The corporate, commercial, and banking team at leading law firm Howes Percival has reported an ‘incredibly busy’ start to 2021, completing 32 deals in the first quarter, with a combined value of £263 million.
Howes Percival has invested heavily in its corporate, commercial, and banking (CCB) team in recent years, across all its offices. In addition to a number of high-profile hires, the firm has also invested in major IT projects to enhance its service for clients.
In a little over two years, Howes Percival has restructured and increased the size of its corporate, commercial, and banking team by 50 per cent, to over 30 fee earners. The restructure has created three dedicated service lines to enable the firm to offer a more specialist service to clients. Partner-level appointments include corporate law experts – Jahid Ali, Oliver Brookshaw, Oliver Prichard and Andy Harris, and banking and finance specialists – Haydon Simmonds and Ian Ilersic.
Working remotely with minimal disruption, the firm has advised on a strong pipeline of M & A, financing and restructuring transactions during the pandemic for owner-managed businesses, including:
- Acting on the sale of Northamptonshire based business Signature Ribbon Company Limited to Cole Fabrics Plc.
- Advising Highweald Beverages on the expansion of its drinks business with the acquisitions Conwy Brewery, a Welsh brewer specialising in cask and bottle conditioned ales and, Pookchurch Vineyard, an established 100-acre vineyard in Sussex’s High Weald.
- Acting for Dutch-owned aggregates business, Agar Dry Mortar, on its acquisition of the J Clubb group of companies – leading suppliers of concrete, aggregates, and other construction materials to customers across the South East.
- Advising on the sale of Leicester-based Eurokey Recycling Group, a UK and internationally accredited recycling company, to the private equity backed buyer, Reconomy Group.
- Advising on the management buyout of Falcon Tower Crane Services Limited and Tower Crane Asset Management Holding Limited from the founding shareholders.
Andy Harris, Corporate partner at Howes Percival, commented,
“Despite the unusual circumstances, we’ve had an extremely strong start to 2021, I think partly fuelled by the speculation over possible changes to CGT rates, but also because there is significant appetite to acquire good businesses with strong customer bases in the more Covid-resilient sectors. Deal values seem to be holding up, with many existing business owners looking to secure an exit, and extract value from their life’s work, and it helps that the debt market now includes a wider range of potential funders in addition to the traditional larger banks.”
Andy Harris continued,
“The high number of transactions completed in the first quarter of this year is testament to the dedication of our people and demonstrates a significant return on the investment we have made in the firm, both in terms of personnel as well as quickly adapting our ways of working in response to the pandemic, so that we didn’t miss a beat with our clients. We keep our business under constant review to build on our strengths and develop our services in line with our clients’ demands.
“The quality of our people, their depth of knowledge and expertise, and the range of resources we offer clients are a match for bigger city, and London firms – but without the price tag. The feedback from clients shows that this proposition is working well for us. It gives clients the reassurance to keep coming back and to recommend us to others.”