East Midlands - Corporate/M&A: SME/Owner-managed Businesses Lawyers & Law Firms - UK - Chambers and Partners
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UK Guide

Corporate/M&A: SME/Owner-managed Businesses — East Midlands


BHW Solicitors - Corporate/M&A Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: Leicester

What the team is known for Impressive local firm with a leading reputation for M&A work in the SME market. Noted for its expertise in the aerospace industry, but also knowledgeable about estate agency and crowdfunding matters. Offers additional expertise across a range of commercial contractual matters and continues to develop its offering in secured lending work.

Strengths Sources say the team is "miles ahead of the majority of firms in this area."

Clients add that the firm is "good value for money and very efficient."

Work highlights Advised Gardner Aerospace Holdings in relation to its proposed £326 million sale to Shaanxi Ligeance Mineral Resources.

Advised F & P Sponsors on 65 crowdfunded loans worth over £19 million.

Significant clients Lavendon Group, Nationwide Platforms, Correlation Investments, MoneyThing, Notts Sport.

Notable practitioners

Corporate and commercial department head Ed Nurse is well versed in the full range of transactional matters arising in the owner-managed business and SME sector. Clients say: "He always does a good job, is very approachable and always very timely. He is creative and thinks outside the box when coming up with solutions."

About the Team (content provided by BHW Solicitors)

Mergers & Acquisitions. With a team of 6 solicitors, BHW has one of the largest M&A departments based in Leicester. BHW is widely recognised as one of the East Midlands' leading firms for M&A transactions in the SME sector.

SME and Private Equity Corporate Services. We support incentivisation and succession projects including secondary management promotions, EMI schemes, other share incentivisation schemes and structured buyouts.

Restructuring. The Department undertakes significant corporate restructure deals in the SME and private equity sectors.

Secured Lending. BHW enjoys a significant reputation in Secured Lending for both traditional and peer to peer lending. The Department is also influential in setting up market-leading standardised transaction documents for peer to peer funding platforms.

Aerospace. Our Aerospace Legal division acts as an authority in this sector for M&A work, Corporate Support Services and supply chain management solutions.

Commercial Contracts. The Department routinely deals with a range of general commercial contracts including fleet sales, long-term supply and exclusive supply contracts.

IT and Telecoms. BHW regularly advises on:

  • Software development, maintenance and licensing agreements;
  • Hosting agreements;
  • Hardware supply agreements;
  • IT infrastructure projects;
  • Website development agreements;
  • E-commerce agreements and terms of business; and
  • Procurement and tendering for IT Projects.

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Hewitsons LLP - Corporate/M&A Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: Northampton

What the team is known for Leading Northamptonshire practice with expertise in complex group reorganisations and cross-border M&A, with a strong focus on advising US clients on buying or selling businesses in the UK. Sector specialisms include agriculture, the motor trade and the packaging industry.

Strengths Clients say the team offers a "superb service, providing solid, pragmatic advice which gives us great confidence in negotiations."

"The service was excellent, the value was excellent and they were a pleasure to deal with," adds another source. "They were proactive and effective."

Work highlights Acted for Briggs & Forrester in a partial MBO which involved a 52% change of control.

Acted for Perrys Motor Sales on the sale of its Jaguar and Land Rover dealership to the Rybrook Group.

Significant clients Medigold Health Consultancy, Northamptonshire Association for the Blind, Intamac Systems, Navtech Systems Support, Fencor Packaging Group.

Notable practitioners

The "extremely good" David Browne provides deep expertise in acquisitions, sales and reorganisations. Clients say that he is "very focused on solutions and very competent," while being "quick to respond and available to provide clear advice with a practical and commercial emphasis."

About the Team (content provided by Hewitsons LLP)

Our extensive corporate/M&A team provide clients with high levels of commercial understanding, professional care and urgent attention. This specialist team can advise on acquisitions, disposals, complex reorganisations, business formation and structures, as well as all types of funding. We are known for our public market work, including advising on listings and placings.

Technology impacts on every business sector, and relevant law and regulation is ever changing. We have IP and ICT experts whose careers are dedicated to these issues.

We also have business lawyers who specialise in complex issues surrounding employment, contracts, pensions, regulation and civil disputes. 

Our reputation for high quality and pragmatic corporate transactional advice comes with a personal touch. Our partner-led approach and commercial know-how ensures clients receive the best advice. That applies whether a client is an owner-managed business, a charity or institution with business activities, or a large company regularly involved in transactions.

As a founding member of LawExchange International (www.lawexchange.org) we are specialists in advising overseas clients (especially US clients) in the acquisition, operation and disposal of businesses in the UK and Europe.

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Nelsons Solicitors - Corporate/M&A Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office locations: Nottingham, Leicester, Derby

What the team is known for Represents a broad portfolio of family-managed and owner-managed clients, as well as multinationals and plcs. Continues to be involved in a variety of transactions on both the buyer and seller sides, with particular activity in the healthcare sector as part of a broad offering. Offices across the East Midlands ensure local clients benefit from an impressive depth of resources to assist on transactional work.

Strengths A client notes: "We have received excellent service from the team at Nelsons and I am hard pushed to think of anything they can improve on."

Another adds: "I found Nelsons to be exceptional in their expertise and approachability."

Work highlights Acted on behalf of Coba International on the acquisition of CD Plastic Mouldings.

Advised regional accountancy practice PKF Cooper Parry on its merger with Birmingham practice Clement Keys.

Significant clients Hunters Lodge Retirement Home, Magnet Expert, Rushcliffe Care, Ekkosense, Stade Developments.

Notable practitioners

Derby corporate team leader David Kaplan provides expertise on sophisticated transactions involving cross-border elements. He is held in high regard for his technical acumen.

Nottingham-based Duncan Taylor heads the department and is experienced across a range of corporate and banking transactions. Clients describe him as "a really good technical lawyer."

About the Team (content provided by Nelsons Solicitors)

Department profile not yet provided by Nelsons Solicitors. Please see their firm profile.

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Wilkin Chapman LLP - Corporate/M&A Department

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Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: Lincoln

What the team is known for Experienced in the full spectrum of corporate law, from mergers to reorganisations. Provides a range of targeted services to local and multinational clients in agriculture, energy and banking. Offers particular expertise in the education sector, advising on the corporate elements of schools converting to academy status.

Strengths An impressed client notes: "They are able to cover all our legal needs with excellent value for money. I am amazed by the amount of work they get done for the amount they charge."

Other sources add: "The firm seems to have a strong service ethic and we have always felt that they go the extra mile in meeting tight deadlines with accurate and professional output."

Work highlights Advised the shareholders of Provantis Amenity on their sale of the company's entire issued share capital for £3.5 million.

Acted for The Boston Witham Academies Federation on its merger with The Phoenix Family of Schools Academy Trust.

Significant clients Shareholders of Albert Darnell Holdings, shareholders of Martract, CNG Fuels.

Notable practitioners

Head of department Russell Eke advises on a variety of transactions, with a niche focus on agricultural-based renewable energy projects. Clients say: "Russell is knowledgeable and genuinely has our best interests at heart when structuring agreements."

About the Team (content provided by Wilkin Chapman LLP)

Wilkin Chapman LLP's corporate and commercial department is recognised throughout Lincolnshire  and beyond for its corporate work. It is best known for advising clients on high value company sales and acquisitions, re-organisations and refinancing arrangements, with deal values of up to £120 million. 

In 2016, the highly experienced team acted for multinational companies, national corporations and SMEs on transactions with an aggregate value exceeding £300 million. 

In addition, the team has a wealth of experience in commercial matters, advising clients from (amongst others) the education, renewable, chemical and petrochemical, financial services, retail, food processing, logistics and construction sectors. 

Partners Russell Eke and Ian Sherburn are known regionally as highly skilled and experienced negotiators; they are able to assist clients from the very outset (often well before the transaction becomes “live”), in order to secure the right deal for clients.

This level of experience and expertise undoubtedly is what sets the team apart from its competitors in the region.

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Band 1

BHW Solicitors

From the Chambers UK guide

Corporate and commercial department head Ed Nurse is well versed in the full range of transactional matters arising in the owner-managed business and SME sector. Clients say: "He always does a good job, is very approachable and always very timely. He is creative and thinks outside the box when coming up with solutions."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Hewitsons LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

The "extremely good" David Browne provides deep expertise in acquisitions, sales and reorganisations. Clients say that he is "very focused on solutions and very competent," while being "quick to respond and available to provide clear advice with a practical and commercial emphasis."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Wilkin Chapman LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Head of department Russell Eke advises on a variety of transactions, with a niche focus on agricultural-based renewable energy projects. Clients say: "Russell is knowledgeable and genuinely has our best interests at heart when structuring agreements."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Nelsons Solicitors

From the Chambers UK guide

Nottingham-based Duncan Taylor heads the department and is experienced across a range of corporate and banking transactions. Clients describe him as "a really good technical lawyer." 

Derby corporate team leader David Kaplan provides expertise on sophisticated transactions involving cross-border elements. He is held in high regard for his technical acumen.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Howes Percival LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Gerald Couldrake of Howes Percival LLP is experienced in a range of sales transactions on behalf of corporate clients. Market commentators describe him as "a good guy who knows his onions."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Howes Percival LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Leicester-based Chris Rees of Howes Percival LLP handles a wide variety of corporate and commercial transactions. A source notes: "I have a lot of time for him as he has a magnificent work ethic and is a bright guy."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Nelsons Solicitors

From the Chambers UK guide

^ See whole ranking table