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04/02/2016

New offices, a re-branding, high profile deals and significant new hires – year in review

The last 12 months have been an exciting time for Howes Percival with a new office opening in Cambridge and a re-launch in Milton Keynes, together with some significant new hires. We also refreshed our brand with a stunning new look.

The last 12 months have seen us take significant strides forward in implementing our strategy and in particular in creating an arc of offices across the country. Serving clients nationwide - ranging from Government departments to family businesses - Howes Percival now has six offices across the heartland of England from Manchester to Norwich.

Cambridge

Howes Percival entered the Cambridge legal services market for the first time last January. The new office, led by Jonathan Greenhalgh is focused on property and corporate work. Corporate partner, Adam Kudryl joined the Cambridge team in August. In November the Cambridge team expanded further with the acquisition of Taylor Vinters’ regional real estate business when four partners, five associates and solicitors and four other members of staff joined us.

Milton Keynes

In February, we opened our new office in Milton Keynes which enabled us to expand both our team and range of services. Building on our existing 30-year presence in the city, the new office specifically targets corporate and commercial, IP/IT, employment law, commercial property, property litigation and high net worth family and private client work. The MK office was further strengthened in October with the appointment of the highly respected intellectual property and media litigation partner, James Howarth.

Norwich

April saw the start of building work on our new Norwich office premises. A brand new 16,000 sq ft development in the city’s historic Cathedral Close district, it is the largest new office development in Norwich city centre for over five years. The office is due to be finished in March 2016.

New Partner Promotions

In May, we announced four partner promotions across the firm’s Norwich (Joanna Nicholls and Amy Walpole), Milton Keynes (Daniel Banton) and Leicester (Stuart Burns) offices, and the recruitment of Paul Wootton in Norwich as head of planning.

Legal 500 Success

September saw the publication of the Legal 500 – the authoritative guide to the UK’s leading law firms – in which we cemented our position as a leading law firm in the regions in which we operate. In addition to maintaining ‘regional heavyweight’ status we were awarded top tier rankings in 12 different specialisms, including three new practice areas (dispute resolution – debt recovery; human resources – health and safety; private client – agriculture and estates). Eighteen different Howes Percival practice areas were recommended in the guide including Corporate and Commercial, Banking and Finance, Education, Commercial Property, Construction, Family, Charities, Contentious trusts and probate, Personal Injury and IT and Telecoms.

Thirteen Howes Percival lawyers are recognised by the legal directory as elite ‘leading individuals’ and 40 Howes Percival experts are recommended this year. September also saw us refresh our branding and logo.

Deal Highlights

2015 has seen some significant transactional work for Howes Percival. The firm acted from its Northampton office on the sales of Hawes Signs, QMP and Jellyfish and for Gilt Edged and Chamberlain Plastics on acquisitions. It also carried out a significant and complicated restructure of the British Racing Drivers Club and for our client Paragon Automotive, negotiated a long term contract for them to provide dedicated vehicle storage and inspection and refurbishment services to car manufacturer Kia at a new bespoke vehicle support facility based in Humberside.

The firm also advised in Norwich renewables specialist GEV Group on a deal to secure a £5.4m investment from Maven Capital Partners and, in Leicester Martin Nevin on the acquisition of the greetings card company, Emotional Rescue Limited, from its founder Tony Spooner, two back to back deals for BPW Limited on its acquisition of FP&S Parts and Services Limited and EMS (Truck and Trailer Parts) Limited, and four acquisitions for private equity fund Foundation Investment Partners LP.

Howes Percival’s association with the iconic Tower of London Poppies continued with Leicester partner Chris Rees overseeing the sale of the Wave and Weeping Window installations to the Imperial War Museum for the 14-18 Now tour. Howes Percival has also been involved in advising on significant lending transactions for client banks Lloyds, Natwest, Handelsbanken and Santander.

And for 2016...

Looking forward into 2016, the pace of growth will not let up. This year will see our Norwich and Northampton offices relocated to state-of-the-art premises, providing staff and clients with a fantastic environment to do business.