Knights buys Spearing Waite in £8.5m deal

David Beech

Listed law firm Knights, which has an office in Derby, has bought Leicester-based Spearing Waite in deal worth up to £8.5m.

For the year ending 31 March 2018 Spearing Waite turned over £7.1m. Knights says the deal will see the company move to eight regional offices and 450 fee earners, increasing its presence in the East Midlands alongside its existing Derby office.

The Spearing Waite name will disappear from 1 January 2019 a the company is rebranded to Knights.

Knights has acquired the equity membership interests of Spearing Waite for consideration comprising £5.25m in cash and 97,208 new shares in Knights, plus deferred consideration of £800,000 in cash (£300,000 payable on 1 October 2019, £250,000 payable on 1 October 2020 and £250,000 payable on 1 October 2021 subject to the Sellers remaining in employment with a member of the Knights group). Knights will also discharge a maximum of £2m of debt in Spearing Waite on completion, and grant restricted stock awards equivalent to a maximum value of £265,000, resulting in the maximum amount payable not exceeding £8.5.m

David Beech, chief executive at Knights, said: “We are delighted to be acquiring Spearing Waite, a firm which is culturally aligned with Knights and one we have known for some time. They have created a strong reputation in Leicester, as evidenced by their fantastic client portfolio, and I have no doubt that they will be a great addition to our business.”

Tom Bower, senior partner, Spearing Waite, added: “We have grown Spearing Waite to be the best firm in Leicester through brilliant people acting for quality clients. To continue our growth strategy we have decided to join Knights, a larger business and perfect cultural fit. Knights has the ambition and the financial clout to enable the combined force to continue to thrive in Leicester. We can’t wait to get cracking with our ambitious growth plans.”

Click here for a comprehensive list of West Midlands deals >