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Your growth ambitions, realised

Building a successful business takes your skill. Realising its value takes ours, explains Ward Hadaway’s Head of Corporate, Robert Thompson

Ward Hadaway’s Corporate team

Three times a year within Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester – Ward Hadaway researches the local SME businesses of that area to publish each region’s Fastest 50 growing companies.

As I meet with their management, it is inspiring to hear the stories of how they have achieved such success – their exporting glories, new product developments, agile business plans, new recruitment wins, or transformational sales strategies.

But at some point – or even at many points – in an entrepreneur’s journey, there needs to be a focus on realising value. Business owners invest significant amounts of their own capital, live with the pressure of having their employees’ livelihoods dependent on the fortunes of the business and take great personal risks should the upside turn to a downside.

So it is vital when it comes to crystallising these investments of cash, blood, sweat and tears that they are able to maximise the value accrued.

But where to start? How do you go about finding a buyer? What value might your business be worth? When is the right time? How do you protect confidentiality? Who makes up the required advisory team? What difference can a good corporate lawyer make to the success of your transaction?

And what does “the best” look like when it comes to your corporate lawyers? Is it experience, expertise, resource, enthusiasm? Or just a friendly face? The truth is a blend of all of the above.

Operating out of our Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester offices, Ward Hadaway’s 30+ strong corporate team has 13 specialist partners working with their dedicated legal teams that focus on the deals market across the SME sector.

The strength in depth we offer means we can draw together the right team for your particular transaction, whatever it might be. This obviously covers mergers, exits and acquisitions, but can also include flotations, public company work, raising venture capital and taking on private equity, as well as raising debt or completing a refinancing and undertaking large multi-jurisdictional deals.

We recognise the importance to continually grow and strengthen that team through the recruitment of high-calibre lawyers who share the vision and client culture that the firm has become renowned for. As the firm and team have grown over the years, we have seen other large regional firms move their focus away from the SME deals market to the large corporates, which has created a vacuum for quality advice in the SME sector.

We address that by continuing to focus firmly on this sector, an area with which, as an entrepreneurial business ourselves, we are very familiar.

During the first half of 2018, according to information services giant Experian MarketIQ, the firm was noted as amongst the most active deals advisers in the North East, with the largest value of deals conducted by a law firm from the region. Despite confidentiality precluding a number of deals being included, the third quarter promises to be even stronger.

We constantly and consistently close deals across a broad range of sectors and deal types. We are sought out because we offer City of London quality and service, but at regional rates, adding real value and expertise at a competitive cost.

We are client-focused, pragmatic and user-friendly. Exiting a business can be an extremely stressful experience, not least because of the often pivotal consequences of such matters, but we look to deliver these transactions seamlessly and as stress-free as possible.

The feedback we receive is consistent and reassuring, as we are regularly commended on exceeding the expectations of our clients, often all having some fun on the way! We are collegiate and collaborative, but with a desire to succeed on your behalf. We are also very proud of our reputation of being great people to work with as well as great lawyers.

Through our membership of the Geneva Group International (GGI), one of the leading professional networks in the world, we can open the door to high quality advice on local laws, business advice and market strategies anywhere in the world, enabling our clients to use us as a one-stop shop for all their international matters too.

Those in the Fastest 50 prove it time and again – successful businesses make smart choices. Your selection of legal partner is instrumental to protecting and maximising the payback from your investment in your own business.

Choose carefully.

Robert Thompson is Head of Corporate at Ward Hadaway. He can be contacted on 0191 204 4218 or robert.thompson@wardhadaway.com

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