A YORK-based law firm has advised on deals worth more than £50m in the past 12 month.

Harrowells Solicitors' corporate and commercial team has completed more than 20 deals for clients, including a third with an individual value of more than £5m.

The transactions, which represent a significant expansion in the firm’s corporate finance transactional work, have included disposals, acquisitions, management buy-outs and re-financings across commercial sectors.

The firm which has offices in York, Easingwold, Malton, Pocklington and Thirsk, has also helped clients looking to maximise opportunities presented by Covid-19.

Partner, Susie Mortonson, who leads the team, said: “As well as the pleasing level of deal activity, the last 12 months has also seen us being instructed on a number of reorganisations for clients looking to streamline their business and maximise opportunities presented by Covid-19, including through complex group restructures and asset reorganisations.

"We have not seen a detrimental impact on corporate activity during the past 12 months and most clients have taken advantage of any opportunities to either consolidate or expand their businesses.

“The lasting effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, together with Brexit uncertainty, and an anticipation of future tax rate changes have all contributed to many clients’ decisions to buy, sell and/or restructure businesses."

The transactions include the £15m disposal of a market-leading packaging firm; a £12m disposal of shares in a family-run wholesale business; and assisting a plumbing and electrical client with growth plan through the acquisition of competitive businesses.

The team is also advising business owners on establishing Employee Ownership Trusts, which is becoming a more popular exit route for owner-managers rather than the traditional disposal to a third party.

As part of its growth, Rebecca Gerrard has joined the corporate and commercial team, specialising in mergers and acquisitions, legal restructuring of businesses and general commercial work.

She said: “Harrowells has a strong reputation in North and East Yorkshire and I am excited to progress my legal career and contribute to the continuing success of the firm."

Susie added: “Pleasingly we are seeing this level of activity continue into the latter half of the year.

"Thankfully, there is always a need for quality corporate advice no matter what the economic landscape, so our adaptability to advise different businesses in all circumstances continues to pay off. Due to this sustained level of activity we are delighted to welcome Rebecca Gerrard as a valuable addition to our team.”

Harrowells offers a wide range of legal services to commercial, farming and private clients.