The corporate department at Harrison Clark Rickerbys, one of the largest law firms between Birmingham and Bristol, is reporting its third successive record year for the value of transactions undertaken.
In the financial year ended 31 March 2015, Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ 21-strong corporate department advised on transactions worth in excess of £336 million.
Beyond this, the firm is also seeing continued signs of improvement in the overall business economic climate. Rod Thomas, Managing Partner at Harrison Clark Rickerbys says: “As we reported last November after our first six months’ results, our business services lawyers are continuing to observe more economic positivity amongst both our regional and national clients. There is certainly more confidence in the market for deals to happen, and we’re seeing new funding streams, as well as an increase in funding from family office money, particularly coming out of London.
Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ corporate legal team, based at offices in Worcester, Cheltenham, Hereford, Ross-on-Wye, the Thames Valley and Birmingham, comprises 9 partners and 12 fee earning staff and is one of the country’s largest outside the major cities. Expertise covers all areas of corporate law, as well as specialisms in corporate finance, healthcare and private equity.
Rod Thomas continued: “In terms of our own progress, Harrison Clark Rickerbys remains in a strong place, both between the major cities of Birmingham and Bristol, and with an ever increasing workflow coming from London. More opportunities are presenting themselves to our corporate team thanks to their expertise, their pro-active approach and their use of wider networks to make deals happen.
“The local presence we have at all our offices is also a big pull for the regional businesses near those offices, but they are also attracting interest from outside of those regions. In all senses, this means that Harrison Clark Rickerbys continues to attract solid, regional corporate deals and those of the highest calibre in the mid-market. Our continued growth is a particular achievement given that the overall economic climate in the UK has remained tough during the past three years.”
In the past six months, since its last announcement, Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ Cheltenham corporate team has notched up some significant business deals, which have included a range of major sales and acquisitions both regionally and further afield. The team led the local sale of St Cloud Healthcare to an international acquirer and also the high profile sale of airport luggage retailer Rolling Luggage to travel luggage brand Samsonite. Members of the team acted for Green Resources A.S. in its acquisition of Global Solidarity Forest Fund to create the largest African forest plantation company outside of South Africa. Expert corporate acquisition advice from the team also helped GIL Investments to acquire Ashworth, a £32m-turnover distribution company which was sold by its French parent Saint–Gobain Building Distribution.
In other deals, Harrison Clark Rickerbys advised on the sale of voice and data network infrastructure provider Proximity Communications to telecoms and data managed services company Maintel Holdings for £12m. Acting for The Mothership Group in its acquisition of Escape Club in Brighton, worth £3.8m, involved property, banking and corporate legal teams. Harrison Clark Rickerbys also acted for Worcester College of Technology on its merger with North East Worcestershire College, forming the Heart of Worcestershire College – one of Worcestershire’s highest profile deals of the past year.
The impressive set of results from Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ business services department is echoed in the top national legal rankings that the team has achieved in the past year. In October 2014 The Legal 500 UK listed the department as a top-tier West Midlands law firm for corporate and commercial work. November’s Chambers UK Guide also ranked the corporate department in the top tier of Band 1, praising its ‘impressive full-service corporate practice, including private and public company M&A, private equity and financing. Capable of acting for local, regional and national clients.’ In April this year Harrison Clark Rickerbys was also awarded the Law Society’s international practice management standard, Lexcel, for the fifth year running.
Harrison Clark Rickerbys provides a complete spectrum of legal services to both business and private clients, both national and international. The firm also has a number of highly successful teams specialising in individual market sectors, including health and social care, education, agriculture and rural affairs, hospitality, leisure and sport, defence, security and the forces and construction and engineering.
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