Ruth Mitchell

Record deals year for Tyneside law firm

Newcastle-based law firm Ward Hadaway notched up a record year in 2007 after advising on almost £850m worth of corporate deals. The firm saw a 74% rise in the total value of deals it worked on, racking up £843m worth of transactions last year compared with £484m in 2006.

The figures mean that Ward Hadaway’s corporate team has more than doubled its deals value total in the space of two years, rising from £320m in 2005. The teams also hit the century mark for the total number of deals done with 100 completed in 2007, a rise of 25% on 2006.

The firm cites among its highlights working on a £115m share placing and simultaneous £50m acquisition for Washington-based engineering company the Tanfield Group, as well as two acquisitions for software giant Sage – the £20m purchase of KCS Global Holdings Limited and the £18m acquisition of Snowdrop Systems Ltd.

The firm also chalked up several notable client wins in the venture capital sector, including acting for London-based Bridges Community Ventures, a fund management company which specialises in investments in disadvantaged areas that have a positive social impact.

Martin Hulls, head of corporate finance at Ward Hadaway, said: “We are delighted to have once again broken our deal-making record – and by such a margin. It is a reflection both of the continuing strength of the North East economy and the hard work and expertise demonstrated by the Ward Hadaway team.

“What was particularly pleasing about last year’s excellent performance was the sheer breadth of deals the firm worked on, from smaller scale investments and management buy-outs to complex, high-value acquisitions and disposals. “Despite the current economic situation we are looking forward to another successful year in 2008.”

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