Mace & Jones changed hands for £153,000

X The Business Desk

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LIVERPOOL law firm Weightmans acquired Mace & Jones for just £153,000 but took on debts of £5.5m.

The figures are detailed in Weightmans’ newly-filed accounts for the year to April 30.

Mace & Jones, based in Liverpool, Manchester and Knutsford, had assets of £4.9m at the time of the 2011 acquisition, but its creditors included its bank which it owed £2.4m.

After adding together the various assets and liabilities the business was valued at £153,000 which Weightmans says it settled in legal fees.

The deal, together with the acquisition on London and Dartford-based Vizards Wyeth, helped Weightmans to achieve a 24% jump in pre-tax profits during the year.

Turnover rose 34% from £57.8m to £77.4m, while profits – before tax and member payments – were up 24% to £21.3m.

Some £20.6m was available for distribution to the firm’s 146 equity members, with the highest paid receiving £329,000.

The practice has 508 fee earners and 425 support staff. This is up from 449 and 371 last year. It has bank debt of around £10m and now has offices in Knutsford, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, London, Leicester and Dartford.