Law firm swoops in 51% equity deal for City of London operation

From left; David Jones, John Abbott, David Marlor (Glaisyers)
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Manchester-based Glaisyers Solicitors has acquired the Top 200 law firm Laytons, for an undisclosed sum.

The deal has doubled the footprint of Glaisyers’ corporate parent, the international professional services group ETL Global, in the UK legal sector.

Under the terms of the deal, national firm Glaisyers has taken a 51% stake in City of London-based Laytons. The remaining 49% has been retained by Laytons’ existing equity partners.

Laytons, a 30-partner firm, employs 66 people. Glaisyers, which was established in Manchester in 1974 and has grown rapidly since being acquired in a management buyin backed by ETL Global in 2018, employs 68 people.

Laytons has, itself, grown by acquisition in recent years, merging with Silverman Sherliker in 2017 and Lattey & Dawe in 2019.

Following the deal, Laytons has become part of the ETL Global network of professional services firms, which employs 17,000 people in more than 50 countries. In the UK ETL Global, which has its British headquarters in Bolton, is particularly active in the accountancy sector, with Glaisyers, and now Laytons, leading its expansion into the country’s legal services market.

Both firms will be rebranding as Glaisyers | ETL Global and Laytons | ETL Global, respectively. Laytons remains operationally independent and will continue to be led by managing partner John Abbott.

David Jones, executive partner at Glaisyers, said: “I am thrilled to have completed this deal, and to welcome Laytons to the ETL family. John Abbott continues to do a superb job as managing partner and I look forward to working together as we help each other to grow our respective businesses over the years to come.

“Our firms have complementary strengths and client bases, and Laytons has a very strong, well established international practice which puts it in a fantastic position to thrive as part of the ETL Global network.”

Following the deal Glaisyers will provide business development support to Laytons, which will also benefit from ongoing financial investment into the firm, with the backing of ETL. In particular, there are plans already drawn up to make a major investment in the London firm’s technology infrastructure.

John Abbott, managing partner at Laytons, said: “I couldn’t be happier to have completed this deal, and to be embarking on a new chapter in Laytons’ history. It’s a real win/win for all involved and I anticipate a bright future for our staff, partners and clients as we move ahead.”

He added: “Becoming part of a global network is going to open up huge opportunities for us in the years ahead. I look forward to working with Glaisyers, and our ETL partner firms in the UK and around the world, to make the most of those opportunities and achieve new levels of success.”

Glaisyers’ and Laytons’ own corporate departments handled the legal aspects of the transaction. Corporate finance advice on the deal was provided by ETL Global UK.

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