2024 West Midlands Rainmaker Awards winners revealed

Paul Franks, managing partner of Beech Tree PE was named Rainmaker of the Year, as the West Midlands corporate finance finest were recognised at a packed awards evening.

Around 300 people joined us at a summer party at the Macdonald Burlington, Birmingham, to celebrate the best deals and teams from the past 12 months, as voted for by the corporate finance community themselves in a one-firm, one-vote system.

Finance professionals from 30 firms gathered at Squire Patton Boggs’ office in Birmingham, to select the shortlist from the individuals and teams responsible for arranging more than 500 deals, mergers and acquisitions over the 12 months to the end of March.

West Midlands Rainmakers 2024 is sponsored by Gateley Legal, MHA and Rhino Interiors and is supporting Kids Village as its charity partner. Voting to choose the finalists is now open on a one-firm, one-vote basis.

2024 Shortlist & Winners


Regional Legal Team:

Winner: Higgs LLP
Harrison Clark Rickerbys
Lodders Solicitors
Mills & Reeve
The Wilkes Partnership
Wright Hassall

National Legal Team:

Winner: Freeths
Browne Jacobson
Eversheds Sutherland
Gateley Legal
Squire Patton Boggs

Regional Corporate Finance Advisory Team:

Winner: Clairfield
Cooper Parry Corporate Finance
Evolve Corporate Finance
Heligan Group
Springboard Corporate Finance

National Corporate Finance Advisory Team:

Winner: Clearwater

VC/Private Equity Team:

Winner: Beech Tree PE
NorthEdge Capital
Palatine Private Equity
YFM Private Equity

Debt Funder Team:

Winner: Shawbrook
Virgin Money

Asset-based Lending Team:

Winner: Shawbrook
Close Brothers Group
Leumi UK
PNC Financial Services

Due Diligence Team:

Winner: Cortus Advisory
Grant Thornton

Tax Advisory Team:

Winner: Claritas Tax
Grant Thornton
PKF Smith Cooper


Private Equity Exit Deal of the Year:

Winner: YFM-backed MBO of Antser Group, with BGF completing its exit.
Mills & Reeve, Freeths, Gateley Legal, Shoosmiths, Roythornes, Claritas Tax, Heligan Group, PwC, Cooper Parry Corporate Finance, Springboard Corporate Finance, EY, Crowe, YFM Private Equity

Portakabin acquired Darwin Group, with Kartesia exiting.
Addleshaw Goddard, DLA Piper, Deloitte, KPMG, PwC, Kartesia

Axiom Equity-backed Tracer Management Systems acquired Protean Software from exiting investor Foresight.
Fieldfisher LLP, Shoosmiths, James Cowper Kreston, CIBC

Westbridge backed the secondary MBO of Land Survey Solutions, providing an exit for RJD Partners.
Squire Patton Boggs, Mishcon de Reya LLP, Pinsent Masons, Clearwater, Cooper Parry Corporate Finance, LAVA Advisory Partners

Glory Global Solutions acquired Flooid from exiting investor Inflexion Private Equity.
BDO, Clearwater, Inflexion Private Equity

Palladian Investment Partners backed an MBO of Intelli-Park, with investor Solano Partners exiting.
Pinsent Masons, Osborne Clarke, Cortus Advisory, Solano Partners, Palladian Investment Partners, Vecturis Equity, EY, KPMG, GK Strategy, CiL


International Deal of the Year:

Winner: Knighthead Capital Management took a 46% stake in Birmingham City.
Squire Patton Boggs, Deloitte, Knighthead Capital Management

Franchise Brands acquired Pirtek Europe, for £200m.
Gateley Legal, GORG, PNC Capital Finance

Amco was bought by South African company Super Group for £30m.
Harrison Clark Rickerbys, Higgs LLP, Evolve Corporate Finance, BDO

Endless-backed KTC (Edibles) acquired Dublin-based Trilby Trading.
Arthur Cox, Eversheds Sutherland, KPMG

Hill & Smith acquired United Fiberglass of America for $14m.
Grant Thornton

Tarmac owner CRH sold its European lime operations to SigmaRoc.
Eversheds Sutherland, Hengeler Mueller, White & Case, Fieldfisher, JP Morgan

Small Deal of the Year (up to £10m):

Winner: Forward Glass was acquired by Cornwall Group.
Higgs LLP, Springboard Corporate Finance, Claritas Tax

WHS Plastics acquired Xandor Plastics UK.
Freeths, Burness Paull LLP, Cooper Parry Corporate Finance

Karndean International bought Dutch business mFLOR International.
Mills & Reeve, RSM

Sale of Stalis to FPE Capital-backed Egress Group.
Higgs LLP, Stephenson Harwood, The Wilkes Partnership, Headpoint, Cortus Advisory, FPE Capital, Claritas Tax

Limerston Capital-backed Forensic Access Group acquired Forensic Testing Service.
Clearwater, Gateley Legal

Medium Deal of the year (£10m-£50m):

Winner: Palatine took a significant minority shareholding in the accountancy firm BK Plus.
Eversheds Sutherland, Gateley Legal, Irwin Mitchell, Cortus Advisory, RSM, Clearwater, Palatine Private Equity, Shawbrook

LDC invested in live events specialist Star Live.
Freeths, The Wilkes Partnership, Browne Jacobson, Higgs LLP, KPMG, Clearwater, Regent Assay, LDC, Claritas Tax

SCC acquired a majority stake in Nimble.
Eversheds Sutherland, Squire Patton Boggs, Alantra, Grant Thornton

YFM-backed management buyout of Antser Group, as BGF exited.
Mills & Reeve, Freeths, Gateley Legal, Shoosmiths, Roythornes Solicitors, Claritas Tax, Heligan Group, PwC, Cooper Parry, EY, Crowe, YFM Private Equity

BGF and Natwest invested £21.5m to acquire a minority stake in Metpro.
Ansons, Browne Jacobson, Evolve Corporate Finance, Shoosmiths, Cortus Advisory, BGF, Natwest, Claritas Tax

TeacherActive secured a minority investment from Pricoa Private Capital.

Large Deal of the Year (over £50m):

Winner: Waterland-backed Cooper Parry acquired Haines Watts London.
Clearwater, Squire Patton Boggs

Franchise Brands acquired Pirtek Europe, for £200m, supported by a £92m placing on AIM.
Gateley Legal, GORG, PNC Capital Finance

Healthcare modular buildings specialist Darwin Group was bought by Portakabin.
Addleshaw Goddard, DLA Piper, Deloitte, KPMG, PwC, Kartesia

Tarmac owner CRH sold its European lime operations to SigmaRoc.
Eversheds Sutherland, Hengeler Mueller, White & Case, Fieldfisher, JP Morgan

Car dealership Rybrook Group was acquired by Sytner Group.
Eversheds Sutherland, Hazlewoods

Apiary Capital backed a management buyout at First Intuition.

Individual Awards:

Rising Star of the Year:

Winner: Mo Abbas, Freeths
Charlotte Casserly, Deloitte
Tom Joy, PKF Smith Cooper
Emily Parkes, Higgs LLP
Hayley Simmonds, Mills & Reeve
Kieran Virr, Clearwater

Changemaker of the Year:

Winner: Deepak Parekh, Shawbrook Bank
Ayesha Ali, LDC
Satvir Bungar, BDO
Kelly Henney, PNC
Janai Parker, Gateley Legal
Rick Smyth, The Wilkes Partnership

Rainmaker of the Year:

Winner: Paul Franks, Beech Tree PE
Helen Brocklebank, RSM
Rob Burden, Clearwater
Joe Dyke, Clearwater
Sarah Taylor, Clearwater
Richard Thomas, Palatine Private Equity

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