Professionals: Law firm completes £30m in corporate deals; takeover at healthtech firm; and more

SHEFFIELD-headquartered Wake Smith Solicitors has completed £30m of corporate deals in the second quarter of 2016.

The deals include acting for the shareholders in the sale of Goldthorpe-based Granville Oil and Chemicals to Tide Water Oil Co (India), acting for the shareholders in the sale of Frogson Waste Management to Hampshire-based CSG Group and the management buy in of a niche law practice.

The company highlighted seven other transactions which completed in the same period, bringing the total deal value to £30m and incorporating a mix of purchases, sales and reorganisations from a wide variety of sectors ranging from Aggregates to IT Systems.

John Baddeley, director at Wake Smith, said: “We have completed a very successful run of high profile cases over the second quarter of this year and it is testament to the diligence of our corporate team that we have been able to step up and handle increasingly complex deals.

“Aside from the most notable cases, there have also been several refinancing of property portfolios involving both the corporate and property teams with a combined value of ten million pounds of funding. These property portfolios cover a mix of commercial properties, residential developments and student properties.
“This has been a very rewarding period for us and the firm has several deals still in the pipeline which we expect to complete over the next few months.”


HEALTHTECH business Open Objects Software has been acquired by Idox plc.

The £5.2m deal will see the Cambridge-based business acquired by listed firm Idox, which is valued at £229m.

Idox is aiming for the £100m turnover mark, and its acquisition of 

A team from specialist corporate finance firm Dow Schofield Watts, comprising Roger Esler and Paul Herriott, advised the vendors of Open Objects with legal advice being provided by Matt Ainsworth and Michael Hall from the Sheffield office of Irwin Mitchell.

Roger Esler of DSW commented, “Open Objects is a true specialist in this niche market and we are delighted to have advised on this sale to a strategic acquirer that will provide scale and connectivity benefits to the business. We wish the founders and owners well as a new part of the Idox group.”


AG Integrate, the contract lawyer arm of Addleshaw Goddard is expanding into the Yorkshire legal market with a drive to add more freelance lawyers to its growing talent pool.

Greg Bott, head of AG Integrate, said: “Our longstanding commitment to Yorkshire has given us a different perspective. Traditionally demand has always been seen in the south east, but with large corporates, banks and leading PLC’s continuing to be based outside of London, we are seeing an increase from clients in these regions wanting more flexible legal resource for discrete projects or to deliver additional expertise for a defined period of time.”

Chris Aujard, General Counsel, consumer services at the Co-Op, added: “It’s a perfect match between clients’ needs and lawyers’ changing approach to work. We want the flexibility to add skills to our team as and when they’re needed and AG integrate has a pool of experienced lawyers who are looking to work in a different way.  They provide us with professionals who fit-in easily and add value quickly.”

With plans to grow its talent pool to over 100 by the end of 2016, AG Integrate is looking for lawyers who want to work on a contract basis, either from client’s premises, at home or at AG’s offices.

Launched in September 2015, AG Integrate, has already exceeded its first year targets.

Mr Bott added: “We believe contract lawyering is the future and we can only see it accelerating as this way of working becomes more established across the UK.”

Graham Moore KacthrLAW firm data specialist Exen Legal Solutions has launched a new generation of its management software and rebranded the business to Katchr.

The rebranded Katchr, which is based in Huddersfield, helps law firms across the UK to profit from their data by providing management teams with instant access to critical information from across the business.

Founder Graham Moore is continuing to develop his offer to help even more law firms and is rebranding both the business and software, which was previously known as Smarteye, as he launches a new generation of the product.

He says the new generation of Katchr offers new benefits and features, has a new look and feel, has more functionality and is now also mobile enabled to allow management teams to access information on the go.

Mr Moore said: “The benefits of our software are proven. We make use of ‘living data’ to help law firms make accurate, informed and profitable decisions.

“Previously, a finance director or accountant would spend a week or more compiling and analysing management information. Katchr allows you to do that with a click of a button and then spend that time actually interpreting and understanding what it means.

“We are transforming the way law firms work and operate and it is making performance monitoring and data driven intelligence as essential as invoicing.”