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Clarke Willmott advises on strategic accountancy firm merger

Clarke Willmott advises on strategic accountancy firm merger


The National law firm has played a pivotal role in the merger of Winchester-based accountancy firm Martin and Company with Shaw Gibbs

This merger is a significant step for both firms, promising enhanced services and broader reach.

A Merger Rooted in Expertise

Martin and Company, with additional offices in Thame, Oxfordshire, and Liss, Hampshire, has a long-standing reputation for specialising in farming and agriculture, landed estates, and private client work. The firm's merger with Shaw Gibbs marks the latter’s sixth M&A deal since 2023, showcasing a period of rapid expansion and strategic growth for the Oxford-headquartered firm.

Richard Swain, a corporate partner at Clarke Willmott in Southampton, led the advisory team for Martin and Company. He was assisted by associate Hollie Blackwood Fisher. Swain's expertise ensured a smooth transition, handling all corporate aspects of the deal.

A Vision for Growth and Excellence

Seamus McLaughlin, partner at Martin and Company, expressed enthusiasm about the merger, stating, “Joining forces with Shaw Gibbs allows us to leverage their extensive resources and expertise while retaining the personalised approach and deep client relationships that have been the hallmark of Martin and Company for over 50 years.”

Shaw Gibbs, now bolstered by this merger, continues to grow its practice, which has swelled to a 400-person strong team spread across ten UK offices. This growth was further fuelled by a £10 million investment from Apiary Capital last year, demonstrating their robust strategy and financial health.

Peter O’Connell, chief executive of Shaw Gibbs, highlighted the synergy between the two firms: “Martin and Company’s reputation for excellence and commitment to client success perfectly complements our values and mission. Together, we will continue to deliver the high-quality services and innovative solutions our clients expect, while expanding our reach to better serve businesses, estates, and individuals throughout the region.”

A Strategic Move in a Competitive Market

This merger not only consolidates Shaw Gibbs' position in the market but also enhances its ability to offer specialised services. By integrating Martin and Company’s expertise in agriculture and landed estates, Shaw Gibbs strengthens its service portfolio, making it a formidable player in these niche areas.

Clarke Willmott's role in advising Martin and Company underlines their proficiency in handling complex corporate transactions, particularly in the professional services sector. This merger is a testament to their ability to facilitate significant business integrations that drive growth and innovation.

Looking Ahead

As Shaw Gibbs continues its expansion, the merger with Martin and Company is expected to bring new opportunities for both firms’ clients and employees. The combined resources and shared commitment to excellence position them well to navigate the evolving landscape of accountancy and advisory services.

The success of this merger reflects the strategic foresight of both firms and the expert legal guidance provided by Clarke Willmott. It sets a benchmark for future mergers and acquisitions in the sector, highlighting the importance of alignment in values and mission in achieving long-term success.