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Two heads are better than one: specialist accounting practices joined forces

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L E Bull & Co, Devizes-based specialist rural and farming accountancy practice, was able to seamlessly merge with leading West Country accountancy and financial advisory firm Old Mill with pragmatic and precise guidance from Royds Withy King’s Corporate team.

LE Bull, the specialist boutique accountancy practice established in 1939, offered advice primarily to agricultural clients. The two partners in charge of the practice, John Smith and Paul Neate, had been looking into ways to enhance their client offering for some time when the possibility of a merger presented itself.

Old Mill, a much younger firm which had been formed in 2006 as the result of a management buy-out, already had an established agricultural offering as part of its comprehensive range of accountancy and financial services to businesses and individuals.

The potential match looked good to both firms. The deal was already under discussion when John Smith and Paul Neate instructed Alex Pyatt, partner in Royds Withy King’s Corporate team who already had a good understanding of the specifics involved in merging accounting firms.

Deals of this nature are often structured with the expectation that those selling will be taking a step back from day to day business following completion. This deal was different (as will be obvious to anyone who has seen Old Mill’s excellent marketing literature) in that Paul and John are very much involved in the day to day running of their particular area of Old Mill’s business. This was a good example therefore as regards how the documentation which regulates the relationship of the parties post completion (such as employment contracts, partnership agreements and shareholders agreements) can be just as much an important part of the deal and require just as much analysis as the share sale agreement.

Alex commented: “We are delighted to be involved in the merger between these two reputable firms. There is a natural synergy between them and it is clear that the newly combined practice will be able to offer clients an enhanced range of services which draws on an even greater pool of expertise and experience.” John Smith, a partner at LE Bull and Co, said: “We have been delighted with the service we’ve received from Royds Withy King. The firm’s professional attitude and approach have been outstanding.”

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