“We want them to share in our success.”

About Parfitt Cresswell

Established in 1908, Parfitt Cresswell is an expanding regional law firm with offices in London, Berkshire, Surrey, Sussex and Kent. Acquired by Teresa Payne in 2007, this new ownership saw the firm’s team grow to over 100, with nine offices across the Southeast of England.

As well as expanding its team and practice, Parfitt Cresswell made a number of acquisitions during this time: these include Max Barford and Co, Colemans, Jevons, Riley and Pope, Charles Coleman and Co, Copley Clark and Keene Marsland.

Under these brands and its own, the firm supports its clients in the areas of family law, commercial and residential property, wills, power of attorney, probate, trusts, dispute resolution, tax planning and employment.

Following 17 years of growth and success Teresa and her co-owner Nigel Harper started looking to involve the company’s expanded team in its successes in a new way, as well as looking at an exit strategy to allow the current owners to take a step back. BHW Solicitors were glad to provide the guidance to make this a reality, through the conversion to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).

Why an Employee Ownership Trust?

Like many company owners and leaders, Teresa and Nigel wanted to make sure that the entity they had worked hard to create would continue to stand and thrive after their sale. Whilst selling the business to a third party would have been a straightforward option, doing so could have risked a number of harmful changes for the firm and its team, including relocation, restructuring and loss of jobs. They were keen to prevent this happening and determined that the firm’s identity and reputation for fantastic legal expertise and service to survive untarnished.

Rather than risk harm to their firm’s team, they found a way to give back to them. Through employee ownership, Parfitt Cresswell’s team can now receive an indirect beneficial interest in the business, as well as enjoying tax free bonuses of up to £3,600 per employee per year. This allows every member of staff to be directly impacted by the company’s success, placing the future of the company in safe and highly motivated hands.

Working with BHW Solicitors, planning an EOT strategy offered Teresa and Nigel a timetable that was suitable for them whilst ensuring that what they had created would be preserved and carried forwards by the team that had shared this journey with them.

How does it work? – A tailored approach

BHW Solicitors worked with Parfitt Cresswell in an advisory role, creating a detailed plan to navigate the conversion process in a way that would benefit everyone. We took a considered approach, keeping the firm’s employees and future at the heart of our decision-making whilst also delivering on Nigel and Teresa’s exit strategy and expectations. 

Overseeing Parfitt Cresswell’s EOT conversion were our Employee Ownership Trust experts Ed Nurse and Cameron Connolly. They worked closely with Teresa and Nigel to make sure that every important question was asked, detail addressed and need met during this exciting process.

A well-structured EOT can motivate teams to work harder, stay for longer, but more than anything, can offer a feeling of value and true belonging within a company, with real benefits seen from the dedication given. As Nigel added, “Teresa and I are very proud to have completed this transaction and we are excited for what the future holds for Parfitt Cresswell and its employees.”

It is a pleasure to help companies like Parfitt Cresswell convert to EOTs – our legal advisors know how to support this process from every angle, and we love seeing the positive impact the changes can make on employees’ careers.

Thinking about selling your business to an EOT? Contact us today to find out whether an Employee Ownership Trust is the right model for your business and how our team at BHW can help you.

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