When it came to impressing the judges at the Northamptonshire Business Excellence Awards 2021, it was the attitude of Howes Percival to people – its own, its clients and its professional associates – that stood out.
A year of significant work across the region, totalling some £477m worth of corporate deals by the end of the first three quarters of 2021, as well as appointments that added strength and depth to the team, certainly stood Howes Percival in good stead to win the Professional Services Award.
But according to the judges’ comments, the stand-out features were ‘the breadth of professional services that went above and beyond the expectations of their clients throughout the pandemic. The winner has a deep heritage within the county and impressed the judges with the support they offer both their employees and clients in Northamptonshire.’
“There’s a lot of hard work goes into what we do and we’ve tried to create a culture where everybody can thrive and really enjoy what they do. We have an excellence of standards and that’s what we have been driving for, and that’s what we have achieved, so this is a great recognition of that.
“The awards have been a great event, it’s been nice to see the great and good coming out in Northamptonshire and celebrating some fantastic businesses in the local area.”
Howes Percival has a history in Northamptonshire that dates back to 1790, and the modern commercial law firm of Howes Percival has offices in Milton Keynes, Norwich, Leicester, Manchester and Cambridge.
An independent client service review identified Howes Percival’s people, their legal expertise and strong client relationships as the main drivers for clients wishing to work with and retain Howes Percival as their legal advisers.
Graham Irons added:
“Our strong client relationships and engagement in the local business community combined with significant investment in our staff, premises and technology have enabled us to thrive in recent years.
“Thanks to early investment in video conferencing and Zoom well before the pandemic hit, we were well placed to respond quickly when the first lockdown was announced. Through our use of Zoom we were also able to quickly roll out numerous interactive webinars to inform and update employers across Northamptonshire (and the UK) on the furlough scheme and flexible furlough as well as the health and safety issues for COVID-secure workplaces. Several hundred businesses benefited from these free events during a time of great uncertainty.”
In addition to the win at the Northamptonshire Business Excellence Awards, Howes Percival was also named in the ‘Best Companies to Work For’ list in 2021. The list celebrates excellence in workplace engagement and is widely acknowledged as the most searching and extensive research into employee engagement carried out in the UK.
Lists are compiled based on employee opinions on how the company supports wellbeing in the workplace, gives something back to society, shows strong leadership and teamwork, provides opportunities for personal growth and offers fair pay and benefits. Only the organisations with the highest level of overall employee engagement qualify for the ‘Best Companies to Work For’ list.
The prestigious list confirmed Howes Percival in 72nd position in the UK’s 100 Best Large Companies to Work For category and fifth position in the Top 20 Best Law Firms to Work for 2021 list. This is the second time Howes Percival has been featured.
Major deals during 2021 saw the team successfully advise on the sale of Randall Parker Foods to Pilgrim’s UK, the sale of Corby-based Technical Foam Services to Vita Group, and the sale of Northamptonshire-based Signature Ribbon to Cole Fabrics.
Howes Percival also played a key role in the acquisition of leading plastic manufacturer, Arnold Engineering Plastics by Carbon Component Solutions – a leading composite component manufacturer situated in Silverstone.
“We’re emerging from an enforced period of hiatus. Businesses that have been resilient to COVID – in the sense that they may have taken a dip but can demonstrate that demand will return – are still commanding decent prices. Sophisticated purchasers have been able to see beyond the pandemic. So long as the target business isn’t in a sector that has suffered more than most, for example the hospitality sector, companies that were previously robust have often remained so.”