Charles Russell tops AIM game

Charles Russell has stor-med the list of the top 10 legal advisers on AIM flotations.

The firm worked on 19 deals last year, finishing second only to AIM specialists Memery Crystal, according to figures released by the AIM & OFEX Deal Monitor.

“It’s been gradually growing,” said Charles Russell head of finance Simon Gilbert. “2002 was slow, 2003 was better and 2004 was really good. 2005 has started even better than 2004.”

The firm achieved a balance of transactions, advising the company on eight deals and the nominated adviser (nomad) on 11.

Another firm to have improved hugely on last year is Pinsent Masons, which is clearly benefiting from its merger. It now has four partners focused on AIM IPOs, two from Masons and two from Pinsents. In contrast to Charles Russell, Pinsent Masons has focused on advising companies. “We make more money advising the companies. While we’re very used to advising brokers and nomads, we prefer working for the companies,” said corporate partner Jon Harris.

At the top end of the market, firms advising the issuer can charge a maximum of around £200,000, with lawyers to the broker charging £40,000-£70,000.

See next week’s The Lawyer for an AIM analysis