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Macdonald Henderson has advised the shareholders of Law At Work (LAW) in the sale of the company to Marlowe Group. The employment law, HR and health & safety specialists, has become the newest member of the Marlowe PLC group of companies, in a deal that will enable the Scottish-based firm to offer increased services and secure its ambitious UK expansion plans.

Established in 2001, LAW has grown to become a leading national provider of fixed-fee, all-inclusive employment law, human resources and health and safety services. It now employs 70 staff – more than half of whom are employment lawyers, HR and Health & Safety professionals – across its offices in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Inverness.

The firm’s acquisition by Marlowe, which specialises in the regulatory compliance and safety of commercial premises, will enable LAW to build on its strong presence in Scotland and target growth amongst its expanding client base in London and the South East.

The firm has ambitious plans to grow its share of the £500m UK regulatory consultancies market, which is among the UK’s fastest growing legal services sectors.

LAW has been a pioneer in bringing fixed fee subscription services to businesses facing legal and regulatory challenges for almost 20 years. It will now benefit from enhanced scale and resources that will enable clients to access specialist advisors and utilise Marlowe’s proprietary Meridian* software, which allows organisations to monitor compliance risks across their businesses.

The transaction follows several years of strong growth for LAW which acquired Square Circle HR in 2016 and Empire HR in 2018 (Macdonald Henderson advising on both deals). This year the firm launched its online learning services via to help accelerate growth plans.

The firm’s senior leadership team, which remains unchanged, hopes to create new jobs as it secures growth.

Magnus Swanson, LAW Chairman, said: “The transaction provides us with a great opportunity to provide the best support for UK businesses as they meet the rising challenges of legal compliance. The certainty and transparency of the LAW fixed fee model means that everything from day-to-day staff engagement challenges through to employment tribunals and health and safety compliance is taken care of by us, so relieving pressure and freeing up time for busy employers to get on with running their successful businesses.

“At a practical level, joining the Marlowe plc family of businesses opens the door for LAW clients to access an increased range of expert advisors and latest technologies, in particular the Meridian platform. Businesses want advisors they can trust, and this deal propels the strongest consultancy in our field in Scotland on to a national stage.”

The total enterprise value will comprise an initial cash consideration of £6.3 million and a contingent consideration of approximately £4.0 million over three years dependent on the achievement of profit targets.

The acquisition will be funded from the Group’s existing cash and debt facilities.

LAW’s advisors on the deal were David Beveridge and Colm Kerr of Macdonald Henderson and Neil Grimmond of Craig Corporate. Marlowe PLC’s advisors were David Bowcock and Adam Jones of Fieldfisher.

Last updated: 9.12am, Tuesday 3rd December 2019

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