LAW firm Ward Hadaway has advised on more than £1bn worth of deals for its clients over the past year.
Corporate finance lawyers at the firm, which has offices in the North-east as well as Leeds and Manchester, advised on more than 100 transactions during the course of 2011, with a combined value in excess of £1bn.
The 18-strong specialist team at Ward Hadaway racked up a total of 114 transactions during the year to enjoy one of its busiest periods in recent times.
The high level of activity has continued into 2012 with the firm advising on recent deals this year for manufacturer Tanfield Group and the massive business software group Sage.
Martin Hulls, partner and head of corporate finance at Ward Hadaway, said: “This is an exceptional performance from everyone in the team, particularly when you take into account the challenging nature of the economy at the moment.
“To have advised on over £1bn worth of transactions during 2011 is a real achievement and a testament to the experience, expertise and abilities of the team.
“However, such an achievement has only been possible because of the continued endeavour and enterprise of our clients.
“While it is naturally very pleasing for us as lawyers to have been involved in so many deals, it is even more rewarding to consider how such transactions can help to transform businesses and boost the wider economy.”
Ward Hadaway’s work over the course of 2011 embraced a number of different areas, helped by the diverse make-up of the corporate finance team itself.
Members of the team have specialist expertise across a wide range of different areas including banking and finance; mergers, acquisitions and disposals; venture capital and private equity transactions; capital markets; tax, and international deals.
Highlights during the year included the firm advising fast-growing Newcastle-based pharmaceutical company Aesica on two important deals during the course of the year: the purchase of three European manufacturing sites from Belgium pharmaceutical group UCB in February 2011 and a major investment in the business by European private equity firm Silverfleet Capital in October 2011.
Ward Hadaway also advised the trustees of the employee partnership trust of energy services company Eaga plc on all aspects of the company’s takeover by Carillion plc, which involved takeover code advice, financial services advice, trust advice and court applications.
The firm continued to play a major part in venture capital investments in the North-east involving the £125m Finance for Business North East Fund.
Members of Ward Hadaway’s corporate finance team advised on over 30 investments from the fund during the course of 2011, working at various times for companies receiving funds and for the individual fund managers investing in businesses.
The specialist banking and finance unit within the firm’s corporate finance team enjoyed a busy year, advising on several multi-million pound funding and refinancing transactions.