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Macdonald Henderson Advises Law At Work on Acquisition of Empire - 12th April 2018 - Click for larger version Macdonald Henderson Advises Law At Work on Acquisition of Empire - 12th April 2018

Macdonald Henderson has advised Law At Work (LAW), in its acquisition of Aberdeen-based HR and employment law firm, Empire in a deal which creates Scotland’s leading consultancy in employment law, HR, health and safety.

The combined firm brings Empire’s market-leading position in the north east together with LAW’s strong Central Belt client presence to become Scotland’s largest consultancy, within the top five in the UK.

This transaction, which follows LAW’s acquisition of Square Circle HR in 2016 (on which Macdonald Henderson also advised), will see the new firm boast close to 1,000 clients UK-wide, with a projected combined turnover of £5.5 million.

Empire and LAW have been pioneers in bringing fixed fee services to businesses facing legal and regulatory challenges for more than a decade.

Clients of the newly combined firm will benefit from added knowledge and experience in existing sectors coupled with expertise in new areas.

The new firm will have 70 staff across offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness providing nationwide coverage.

The new firm has plans to grow the business in both the north east and central belt regions.
Under the deal, Empire founder and chief executive officer Steve Cook, and current managing director PJ Chalmers, remain with the business, joining the LAW board as directors and shareholders in LAW.

Magnus Swanson from LAW, chairman of the new group, added: “It is a great opportunity for us to provide the best support for UK businesses to meet the rising challenges of legal compliance while having the certainty and transparency of fixed fees. From GDPR to tribunals and health & safety compliance, pressure on busy employers has never been greater.”

“The combination of the two businesses will enable both LAW and Empire clients to access new enhanced services. Businesses want advisors they can trust and this deal brings together two trusted advisers in their distinct markets to form the strongest consultancy in our field in Scotland".

LAW said this follows record success in the first half of its financial year with revenues up 30% on the same period last year.

The debt funding for this deal was provided by HSBC. The advisers on the deal were David Beveridge of Macdonald Henderson and Neil Grimmond of Craig Corporate on behalf of LAW and David Rennie of Stronachs and Tom Faichnie of Hall Morrice on behalf of Empire.

About Macdonald Henderson’s role in the transaction, Magnus Swanson commented:

“David, Fraser Morrison and the rest of the team at MH provided the customary commercial, timely advice we required to complete this transaction while maintaining cordial terms with the vendors, two of whom were joining our board and becoming shareholders. This was a nice balance to strike and they did it very well.”

Last updated: 9.40am, Friday 13th April 2018

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