Alex Wilby - Corporate Law

Twenty Five jobs saved in deal between sisters


One of the North East’s leading law firms, the rapidly expanding Swinburne Maddison LLP (Swinburne Maddison), has completed a care home transaction saving 25 jobs, following the retirement of Janette Heslop, the owner of Derwent Care Limited, a residential care home provider based in Stanley, Co Durham.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, was structured by Alex Wilby, a partner in the corporate and commercial team, acting for the purchaser, Benton Care Services Limited, a company owned and run by Andrea Heslin – Janette’s sister.

Trading from its existing premises, three converted terraced houses in Benton Terrace, Stanley, the new trading company will continue to provide residential care for adults with complex needs.

Twenty-five staff of all levels have been transferred to the new company under TUPE legislation.

With the business purchase now completed to everyone's satisfaction, the new owner, Mrs Heslin, who has 24 years experience in the care industry, commented:  "Thanks to the support and guidance of Swinburne Maddison, following the retirement of my sister, I have been able to take over the business as a going concern, which not only ensures continuity for our clients, but equally importantly, safeguards the 25 jobs that would have been under threat had we not been able to agree terms.

"I am delighted we are able to continue providing the high standards of care that our clients have come to expect and I look forward to getting the business back onto an even footing in the very near future."

Swinburne Maddison provided assistance at the outset of the transaction in terms of structuring the deal and then acted for the purchaser in preparing the asset purchase agreement and driving the deal to completion.  The commercial property team was also involved in the transaction, drawing up the lease agreement.

Mr Wilby added: "Derwent Care Limited has a long and proud record of providing residential care to its residents. The deal we have completed allows the business to stay in family hands whilst providing an exit for Janette upon her retirement. It is pleasing that we have been able to save the business and allow it to continue trading under new ownership."

Other parties involved in the transaction were law firm Muckle and RHK Business Advisers LLP who acted for Derwent Care Limited as well as accountancy firm RSM.

Swinburne Maddison continues to enjoy steady growth and acclaim for its work.  During 2015 Martyn Tennant, partner in the corporate and commercial team, won professional recognition as both Young Lawyer of the Year at the Northern Law Awards and Corporate Lawyer of the Year at the Insider Dealmakers Awards.

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