Corporate high-flyer joins Ward Hadaway | 16 January 08

AN EXPERIENCED corporate finance lawyer with an impressive deal-making record has joined leading North law firm Ward Hadaway.

Mike Spetch

Mike Spetch (pictured)  joins the Newcastle-based firm as a partner in the corporate finance team after a decade at Eversheds in Newcastle.

The 44-year-old has more than 16 years’ experience in the North-East marketplace.

He was a partner at Wilkinson Maughan in Newcastle before the firm was taken over by Eversheds in 1997.

Mike then spent ten years as a partner in Eversheds’ Newcastle corporate team, working on a range of deals in sectors including pharmaceutical, engineering, leisure and retail.

Last year, he advised Cramlington-based pharmaceutical company Aesica Pharmaceuticals on its acquisition of a production plant in Kent, a deal which saw it more than double its workforce to 700.

Mike’s other deals in 2007 include acquisitions, disposals, corporate reorganisations and private equity funding for regional, national and international clients.

In his role as client partner for NEL Fund Managers Ltd, Mike oversaw the legal aspects of most of the equity investments made by NEL in the North-East over the last few years.

He is described in independent legal directory Chambers & Partners as “commercially driven and practical; a sensible lawyer who knows his stuff”.

Mike, who lives in Durham, said: “I am really pleased to be joining Ward Hadaway at a very exciting time for the firm.

“It has an excellent reputation, particularly in corporate finance circles, and I hope to be able to contribute to the firm’s continuing success.”

Martin Hulls, head of corporate finance at Ward Hadaway, said: “It is great news to have Mike on board.

“He is well known and highly rated in the North-East corporate sector and his experience and enthusiasm make him a terrific addition to the team.”

Ward Hadaway’s corporate finance team has seen demand for its services soar over the past year as the firm advised on some of the largest deals in the North-East during 2007.

Highlights included engineering plc Tanfield Group’s £115m AIM placing and simultaneous acquisition of US platform maker Snorkel, the sale of the Henderson Pharmacy chain to Alliance Boots and £38m worth of acquisitions for software giant Sage.