SJ Berwin and Newcastle’s Ward Hadaway acted on the £90m sale of the Livingwell Premier health club chain to Bannatyne Fitness, the gym business owned by TV’s Dragon’s Den entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne. The deal involved 24 UK clubs with a combined membership of approximately 80,000. It followed an auction that began in May in which Bannatyne raced against rivals, including LA Fitness, to complete the transaction in just three weeks. Ward Hadaway acted for Bannatyne following a referral from five-partner Merritt & Company, based in Yarm, North Yorkshire, Bannatyne’s law firm for smaller work. Corporate partner David Thompson led the Ward Hadaway team. SJ Berwin acted for long-term client Hilton International, the sellers, led by real estate partner David Ryland.