Caan returns to the legal den as he adds virtual law firm to portfolio

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4 February 2013

George Bisnought with James Caan

Virtual law firm Excello Law has become the second legal practice to join forces with ex-Dragon’s Den star James Caan as part of its bid to become the leading supplier of legal services to the SME sector.

The firm has joined Knights Solicitors in Mr Caan’s Hamilton Bradshaw portfolio of companies but has not yet taken any money from the entrepreneur.

George Bisnought, the founder and managing director of Excello, told Legal Futures that while the firm has not been seeking external investment, the possibility is under discussion.

Excello will shortly submit its application to become an alternative business structure, after which Mr Caan will join the firm's board, he added.

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He said its market research found SMEs fearful of the cost of legal services, and confused by the choice of providers. “This highlighted a need for a national law firm, devoted to SMEs, which can offer clear, efficient and cost effective advice. As a result, we have built Excello Law firm to meet the needs of SMEs head-on.”

Mr Bisnought, formerly global legal director of software company Systems Union, set up Excello in 2009 and it now has 30 partner-level solicitors around the country working from home or clients’ offices, as well as using Excello’s business centres in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Reading.

He said the model would not change as a result of the deal, but would be enhanced, such as by strengthening the board and recruiting for non-legal roles like business development.

Mr Caan, the chairman of Hamilton Bradshaw, said: “I have been building and developing businesses for over 30 years and Excello Law demonstrate quality business values that I look for in all the firms I partner with. The legal services market is evolving and Excello is embracing these changes by providing a simple, cost-effective legal service.

“I believe that SMEs are absolutely key to the UK economy recovery and Excello are setting the standard for other firms in their sector to adapt and stay ahead of their competitors.”

Mr Bisnought said the alliance with Mr Caan will provide new growth opportunities, “enabling Excello Law to fully establish itself as the go-to firm for SME businesses”.

He continued: “This is the start of a new and exciting chapter for Excello Law. Since our launch in 2009, we have been committed to developing a practice with an ethos of entrepreneurship at its heart and a strong focus on the SME sector.

“Through this alliance we can build upon our commitment to businesses on a national and global scale. The wealth of knowledge and expertise available to us as part of James Caan’s portfolio will enable us to develop a legal practice which offers SMEs a legal service that is unrivalled in the market place.”

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