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Law firm expands

Vialex opens Berwick office in first move south

Keith Anderson and Rachel Stewart

Keith Anderson, CEO, with new recruit Rachel Stewart (pic: Terry Murden/DB Media Services)


 

Scottish legal services firm Vialex is opening a satellite office in Berwick-Upon-Tweed to serve its existing client base in the north of England, and to give it a platform from which to grow its client base further.

The Edinburgh-based practice is taking premises in the Ramparts Business Park, as a first step to increase its footprint across the whole of the UK.

Vialex chief executive Keith Anderson said the business is ambitious to offer its legal counsel and transaction services, together with its HR and health and safety offering, to the widest audience possible.

“We have always been focused on the UK as a whole, and have clients the length and breadth of the country. The office in Berwick, and others to follow, will increase further our visibility south of the border, and also allow us to access the talent pools that undoubtedly exist in all the regions of the UK,” he said.

“In the immediate term this will take us closer to our clients in the north of England and will enable us to raise our profile in the business community in the region.”

Mr Anderson said Berwick had been chosen for its easy access by rail and road from Edinburgh and East Lothian. This made it convenient for many of its current specialist staff who provide day-to-day legal advice and corporate transaction services, and also advise on a range of employment law issues. The office will also provide a number of back office functions.

“I have said previously that our plans extend to the south east of England, and specifically London, which is on our immediate agenda,” said Mr Anderson.

Rachel Stewart, a senior legal adviser who recently joined the practice, will be based in the new Berwick premises, which will have capacity for 10 staff at any time, most of whom it is anticipated will be drawn eventually from the Borders and Northumbria.

Sarah Dick has recently joined the 32-strong team in Edinburgh as a legal adviser in the transaction services team. She joins from Gillespie Macandrew.

Background

Vialex, based in Edinburgh’s west end, has doubled in size to a 32-strong team of specialists in just over two years on the back of a strong and growing corporate client list.

Clients include the brewer Innis & Gunn; Marlow Foods (owner of Quorn); the independent distiller and blender, Loch Lomond Group; Kura, the Glasgow HQ’d call centre business; Support in Sport (SIS), the leading pitch systems provider to domestic and international clubs and stadia; and Element Materials Technology, the world class testing services multinational.

Vialex has also enjoyed a strong period of transaction activity in 2018, including advising:

  • the shareholders of Endura, the Livingston-based cycle wear business, in the sale to Pentland Brands, the owner of brands such as Berghaus, Speedo and Canterbury;
  • the shareholders of Solid Form Solutions, a world leader in solid state science and crystallisation development, in the sale to Avista Pharma;
  • the shareholders of VisionWare Limited, a master data management software company, in the sale to Civica UK;
  • Cefetra Limited, a grain and animal feed raw materials importer and trader, in its acquisition of specialty trader, Premium Crops Limited;
  • the investors in the self-storage business, Kangaroo Holdings Limited;
  • Kura (CS) Limited, the UK’s largest independent outsourcer of call centre services, in the acquisition of the contact centre divisions of Parseq and Stellar Europe.

 

Additional background material supplied via DB Media Services



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