ABSs set sights beyond pure legal services by launching corporate finance arms


Greenaway: concept works well

Two alternative business structures (ABS) have moved to extend their reach to corporate finance advisory work with separate joint ventures.

Cardiff-based Greenaway Scott Group has launched a boutique as part of a joint venture with Lime Finance, while Needle Partners in Leeds has teamed up with Sheffield-based corporate advice firm Mackenzie Spencer.

The former has a 51% stake in Verde Corporate Finance, which will form part of the Greenaway Scott Group.

The lead advisor for the business will be Tom O’Brien, previously a corporate finance manager at UHY Hacker Young.

Greenaway Scott became an ABS in April with the express intention of expanding beyond legal services, while its corporate financier chairman also become a shareholder.

Founder Nigel Greenaway said: “We know from our experiences over the last year that a lead advisory business working with a law firm works well as a concept, and the aim with Tom is to partner with someone who shares the ethos and ambitions of the team at Greenaway Scott.”

Mr O’Brien added: “Verde Corporate Finance will offer expert advice to a niche fast-growth business sector in Wales…

“It will very much focus on the dynamic and growing businesses that Greenaway Scott already assist, and will focus on the development of new technologies and businesses from inception.”

Meanwhile, Needle Partners – which became an ABS last December – has created Needle Mackenzie Spencer. The company will offer its end-to-end transaction service from offices in Sheffield, Leeds and Maidenhead.

Chris Sellars, managing director of Mackenzie Spencer, said: “The process of completing a transaction can be a complex and challenging one.

“Bringing the delivery of both the lead advisory and legal aspects within one service, streamlines the process, the delivery and, most importantly, the communication with the client who will now have one point of contact throughout.”

Sharon Needle, founder and managing partner of Needle Partners, added: “One of Needle’s plans on becoming an ABS last December was to seek out additional services that would benefit our clients.

“Working with Mackenzie Spencer under the new banner will give our clients the opportunity to obtain specialist corporate finance advice in a seamless way, either complimenting their existing advisors or as an add-on service.”

The six-partner firm has law offices in Leeds and London, and a marketing-only office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Ms Needle is also a barrister admitted in Malaysia, where she practised for a number of years. She is fluent in Malay/Indonesian and has a working knowledge of Arabic.

Back in December, she told Legal Futures that her growth plans also included forming an alliance with several Middle East law firms.




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