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Law At Work acquired by London-based Marlowe

Magnus Swanson

Magnus Swanson: executive chairman

Law at Work, the Scottish employment law firm, has been bought by UK-wide compliance services group Marlowe for £6.3 million.

Glasgow-based LAW, founded in 2001 as a spin-out from Maclay Murray & Spens, is chaired by veteran Scots lawyer Magnus Swanson. It now has a staff of about 70 and in the 12 months to 31 May had a turnover of £5.5 million and pre-tax profit of £1 million.

More than half of its headcount are employment lawyers, HR compliance professionals and health and safety consultants.

Marlowe is a specialist group of companies which assure regulatory compliance and safety. It said the acquisition is a part of its strategy to build an “end-to-end provider of regulated compliance services”.

It said it offers synergies with the group’s existing Health, Safety and Compliance businesses, in particular with William Martin. 

The deal involves an initial cash consideration of £6.3 million which could rise by £4 million over three years if profit targets are met. The acquisition will be funded from the group’s existing cash and debt facilities.

Marlowe chief executive Alex Dacre said: “By acquiring Law at Work, a business which helps clients to mitigate their employee-related risk and assure their health & safety performance, we are both strengthening Marlowe’s leading health and safety operation and significantly advancing our capabilities to work with clients across the full spectrum of their compliance needs.

“The business, which delivers subscription-based consultancy services, operates nationally in an attractive and underserved market in which we see significant growth opportunities. The acquisition is a major step in strengthening our position as the UK leader in regulated compliance services to organisations of all sizes.”

London-headquartered Marlowe, which is quoted on the AIM, was formed by Dacre in 2015 with backing from Lord Ashcroft and has grown through 25 acquisitions.

LAW’s senior leadership team, which remains unchanged, hopes to create new jobs as it secures growth.

Mr Swanson, said: “Joining the Marlowe plc family of businesses opens the door for LAW clients to access an increased range of expert advisers and latest technologies.”

LAW’s advisers on the deal were David Beveridge of Macdonald Henderson and Neil Grimmond of Craig Corporate. Marlowe’s advisers were David Bowcock and Adam Jones of Fieldfisher.

See also

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