Mark Adams joined Newcastle-based Hay & Kilner Law Firm in 2004 and is now a partner in the practice’s expanding corporate and commercial team, specialising in corporate transactional work including acquisitions and disposals, corporate refinancing and management buy-outs. He is listed in industry bible The Legal 500 as a “strong corporate lawyer,” with clients valuing the “excellent service” he provides.
How has Hay & Kilner evolved in your time with the firm?
Hay & Kilner has always had a strong reputation for its private client work, but over recent years, we’ve made a strategic decision to scale-up our corporate and other commercial work areas alongside the areas in which we’re more traditionally known.
Areas such as commercial property, intellectual property and IT, employment and construction have all become increasingly important to us, and we’ve been recruiting in these areas to ensure we can provide clients with the specialist services that they tell us they want, as well as developing the skills and knowledge of our existing staff.
The region is becoming ever-more entrepreneurial, with more people willing to back themselves and their business ideas, and we’re working hard to tailor the commercial services we provide to give them the support they need to achieve their goals.
Are there particular sectors in which you see more potential for growth for the firm?
We’re seeing demand grow for all aspects of our corporate and commercial law services, especially for higher value and more complex projects, and we’re also seeing increasing attention being given to regional companies from potential acquirers across mainland Europe.
The number of start-ups in the North East is also continuing to increase, and with the regional technology sector continuing to grow in importance and size, there are particular opportunities within the IP and IT markets.
There is a clear regional focus from government and business on supporting the start-up economy, and with the now-active North East Fund set to make a real difference in this area, we expect to become even more active in helping ambitious businesses realise their potential.
It’s generally taking a little longer to get deals over the line than it used to as all parties are, quite rightly, being more careful in carrying out ever more detailed due diligence. That said, we’re finding there are still a large number of transactions on which we’re being instructed.
Our employment law team is extending the training it does for our clients, providing bespoke role play-based seminars which give clients practical experience of dealing with situations that might arise in the workplace.
What do you feel Hay & Kilner’s corporate / commercial team does especially well?
We very much take a cross-practice approach to ensure the range of expertise that clients need is easily available, and that we can provide solutions based on cohesive, “joined-up” thinking.
Partners are fully accessible both to clients and colleagues, and in a world where digital communication often makes a conveniently easy replacement for personal contact, we still believe that there’s simply no substitute for proactively building positive personal relationships.
Having a detailed understanding of how clients like to work, what their priorities and interests are, and what motivates them both personally and commercially is essential in ensuring that the services we provide fit with them as people and can make a huge difference to the outcomes achieved.
What’s next on the agenda for Hay & Kilner’s corporate and commercial team?
We’ve already had some great success and recognition in the last 12 months. We were shortlisted across ten categories at the recent Northern Law Awards, had two of our deals shortlisted at the annual Dealmaker Awards and risen to seventh in the latest Experian list of the region’s most active legal advisers for merger and acquisition work on the back of rising activity, particularly in the veterinary, care home and pharmaceutical sectors.
With a strong pipeline of some high-value projects already in place, we’re expecting to see our corporate and commercial work increase further still through the rest of the year and beyond.
And we’re continuing to recruit the highly qualified people we need to service this growing demand, in what’s certainly proving to be an exciting time to be part of the firm.
For more information on any of the above, or to find out more on the range of services provided by our specialist teams, please contact Mark Adams, or call 0191 232 8345.