ZebraLC advises in Jackson Canter acquisition of Wirral firm Lees

ZebraLC’s Projects team advised Liverpool-headquartered law firm Jackson Canter in its largest acquisition to date with the purchase of Lees Solicitors. The deal brings its headcount to more than 280.

“This is another high profile M&A due diligence project for ZebraLC. The team have unrivalled experience in technical and WIP DD in the legal sector with personal injury and clinical negligence being a specialist area of expertise. The deal completes on the back of Zebra’s recent Corporate Livewire Award acknowledging our unique expertise within the legal sector,” Zoe Holland, Managing Director, ZebraLC.

Andrew Holroyd, executive chairman at the Jackson Canter Group, said “” We instructed ZebraLC to carry out the technical and WIP due diligence in the acquisition of Lees.  The project gave us an invaluable insight to the Firm.  Zoe and her team work in a discreet manner and follow a strict confidentiality protocol which is imperative in law firm acquisition. I recommend them highly”

“This is a momentous time for the firm – and there’s no doubt Lees was a natural choice to support our continued growth. The acquisition of Lees will enhance our network and ability to service even more individuals and businesses throughout the North West and beyond.

“The significant alignment and breadth of our services, together with a shared customer-centric culture, will enable us to ensure the highest levels of quality continue during this exciting period of expansion across the region.”

Jackson Canter offers services for individuals and businesses across areas including immigration, actions against the police, employment and family law with offices in Liverpool (two) and Manchester.

Broudie Jackson Canter, one of the Jackson Canter Group’s subsidiaries, also acted on behalf of 20 of the families involved in the Hillsborough disaster, which saw the country’s longest ever jury proceedings come to a close with the inquest verdict last month.

Joanna Kingston-Davies, chief operating officer of the Jackson Canter Group and former chief executive of Lees, said: “Lees Solicitors has been serving the community for 127 years and we’re delighted to be starting this new chapter in our history with such a well-regarded and ambitious business.

“The Jackson Canter Group is a forward-thinking firm with an excellent reputation among individuals, businesses and the legal sector alike.”

The deal was structured by NatWest’s professional services and corporate finance teams, led by structured finance specialist James Burgess.

He said: “We are delighted to support Jackson Canter on its latest business development, which complements the services already available to its wide client base.

“We look forward to supporting the enlarged business in achieving its growth plans.”

The deal follows the Jackson Canter Group’s acquisition of boutique firm Cope & Co in 2015.

Peter Taaffe of BW MacFarlane and Mark O’Connor and John Spofforth of O’Connors provided corporate finance and legal services to the Jackson Canter Group, while James Wild of RSM and Tony Harper ofBrabners provided corporate finance and legal services to the partners of Lees Solicitors.

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