Law firm Napthens is number one M&A advisor

North West law firm Napthens named as number one legal adviser on North West mergers and acquisitions as it welcomes 14 new starters. Tony McDonough reports

A number of new starters have joined Napthens in early 2024


Law firm Napthens has been named as the number one legal adviser on mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the North West in 2023 by Experian Market IQ.

And the practice, which has a major base in Liverpool, has also announced 14 new starters across its offices in Liverpool, Preston and Blackburn.

Its corporate team has worked on the completion of 42 deals in the region, including acting for the shareholders of Star Tissue on the sale to German Buyer WEPA Professional and acting for Standard Fuel Oils on its acquisition of River Marine Fuels.

Keith Melling, partner and head of corporate, said: “This is yet another accolade for the firm as we continue our strong start to 2024 with news that confirms Napthens’ reputation as a law firm with incredibly talented, diligent and exceptional people.

“The corporate team worked tirelessly during the final quarter of 2023 to deliver for our clients as we have done throughout the year.

“We saw lots of transactional activity during 2023, notwithstanding a challenging economic backdrop marked by interest rate rises and inflationary pressures.”

In January LBN reported the firm’s financial results for the 12 months to March 31, 2023, posted on Companies House. They revealed a rise in revenues to £21.4m, up from £19.5m in the previous year.

They also showed a small fall in pre-tax profits to £5.1m from £5.3m in 2022. During the accounting period the firm had 28 partners. They shared a £3.42m pot with the highest paid partner receiving £287,661.

Napthens experienced a couple of setbacks during 2023. In August it announced the sudden departure of chief executive Alex Hatchman. She left along with director of strategy and development, Ben Sears, and operations director, Gillian Carlisle-Collett.

An interim executive committee was installed following the departures. Between November 23 and December 20, 2023, it suffered a computer outage caused by a cyber attack on a third party IT service provider.

Napthens burgeoning corporate team is boosted with the arrival of two solicitors, a senior associate solicitor and a legal director.

Specialist tax lawyer Clare Smith arrives as legal director, bringing more than 25 years’ experience in private practice and industry.

Craig Whittingham also joins the corporate department as a senior associate solicitor, while Makhala Kirwan and Michael Truman arrive as solicitors to support the team’s increasing deal volume.

Napthens’ private client team adds three new hires, with Helen Gaskell rejoining the firm as legal director, after a 13-year absence. Joining Helen are senior associate solicitor Rhianna Bateson and legal assistant Janine Mercer.

The firm’s commercial litigation team also sees the arrival of solicitors Liam Ockleshaw, Solaman Naveed and legal assistant Sophie Smith. All will be under the guidance of experienced litigators David Bailey and John Whittingslow.

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And Napthens’ residential conveyancing team is boosted with the arrival of legal assistant Wendy Blakely in the Cumbrian team where Lauren Barnes also returns, and Demi Mason joins the Liverpool team.

The firm has also recruited a number of roles within the business support services, to ensure all fee earners and departments receive the required levels of support.

This includes Aaisha Ibrahim who joins the people and HR team, and Stuart Game who bolsters the technology and projects team.

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