In this segment of our blog series, we’ll look into what solicitor you should use for an IFA Acquisition. This is a topic taken from our recent YouTube video “Legal processes for retiring IFAs” which is part of a wider collaborative series with prestigious UK law firm Herrington Carmichael.



What solicitor should I use for an IFA Acquisition?


Gary and the rest of us here at IFA Acquisitions are constantly asked by our clients “Should I use a specialist solicitor that understands IFA mergers and acquisitions, or should I use my familiar solicitor?” Often the reason people ask this question is that they fear specialist solicitors come with higher fees than their regular one. To answer this question, we asked Alex Canham, partner at Herrington Carmichael, for his opinion on the matter.


“So, the first thing I think with any professional Advisor is you’ve got to trust them. You’ve got to have that relationship with that person, whether that is somebody who’s a longstanding Advisor or somebody new – that doesn’t change. Naturally, with someone you’ve known for a long time, that trust is already there so, it takes a while when you’re working with a new Advisor to build up that rapport and relationship. But inevitably, through a transaction process such as either buying a business or selling one, it’s quite tense, it’s very specialized and particularly in the financial services sector, there are a lot of nuances, both in terms of how deals are structured, in terms of the regulatory aspect, in terms of the purchase price and the adjustment characteristics and also the various different insurances and limitations that you would expect to see, which are quite different to if you were, say, selling a technology business or retail business.”


Alex continued “So whilst I think trust is absolutely going to be forefront in your mind when you are picking an Advisor and cost has to be a factor as well. Picking a specialist in any sector is always going to produce you the best outcome. In terms of costs, what I would say is, notwithstanding that they might be a specialist and they’ve got that experience, we don’t tend to find that it has an impact in terms of costs. We find where we’re working with new clients in terms of fees, we’re quite comparable to other M&A lawyers who might be an expert in tech, for example. So, it’s more about kind of understanding the nuances of your sector rather than saying ‘We advise financial services therefore there is a premium attached to that.’ And that I guess would apply in any sector. So, we always say to clients actually if we talk through and understand what your transaction is about, understand you and the nuances associated with that we can add a lot of value and actually in terms of cost, be quite comparable.”




Specialist brokers can save you time during an acquisition as they are experienced within the industry, this will make the whole process slicker and as a result comparable in price or even cheaper! With this being said it is still important to select a firm that you know and trust. It is important to not make any judgements or assumptions before actually speaking with a broker as quite often assumptions are simply not true.

Contact us to discuss this further:



Herrington Carmichael disclaimer


This reflects the law at the date of publication and is written as a general guide. It does not contain definitive legal advice, which should be sought as appropriate in relation to a particular matter.


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