Cardiff legal firm Greenaway Scott set for ‘vital’ industry first

By Raspberry Jim,

ABS Greenaway Scott

A progressive Cardiff legal firm is blazing a trail across the Welsh business community by becoming an Alternative Business Structure (ABS).

Award-winning business advisory firm Greenaway Scott has had approval from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to alter its structure to an ABS, allowing it to operate within a multi-disciplinary group structure delivering other professional services, alongside its legal activity, in the future.

Greenaway Scott itself will continue to trade as a law firm, but the new structure also will enable the firm to raise private equity, and external funding for its business activities going forward, as the change to an ABS will allow it to take non-lawyers into its ownership structure.

The multi-disciplinary group structure is seen more commonly across the accountancy profession, with PWC recently announcing its decision to become a multi-disciplinary practice, but Greenaway Scott is set to become the first predominantly commercial services law firm in Cardiff to adopt it.

The move comes on the back of soaring growth of almost 100 percent for Greenaway Scott between 2015 and 2016, with lucrative advisory deals reaching a combined value in excess of £130 million in the last 12 months.

Despite the structure being altered, founder Nigel Greenaway will continue to act as the firm’s CEO, while Peter Wright will continue as chairman. Greenaway Scott is also actively taking steps to develop a modernised corporate finance lead advisory boutique. This will sit within the group and focus on dynamic early stage and fast growth businesses, and look at a number of additional services that fit with its aim of providing a multi-disciplinary group geared specifically toward the mergers and acquisition market.

Mr Greenaway said: “We are delighted to obtain SRA approval for the step change in the Greenaway Scott business structure. The ability to develop as an alternative business structure introduces a great deal of flexibility into our decision making.

“This progressive transition comes after a considerable amount of research and effort on the part of our team and we are delighted to be moving forwards with it.

“The altered structure will allow us to raise private equity, which is a key change for us as a firm, and will allow us to pursue expansion plans more aggressively and with greater geographical reach.

“However, the intention is for Greenaway Scott to continue to provide very specialist services into the mergers and acquisitions market, so we will still have a narrow focus on the type of work it undertakes. We are not about to become an accountancy firm.”

Chairman Mr Wright said: “Greenaway Scott always aims to be progressive and client-focussed in its business approach.

“So we are extremely pleased to be taking the ABS structure forward as we feel this is a vital step for our business and our clients. Our decision making is always long term in nature and this is a key step on our structured approach to the future.”

Specialist regulatory advisory firm Jonathon Bray Legal Services (jonathonbray.com) advised Greenaway Scott throughout the process with the SRA. Mr Greenaway said: “We would very much like to thank Jonathon and Lisa for all their hard work over the last few months which has allowed us to achieve this SRA approval.”

Greenaway Scott provide corporate, commercial and intellectual property advice to companies, with particular sector specialisms in the life science, technology, pharmaceutical and IT sectors.