Darryl Cooke
Richard Bell

Former JJB Sports boss among law firm’s new private equity taskforce

Challenger law firm gunnercooke has announced the launch of a new private equity offering.

The Manchester-headquartered company established Operating Partners, a team of business leaders who will work with private equity firms and their portfolio companies, as well as directly with ambitious SMEs, to improve their performance and help them scale up.

The Operating Partners taskforce, working alongside gunnercookeConsulting and the law firm’s existing private equity practice, will include:

  • Tom Knight, former CEO of retailer JJB Sports
  • Chris Dee, former CEO of family-owned supermarket chain Booths
  • Cy Green, chairman and co-founder of strategic advisory firm Stanford Maritime

The team’s support will cover all stages of the investment cycle, from strategic and operational planning and the implementation of best practice, to due diligence, transaction and post-acquisition integration.

Their sole aim, gunnercooke said, is to leave a company more valuable than when they found it.

The firm’s co-founder, Darryl Cooke (pictured above), said: “Since its inception, gunnercooke has sought to modernise the law industry to keep up with the rapidly changing business environment around us.

“Through Operating Partners, we are striving to deliver the same advances within private equity that we have achieved across the other sectors in which we specialise.

He continued: “Experience is the teacher of all things, and for this reason we have gathered a group of partners with such a depth of knowledge and understanding to create Operating Partners.

“These partners will successfully work with their clients to improve performance, increase momentum, increase value and ensure success.”

Tom Knight commented: “I am delighted to be one of the founding members of gunnercooke’s Operating Partners.

“Having been chief executive within some of Britain’s largest listed companies, I’ve learnt invaluable strategic lessons that are of huge benefit to growing businesses.”

He added: “I look forward to partnering with our clients and supporting them to make tough decisions and pragmatic choices about what’s best for their businesses.”

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