Harrowells expands corporate team on back of growing deals success

Deals with a total value of more than £50m have been advised by the corporate and commercial team at North and East Yorkshire law firm, Harrowells, in the last 12 months.

More than 20 deals for clients throughout the north of the UK, including a third with an individual value of more than £5m, have been completed by the team led by partner, Susie Mortonson.

The transactions, which represent a significant expansion in the firm’s corporate finance transactional work, have included disposals, acquisitions, management buy-outs and re-financings. Deals have been conducted across a wide range of commercial sectors including packaging, hospitality, retail, technology and property.

Among recent transactions advised on by the team are the £15m disposal of a market leading packaging firm; a £12m disposal of shares in a family-run wholesale business and assisting a plumbing and electrical client with its growth plan through the acquisition of competitive businesses around the region.

The team is also currently involved in advising several business-owners on establishing Employee Ownership Trusts, which is becoming a more popular exit route for owner-managers rather than the traditional disposal to a third party.

After a continuing expansion in its corporate and commercial work, Harrowells has appointed Rebecca Gerrard to its corporate and commercial team. She joins from the Huddersfield office of a West Yorkshire based law firm, where she completed her training contract and qualified in 2020.

She specializes in mergers and acquisitions, legal restructuring of businesses and general commercial work, including contracts and terms of business.

Rebecca Gerrard says: “Harrowells has a strong reputation in North and East Yorkshire and I am excited to progress my legal career and contribute to the continuing success of the firm.“

Susie Mortonson says: “As well as the pleasing level of deal activity, the last 12 months has also seen us being instructed on a number of reorganisations for clients looking to streamline their business and maximise opportunities presented by Covid-19, including through complex group restructures and asset reorganisations.

“We have not seen a detrimental impact on corporate activity during the past 12 months and most clients have taken advantage of any opportunities to either consolidate or expand their businesses. The lasting effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, together with Brexit uncertainty, and an anticipation of future tax rate changes have all contributed to many clients’ decisions to buy, sell and/or restructure businesses.

“Pleasingly we are seeing this level of activity continue into the latter half of the year and, thankfully, there is always a need for quality corporate advice no matter what the economic landscape, so our adaptability to advise different businesses in all circumstances continues to pay off. Due to this sustained level of activity we are delighted to welcome Rebecca Gerrard as a valuable addition to our team.”

Harrowells Solicitors offers a wide range of legal services to commercial, farming and private clients. The firm has three offices in York and other district offices in Easingwold, Malton, Pocklington and Thirsk.

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