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UK ENGINEERING FIRM TO INVEST IN STRATEGIC MACHINERY WITH FUNDING FROM HSBC UK

Westley Group, one of Europe’s largest privately-owned foundry and engineering groups, is set to further invest in new CNC machinery following an eight-figure funding package from HSBC UK.

The funding from HSBC UK will support the Group’s UK business plans to add further value to its foundry activities through machining more of the castings it produces for its worldwide customer base.

In addition, the financing allows Westley Group to grow further into existing and emerging markets for their highly complicated products; most of which are safety-critical in application. This will allow a number of new jobs to be created in skilled machining operations across its 4 manufacturing sites.

Westley Group is a trusted world expert in heat, wear and corrosion resistant alloys for a wide range of strategic equipment and safety critical applications; servicing a range of industries including defence, marine, aerospace, oil and gas, architecture and general engineering. One of their key markets is the UK’s and overseas’ surface and sub-surface strategic naval defence market.

James Salisbury, CEO at Westley Group, said: “This agreement with HSBC UK allows us to expand our services by investing in new machinery and upgrading our facilities to grow the Group’s offering to our customer base – it gets us even closer to our customer and their own finished product”.

“The products we produce are subject to some of the world’s most stringent of testing criteria. They are also incredibly complicated from a metallurgical and geometrical perspective. Our customers rely more and more on our expertise to deliver a finished product including all testing and certification”.

Keith Webb, Deputy Regional Director and Head of Manufacturing for the Midlands at HSBC UK, added: “Westley Group has a clear commitment to manufacturing excellence and we look forward to further supporting the development of this well-established business that is a leader in its field, whilst helping to create new jobs within the UK and supporting its plans for business growth.”

Colin Rodrigues, Corporate Partner at Hawkins Hatton said: “Every agreement brings its own unique traits and differentiation requirements. We worked closely with Mike Richards, FD to determine the factors that would be required to get the deal done. That meant we had to complete the agreement expediently, which was a challenge given the number of commercial properties”.

Westley Group was recognised as one of the UK’s top 200 private companies with fastest-growing international sales in the 2021 Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200.

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Good food, good wine and good company at HH event

‘Twas the night before Christmas’ In fact, it was a whole month before Christmas, and some, when Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers decided to hold their ‘Sing for your Supper’ dinner. This event was never normally held in November, in fact, it was always held in early spring. Given the intervention of the pandemic, this dinner was not able to be held in the spring of 2020 or 2021. Instead, HH thought rather than waiting for spring 2022, they would hold a pre-Christmas event to try and share some of the magic of Christmas with their clients and professional contacts. The event at Weston Park has been held there for over 10 years by HH, and has become one of the iconic events which people put in their business calendars. HH corporate partner Colin Rodrigues said: “Our event is simple – it is good food, good wine and good company with friends, so what is there not to like? Given how difficult the pandemic has been for a lot of people, HH thought by sharing some Christmas joy early, it would be the perfect way to mark the countdown to the start of the festive season. Litigation partner Harminder Sandhu added: “HH has been built on strong values of client service which means a lot to Colin and I, and when we see our clients and professional contacts in one room, we know we are amongst friends.” View the original Express and Star news article here

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Tyger Tyger Burning Bright

No, not that William Blake famous poem or Chinese New Year but is it that beast stalking the long grass of the UK economy known as inflation. There is one thing I always beat the drum about which is productivity and now I have added inflation to this ensemble. It is impossible to ignore that inflation is currently running at over 5% as I can see the real effects working at the coal face with business clients. I do not have a crystal ball, economists and policy makers are saying the current inflation rate is only ‘transitory inflation’ and it will be gone before we really suffer from its long-term effects. It is only because I was a child of the Thatcher generation that I am able to say I have seen it before. In those times inflation averaged over 12% and some prices doubled if not trebled. There are many reasons that contribute to the current rate of inflation, including a contracting market in energy suppliers or the cost of ‘big-ticket’ items increasing because of supply chain issues. All the things I have mentioned for the current rate of inflation are very similar to those of the 70s where we had a weak pound, a fuel crisis and the government injecting money into the economy through high wage settlements for public sector employees. In the same way during the last 24 months the government has borrowed record sums to deal with COVID and prevent a free fall in the economy. The real difference now though is interest rates have not increased to counter-act inflation but will the macroeconomic policies see a comeback in the UK under the conservative government? Unlike the Thatcher era, when the ‘Iron Lady’ went into battle with unions to put a stop to higher wage growth, we cannot follow the same route, because unions are not as strong as they were, so instead we need to reward productivity. It is only with improvement to productivity that we will be able to move forward. That is why we should take the opportunity in this new flexible office and home working environment to maximise productivity by working smarter and keeping that big beast at bay. It is an old adage, more for less and get rewarded. Unless we now adopt this strategy, we will find other countries will leave the UK behind.

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Integrated Pest Control

Integrated Pest Control. Its all in the name as Gareth and Catherine Turner have been running their business called “Integrated Pest Control” (“IPC”) for many years and have developed both an efficient and integrated business in all matters, pest control. Given how efficient and well run IPC have been and continue to be they were targeted by Rollins Pest Control who are the number one brand in the USA for pest control. Gareth and Catherine Turner embarked on their venture with the assistance of Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers in order that they achieved their goal with minimum fuss but most of all in the knowledge that they were legally protected in all respects from what seemed very daunting legal documents. Gareth Turner said “I have known Rollins for a very long time and I know how they do business, and as such Rollins and IPC are a good fit together as we can continue to grow on the quality of clients we have knowing that Rollins are big enough to give us the continued support to enable our services to be offered to new clients on a wider geographical footprint.” Colin Rodrigues (Hawkins Hatton) said “I am always delighted to help clients especially when they are new to HH as lots of people who know HH are going to be familiar with our service but when you have a new client who is not familiar with how we do things then they get to understand the process it brings a smile to my face and the rest of the team, as we know we have done a good job for them.”

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Tea is certainly the best drink of the day

The Bettavend philosophy has always been focused on exceeded customers' expectations through high levels of customer service.
Geoff Rouse has continued to strive to use this philosophy to create a business which for nearly 35 years has been supplying fully inclusive refreshment systems and ancillary services. Bettavend is now regarded as one of the more established and highly successful, independent, regional vending companies within the UK. This has meant it was just a natural progression for Vicki Appleby and Ben West to undertake a management buyout of Bettavend from Geoff Rouse (“MBO”).
In order to undertake the MBO, Geoff instructed Colin Rodrigues of Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers to assist him and his wife, Jeanette, in helping to deliver the MBO for them. Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers worked alongside David Gamblin, who has been Geoff’s accountant for a number of years and helped him make instrumental decisions to build his business.
Geoff said that “the extensive knowledge and experience of Ben and Vicki within Bettavend over a number of years meant that they were the ideal candidates for the MBO, given their mantra of providing a high-quality service on behalf of Bettavend and always putting the needs of Bettavend’s customers first and foremost”.
Colin Rodrigues said: “I have only known Geoff for a short time, but I soon realised that not only is he a good entrepreneur, but he genuinely cared about his business and all those who worked within it. He really wanted to ensure the continued success of Bettavend through the stewardship of Ben and Vicki”.
Ben and Vicki said: “we have always known that Bettavend are fast, efficient and customer-focused as these are the traits we picked up from Geoff and we intend to continue to ensure that Bettavend carries on as one of the leading suppliers of vending products which exceed people’s expectations of taste and flavour. That is why tea is sometimes the best drink of the day, especially when it is dispensed by Bettavend”.
David Gamblin said: “like with any business, if you can get the basics done well then it gives time for everybody to focus on the added value, and I am sure that Ben and Vicki will continue Geoff’s journey into the future”.

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Talking Point - London financial market changes

In the same way Royal Dutch Shell is evolving into focusing on new energy technologies from battery, wind and solar, so is the London financial market. The oil giant is abandoning it’s Shetland oil project as a result of the economic case not being strong enough even though Shell had a 30 per cent stake in the project. Shell has also given up its dual listing for the UK and Netherlands to now just have a UK listing. Within the London market, the concentration of companies has always been focussed on the stalwarts of oil, gas, mining and banking. It now wants to become Europe’s main financial hub for FinTech. The stock market rules in London changed in December as a result of the previous fanfare heralded by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, when he expressed his desire to perform financial services through Big Bang 2.0 as well as improve the UK’s position as a place to do business through detailed reports from Lord Hill and the Kalifa Review of UK FinTech published earlier this year. It is clear the direction of travel for London is now a course that will be divergent to the EU with a wider focus on global trade and attracting global capital into the UK. With that in mind, the December changes to the listing regime in the UK are designed to meet the UK’s desire to be the leading exchange for FinTech and technology companies. It is hoped these changes will help cement the UK’s position as a leader of growth and innovation for the expansion of technology companies in the London Market. In very general terms, there has been a balanced approach by ensuring listed companies in the High Growth Segment being one of the three segments of the Main Market in the London Stock Exchange, now have an entry value of £30 million rather than £700,000 to help create trust within those listed companies. This is then balanced out by allowing those companies to have a dual share structure, which allows founder shareholders to retain voting control which may be disproportionate to their stake in the company albeit it is only for the first five years from listing. Moreover, the minimum free flow, being shares in public hands has fallen from 25 per cent to 10 per cent.” Clich here to view the original Express and Star article

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The New Vintage

‘The New Vintage’ Midland dealmakers believe that a combination of a fast-recovering economy, almost fabulous amounts of money ready to be lent and invested, pent-up demand, owner-managers looking to sell, corporates looking to buy, and huge interest from overseas buyers are making the prospects for mergers & acquisitions (M&A) in 2022 look excellent. “The last year’s been a manic one for M&A, full of giddy pricing, aggressive deals, and happy sellers,” says Roger Buckley, corporate finance partner at BDO. “Those fundamental drivers for strong M&A activity in 2022 are still here. The wall of money looking for a good homes means high levels of activity, and high sale values. It’ll be tough to be a buyer, but a great time to be a seller.” “The pipeline for 2022 looks strong, and I expect another bumper year for transactions,” adds David M Jones, corporate finance advisory partner at Deloitte. “Theprimary motives for dealmaking remain unchanged for 2022. We saw a huge rally from late 2020 into 2021, and I expect this to continue into the New Year. All things considered, it’s a year to look forward to.” “Dealmaking momentum for 2022 has been building since the summer: we’ve never spoken to so many privately-owned companies,” says Paul Bevan, managing director at Breeze Corporate Finance. “For us next year will transcend all the years I’ve been advising on transactions.” There are solid grounds for this optimism. If we project the number of M&A deals involving Midlands-based businesses on current trends, 2021 should end with more than 800 transactions, up by about a fifth on 2020’s total and in line with volumes last seen in 2018. And they look like quality transactions: the value of these 2021 deals, where the price tag is known, is £8.6bn, compared with £4.9bn in 2020. The first three months of the coming year could follow 2021 in being the busiest quarter, driven by owner-managers looking to exit or de-risk before possible changes to Capital Gains Tax in March. In the year to December, there were 453 full or partial exits in the region. “The pandemic has changed some owners’ outlook on life,” adds Paul Franks, managing partner at Beech Tree Private Equity. “We’ll see an increase in businesses to market as owners either look for full or partial private equity exits, partly to facilitate growth, but also take some value off the table, to live life now, not at some future point when they sell the business. The pandemic has shifted the ‘I’ll do a deal next year’ mentality to doing something now.” Click here to view the full article.

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Hawkins Hatton Newsletter December 2021

December 2021 Newsletter

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Hawkins Hatton’s “Sing for Your Supper” Dinner at Weston Park on 11th November 2021.

Photographs of attendees at HH’s pre-Christmas dinner at Weston Park on 11th November 2021

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Hawkins Hatton’s “Sing for Your Supper” Dinner at Weston Park on 4th November 2021.

Photographs of attendees at HH’s pre-Christmas dinner at Weston Park on 4th November 2021

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Hawkins Hatton’s “Sing for Your Supper” Dinner at Weston Park on 4th November 2021

Photographs of attendees at HH’s pre-Christmas dinner at Weston Park on 4th November 2021

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Hawkins Hatton’s “Sing for Your Supper” Dinner at Weston Park on 11th November 2021

Photographs of attendees at HH’s pre-Christmas dinner at Weston Park on 11th November 2021

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Good food, good wine and good company at HH event

‘Twas the night before Christmas’ In fact, it was a whole month before Christmas, and some, when Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers decided to hold their ‘Sing for your Supper’ dinner. This event was never normally held in November, in fact, it was always held in early spring. Given the intervention of the pandemic, this dinner was not able to be held in the spring of 2020 or 2021. Instead, HH thought rather than waiting for spring 2022, they would hold a pre-Christmas event to try and share some of the magic of Christmas with their clients and professional contacts. The event at Weston Park has been held there for over 10 years by HH, and has become one of the iconic events which people put in their business calendars. HH corporate partner Colin Rodrigues said: “Our event is simple – it is good food, good wine and good company with friends, so what is there not to like? Given how difficult the pandemic has been for a lot of people, HH thought by sharing some Christmas joy early, it would be the perfect way to mark the countdown to the start of the festive season. Litigation partner Harminder Sandhu added: “HH has been built on strong values of client service which means a lot to Colin and I, and when we see our clients and professional contacts in one room, we know we are amongst friends.” View the original Express and Star news article here

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Back to the Future

Not the famous film with the DeLorean, and that synonymous cinematic scene throwing Marty McFly back in time through the use of the mystical flux capacitor. I mention this because sometimes it seems like we are back in the 1970s, notwithstanding we are in 2021. Growing up in the 70s, I can recall the soaring energy prices, power cuts, bin strikes, food shortages and rising inflation that were associated with the 1970’s. That is why there are so many comparisons between the challenges faced in 2021 and those in the 1970’s. There are myriad reasons we can attribute to why all these things are happening, whether this be as a result of Brexit, Covid-19 lockdown, structural changes in the UK economy, the global supply chain crisis and so forth. You may recall earlier this year I said “is that big beast back, stalking the long grass of the UK economy ready to pounce on the unwitting consumer”. I think we can all agree that the real threat to the UK’s economic recovery is inflation, notwithstanding the recent backroom chatter about stagflation when the Furlough Scheme was wound up. I am not a doom-monger but I do see the real-world effects that are faced by corporate clients in the current economic climate. Developer clients are struggling not just with manpower, but soaring prices in raw materials and are insisting that buyers of commercial property exchange sooner rather than later to try and tie in the price increases otherwise they have to be passed on. Higher wages are not resolving the shortage of skilled workers, but this is a political decision as a result of Brexit which is compounded by some of the other factors already mentioned. However, that does not explain why the cost of living in September has fallen 3.1% when the smart money was on an inflation increase albeit the underlying trend may still be one of increasing inflation for the remainder of 2021. Maybe the fall in September was due to the expiration of the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme which meant that costs of eating out increased thereafter. Given I am not a soothsayer or skilled in the dark arts of economic predictions. However, I hope that the current inflationary pressures we are seeing in the UK economy are brought under control quickly to avoid the UK’s chances of finding economic growth being smothered in a post-Brexit world. What is also an irony is that the UK have just signed up to a new trade deal with New Zealand when in fact it was back in the 1970’s and the UK joining the EEC which resulted economic links the UK had with New Zealand were being severed. So it is like going back to the future, in so many ways.

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Success Flocks to Green Sheep Group in Exciting MBO

Green Sheep Group, manufacturer of the UK’s market leading bedside crib SnüzPod from the Snüz brand, and multi-award-winning natural mattress brand The Little Green Sheep, has secured future growth through a management buyout led by CEO Roger Allen. Named as a Sunday Times Fast Track Top 10 (2017) as well as being awarded The Queens Award for Innovation (2018), Green Sheep Group has focused on restructuring the business to deliver a strong business to consumer proposition targeting digital native parents in search of the very best innovative safe sleep solutions for their family. To provide best in class end to end customer experience, Green Sheep Group expanded its fulfilment operation with a new first class distribution facility in Redditch in December 2020 ensuring the scalability of its fulfilment and final mile delivery to consumer operation. Roger completed the Management Buy Out in August 2021 to secure a majority stake in the group with a view to expanding GSG’s reach globally with its proven direct to consumer proposition. Strengthening the board, Roger appointed Chairman David Wood, a highly experienced executive both in the UK and internationally, in particular the USA, who brings almost 30 years’ experience in the retail and consumer sector. Roger engaged the assistance of our firm and MDP Accountants to help structure and deliver a deal which was supported by HSBC UK Bank plc. Colin Rodrigues our Corporate Partner  said: “this MBO just demonstrates that some of the keys to success in retail depend on having good products with a good distribution network, and GSG have that in spades”. Arran Jones (Director of MDP) said: “I have worked with Roger for a very long time and I can genuinely say that he knows what he wants and how to get a deal done, so it was a pleasure working with him”. Roger Allen commented: “from very humble beginnings, GSG always had global aspirations as we as a brand want to ensure our products find their way into the homes of parents to make their lives just that little bit easier. That is why it is all about quality and design for me. We have an excellent team working extremely hard for parents and their little ones”.

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Refreshingly Different

Our team of experienced lawyers came together to form Hawkins Hatton in 2006 with the single ambition of creating a different type of practice. One that not only delivers the desired results for our clients, but puts the smooth running of their business and life at the forefront of everything we do. Our ethos is built on total personal support, regardless of whether we are reacting to a client crisis within a moment's notice or pro-actively advising on a complicated legal or commercial issue. By bringing clear thinking to legal complexities, and responding to often challenging deadlines we help take the pressure off our clients. Through a highly dedicated, hand-picked professional team, our clients have access to vast experience within the firm. Achieving the results you require, means understanding your business, and your personal aspirations. In short, working alongside you as your legal partner.

Services

Corporate

We take a different perspective to your transaction

Property

We help you climb the commercial property ladder

Litigation

We take the weight off your shoulders

Legal 500 Hall of Fame

Colin Rodrigues has been listed in the Legal 500 Hall of Fame as a highlighted individual having received constant praise from Clients.  Click to see Colins’ Legal 500 Uk profile

Legal 500

We are recommended by the Legal 500 for Corporate, Commercial Property and Litigation work in the West Midlands on the the Legal 500’s elite “Leading Firm” list, which is The 2022 Legal 500 United Kingdom’s guide to outstanding lawyers nationwide. For full details of our recommendation please visit the UK Legal 500 website.

UK Chambers

Chamber and Partners have recommended Hawkins Hatton in 2022 as a leading firm and said that the firm is a “Highly Professional firm which is extremely responsible”.

Chambers 2021 Real Estate Guide badge

Corporate Real Estate

Real Estate – Chambers 2021

We were selected as the exclusive contributor to Chambers 2021 Global Practice Guide for Real estate (UK)

Refreshingly Different

Our team of experienced lawyers came together to form Hawkins Hatton in 2006 with the single ambition of creating a different type of practice. One that not only delivers the desired results for our clients, but puts the smooth running of their business and life at the forefront of everything we do.

Our ethos is built on total personal support, regardless of whether we are reacting to a client crisis within a moment's notice or pro-actively advising on a complicated legal or commercial issue.

By bringing clear thinking to legal complexities, and responding to often challenging deadlines we help take the pressure off our clients.

Through a highly dedicated, hand-picked professional team, our clients have access to vast experience within the firm. Achieving the results you require, means understanding your business, and your personal aspirations. In short, working alongside you as your legal partner.

Find Us


Main Office
Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers Ltd.
Castle Court 2,
Castlegate Way,
Dudley
DY1 4RD

Tel: 01384 216 840
Fax: 01384 216 841
Dx: 12746 Dudley
Email: info@hawkinshatton.co.uk

Directions from the M5 Motorway

We are located 2 miles from Jct 2 on the M5. Exit roundabout signposted to Dudley. Continue along dual carriage way over several set of lights. At next island take first exit (signposted Dudley). Continue for 1/2 mile until the next island.

Take fourth exit (next to the Footman James building) and proceed on to the Castle Gate development. Continue to the next island and take the third exit (back on yourself). Take the first left hand turn into the Castle Gate 2 courtyard. Please use the intercom at the gate to request access (Hawkins Hatton is situated in Unit 3). Visitor parking is at the front of the building.

Company Reg: 07151902
SRA: 566795

London Office
Hawkins Hatton Corporate Lawyers Ltd.
Suite 402,
16 High Holborn,
London
WC1V 6BX

Tel: 020 8191 7893
Email: info@hawkinshatton.co.uk