Knights acquires South East-based firm for £11.5m

Knights acquires South East-based firm for £11.5m

Midlands-headquartered firm Knights has acquired a 130-year-old counterpart in a £11.5m deal.

Coffin Mew is an independent law firm based primarily in Portsmouth with offices in Southampton, Brighton and Newbury. In a statement, Knights stated that the acquisition will bring 102 new fee earners to Knights, significantly expanding Knights’ presence in the South East, an attractive growth market for legal and professional services, while providing entry into a number of new locations.

Knights said that the acquisition of Coffin Mew is “in line with their 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”. Coffin Mew is a full-service law firm with particular strength in commercial real estate and private wealth.

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.”

In its unaudited accounts for the year ended 31 March 2022, Coffin Mew reported revenue of £11.3m with a corporatised PBT margin of circa 8%. Following full integration and realisation of all synergies, the Knights expect Coffin Mew to contribute a PBT margin of circa 16% which, combined with a typical level of revenue churn post-acquisition, means the acquisition is expected to be immediately earnings enhancing.

Jamie Lennox

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