There are more than a few lawyers who have given up the profession in favour of deal-making in the tough world of corporate finance. But at Milton Keynes’ firm Kimbells, the lawyers get to combine commercial with legal in a way that might persuade many a would-be businessman, perhaps even entrepreneur, to keep that practising certificate going.
Managing partner Stephen Kimbell says: “Our principal area of expertise is corporate and corporate finance. But on top of that, we’re one of the very few law firms in the country to offer a full corporate finance advisory service. We find deals, price them and raise the finance. We initiate, manage and make deals happen.”
This approach makes ‘entrepreneurial business’ one of Kimbells’ core practice areas. Kimbell himself is a corporate finance lawyer, and set up his eponymous firm in 1986. The firm acts for a number of entrepreneurs on a negotiated success fee basis.
A niche in entrepreneurial business means that the ongoing growth of Milton Keynes as a commercial centre is not key to Kimbells’ success. “We’re not tied to Milton Keynes and very little of our work is locally-based,” says Kimbell. He says that the firm handles a lot of overseas work. Nevertheless, Kimbell enjoys the firm’s tag as “one of the top-three firms along the M1 corridor”.
Kimbells acts for a number of venture capital and private equity institutions, banks and other finance providers. Its other core strengths are in brewing and general corporate and commercial work. It has a client list that includes Daimler Chrysler, Next, Scottish Courage and German media conglomerate Bertlesmann.
Plans for radical expansion are not afoot. Kimbell says: “The corporate and corporate finance markets have been tough, though there are signs that they are improving.” The plan is for steady organic growth. Which sounds like an eminently sensible way to proceed.
Firm Profile: Kimbells
Managing Partner:Stephen Kimbell
Total number of partners: 22
Total number solicitors: Corporate, entrepreneurial business