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Suzanne Townley

News Editor, Solicitors Journal

Knights to expand into the South East with £11.5m acquisition of Coffin Mew

Knights to expand into the South East with £11.5m acquisition of Coffin Mew


The acquisition will bring 102 new fee earners to Knights

Listed law firm Knights has announced it is set to acquire leading South East law firm Coffin Mew.

Coffin Mew is a full-service firm, with particular strength in commercial real estate and private wealth. It is based primarily in Portsmouth with offices in Southampton, Brighton and Newbury. The acquisition will bring 102 new fee earners to Knights – a significant expansion of Knights' presence in the South East.

The firm said its acquisition of Coffin Mew is in line with its strategy to “accelerate its organic growth through carefully targeted, high quality acquisitions with a strong cultural fit, that provide entry into new markets or bring complementary services”.

Knights will acquire Coffin Mew from its 12 existing equity partners on a debt free, cash free basis, for £11.5m, subject to working capital adjustments at the time of completion. Completion is expected to take place on 8 July 2022.

This comprises an initial consideration of £6.5m made up of £5.5m in cash and £1m of new ordinary shares in Knights, along with deferred cash consideration of £5m to be paid as to £2m on each of the first and second anniversaries and £1m on the third anniversary following completion. The cash consideration will be satisfied from Knights' existing facilities.

Commenting on the acquisition, David Beech, CEO of Knights, said: "We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Coffin Mew, a well-reputed firm in the South East which has a strong cultural fit with Knights.

“The acquisition allows us to significantly expand our presence in the South East, by entering a number of key new locations, as we continue to make good progress in achieving our ambition to become the leading legal and professional service business outside of London."

Miles Brown, partner, Coffin Mew commented: "Having built a leading position in Portsmouth and the South East, we are excited to be joining Knights, an ambitious firm with a strong and growing reputation as it expands across the UK.

“In particular, we are looking forward to benefitting from the Group's scale which will allow us to more fully meet the strong demand, and need for broader technical skills, we are seeing from our clients, while greater central resource and support will better enable us to fulfil our growth potential, as part of a larger Group."