Hill Dickinson and Napthens top M&A table

Law firms Hill Dickinson and Napthens are ranked one and two respectively for advising on mergers and acquisitions in the North West. Tony McDonough reports

Ian Riggs
Ian Riggs, Hill Dickinson’s national head of corporate


Liverpool law firm Hill Dickinson is ranked top North West legal advisor for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the Experian Market IQ table.

Ranked second in the table was Napthens. The firm is headquartered in Preston but has a major corporate finance presence in Liverpool. It employs 40 people at The Plaza and its team includes “big-hitters” Kieran Donovan and Gareth McIntegart.

Hill Dickinson, which operates in a number of UK cities and overseas, is based just yards away from the Plaza in St Paul’s Square.

According to Experian Market IQ, the firm was the top legal adviser for M&A transactions in the North West for the first three quarters of 2022. It marks an increase in activity for the team, rising through the ranks from 4th spot in the first half of 2022.

Between January and September this year Hill Dickinson’s North West corporate team, as advised on 35 transactions. This follows a record year for the corporate team nationally, which advised on more than 120 transactions in 2021 with a total value of more than £3.8bn.

READ MORE: Hill Dickinson creates 14 new partners

Major deals include acting for Steve Parry and Becky Adlington on the sale of 60% of Total Swimming to JD Sports. The team also advised on a significant minority investment in Xeinadin Group, a leading professional services group in the UK and Ireland, by Exponent Private Equity.

Ian Riggs, national head of corporate at Hill Dickinson, said: “Today’s ranking from Experian is a reflection of the incredible work of the corporate team not just this quarter but over recent years.

“It is a recognition of our position as a trusted and leading adviser for M&A across the region, as we continue to work on behalf of some of the North West’s most ambitious businesses.”


Keith Melling
Keith Melling leads the corporate team at Napthens


Keith Melling, a partner, leads the corporate team at Napthens. There were 31 North West deals recorded by Experian so far this year.

Notable transactions include the management buyout of textiles firm Ashfield Mill and  advising Liverpool-based River Capital on a seven-figure equity injection into sports and fitness brand, Built For Athletes.

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Napthens’ high-ranking position reflects a successful year for the department. The 30-strong team advised on transactions for the year to date valued at in excess of £200m.

Mr Melling said: “The North West is a breeding ground of successful businesses in the UK. We are proud to be at the forefront as legal advisors in what is a thriving economic region.”

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