle of the pandemic.

Michelle had been self-employed with her own organisational psychology practice since 2016 and now felt that something wasn't right.

After making a cup of tea, she announced to James that she’d realised her brand was not her. It was too plain, stale and no longer something that would get her (or clients) excited about sorting their people problems.

Within 30 minutes, they had agreed a new brand was needed, settled on the name, registered the company and secured the social media urls.

Work Pirates was born.

With 40+ years of combined professional and international experience - across SMEs and large corporates - you get the value of their knowledge and wisdom from the decades of challenging the status quo and making an impact.  

Who We Are: About

James CV Highs


Completing a Masters in Business Administration at the Stockholm School of Economics

Real Estate

Managed 600 properties and a team of 6 - led to acquisition by a French national player and achieving perfect fluency in French


Inherited a UK Business Development Team after a corporate rebrand, consolidation and sales downturn. Proved the team's worth & doubled headcount

Gallup Certified Strengths Coach

Coached leaders and those with ADHD since 2020 to use their strengths for success


Convinced hardened New Yorkers to implement quality assurance processes on the $2 billion United Nations HQ renovation


Set up a consultancy business in the USA post-2008 financial crisis within weeks of redundancy and becoming an illegal alien

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Who We Are: Features
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Michelle CV Highs

Chartered Psychologist

Gained a Masters in Occupational Psychology & became an Organisational Psychologist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society

Recruitment Manager

Oversaw the recruitment of hundreds of team members for the Shared Services division and enabling functions at Balfour Beatty

BPS Level A&B Trained

Trained in the selection and use of psychometric tests, including Hogan, 16PF, Wave, TalentQ Dimensions and NEO PI-R

Leadership Coach

Recent training includes completing The Playing Big Facilitators Training with Tara Mohr, co-active coaching fundamentals and intro to Internal Family Systems

Public & Private Sector

In corporate career and in self-employment, worked in public and private sector organisations including NHS, local & central government


Been self-employed since 2016, working with leaders in organisations to help them solve their people problems and coaching them for success

Who We Are: Features

Stuff you didn't think you needed to know about us...

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  1. Being taught how to ask for “the bill” in a restaurant on holiday in France lit his language learning fire. He is now bilingual in French and English.

  2. Can juggle 3 objects at a time.

  3. Once on the front page of Sweden’s financial newspaper Dagens Industri

  4. His first game for the Newcastle Falcons colts rugby team – got to wear his idol winger Tony Underwood’s shirt (their kit wasn’t ready yet).

  5. As a young boy (much to his parents’ horror) he would scale the walls between the house and next door’s garage, as he was wearing his Spiderman trainers.

  6. Is a self-confessed salt snob (if you know, you know!) – his favourite is “Fleur de Sel” from the Ile de Re in France.

  7. Would much prefer wearing shorts all year round than formal wear.

  8. His favourite smell is a French bakery / patisserie. 

  9. He passed his Level 2 Diploma in Plumbing. 

  10. He's currently writing a Christmas story for children.

Image by Rodion Kutsaev


  1. Her most famous Twitter follower is Chesney Hawkes.

  2. She spoke French before she spoke English.

  3. She has 2 Degus - Hermione and Hedwig (they did belong to her son, but you know how things go with kids and pets) and 2 rabbits - Bellatrix and Minerva.

  4. Had an argument with someone who insisted she had a Bristol accent. She's only been there once. For a day.

  5. She has misophonia - so don't breathe too loudly around her.

  6. She loves tomatoes. She does not like mushrooms. Or fish/seafood.

  7. She has a thing for castles - her favourite is Hampton Court Palace.

  8. Her pet peeve is boring power point presentations.

  9. She loves reading. Sci-fi /dystopian and historical fiction for fun and loves a personal development book for work.

  10. She's currently writing a book called Good Girl Deprogramming. 

Who We Are: Team
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