Nabarros takes AIM for deals boom

City firm Nabarro Nathanson has clocked up its 18th flotation on the Alternative Investment Market where it acted for packaging group CA Coutts, valued at about £10 million.

The firm boasts an impressive list of clients on the AIM, the market for smaller companies which is part of the London Stock Exchange. Its most high profile AIM connection is Chelsea Village, the holding company for Chelsea Football Club. Nabarros advised the company's sponsor, financial boutique Neill Clerk.

Nabarros head of company and commercial Peter Gorty said the firm is working on another eight AIM flotations, including two rugby clubs and one football club. “We must be one of the biggest legal advisers for AIM companies although there are no official statistics to draw on,” he said.

AIM work does not produce huge fees for law firms because there is less paperwork and legal documentation involved than with a full listing.

However, Gorty pointed out that AIM groups offer the potential of fast growth with a corresponding increase in advisory work.

Advising AIM sponsors involves undertaking due diligence on companies ahead of flotations and making sure prospectuses for investors are properly compiled.

If a firm acts for a company directly, it will have an on-going duty to ensure that directors abide by Stock Exchange rules on matters such as insider dealing.

The companies involved in Nabarros' flotations have a combined market capitalisation of about £180 million.

The work has been carried out by a group of partners and assistants including Gorty, Jonathan Mendelow, Glyn Taylor, Iain Newman, Robert Sadler, Claudia Gizejewski and Keith Spedding.

Gorty admitted that AIM companies may be high risk for investors. Unlike companies seeking a full listing, AIM groups do not have to furnish a detailed three-year financial record. Consequently, the market can attract fledgling companies which would otherwise find it difficult to attract working capital.