Birketts advises NW Brown on merger


24 June 2019

Top 100 law firm Birketts has advised NW Brown, the Cambridge and Norwich-based provider of wealth management and employee benefits services, on the merger of its financial services operations with Brown Shipley. The financial terms of the proposed merger have not been disclosed.

Founded in Cambridge in 1974, NW Brown is a successful wealth manager working predominantly with private clients to offer financial planning and investment management services. The business also provides a range of services to corporates, including employee pensions and other employee benefits. NW Brown has £1bn of discretionary funds under management and has 74 employees.

This development is part of Brown Shipley's growth strategy to add further scale and unlock additional regional opportunities. The addition of NW Brown’s operations will increase Brown Shipley's total AUM to almost £9bn.

The merger is expected to complete by the end of Q3 2019 subject to regulatory approval. Following completion the Cambridge and Norwich offices will be fully integrated into Brown Shipley in 2020, serving as the East Anglia hub for the business and adding to the six existing Brown Shipley offices.

James Allen, Corporate Partner at Birketts led with transaction with support from Faisal Bhatti (corporate) and Karl Pocock (corporate tax). Richard Proctor Tax Partner, John Weston and Chris Richardson of MHA Larking Gowen advised NW Brown on the private client and shareholder tax aspects.

Oliver Phillips, CEO of NW Brown, who will continue to lead the business, said: "The Birketts team impressed us throughout: a good job efficiently executed. They understood our requirements and ensured the merger completed with minimal fuss."

James Allen concluded: "There are clear parallels between the two firms both in terms of services and culture and this merger provides significant opportunities for growth."