Merricks wins new South African client

Struggling national firm Merricks has experienced a flicker of hope after winning tiny South African private security company Command Holdings as a new client.

The company has chosen Merricks to advise on its expansion in South Africa and overseas markets.

Head of corporate Rhod Griffiths, who was introduced to Command Holdings through a financial intermediary, will advise it on its planned expansion strategy.

Command Holdings, which listed on the South African stock exchange in 2000, had a market capitalisation of R4m (£332,000) and a share price of four South African cents at the time of writing.

Griffiths said that as well as carrying out transactional work, he will help Command Holdings find international debt finance for its planned acquisitions.

“I’m helping it access finance into South Africa in terms of these acquisitions. This is an interesting role for a lawyer, but I do things a bit differently, and with this client I’m involved at an earlier stage than just the legal transactional work,” he said.

The client win is a coup for Merricks, which has experienced significant cash flow problems over the past year, as well as the loss of several partners and the closure of one office.

In January this year, Merricks’ 10-month old merger with London firm Fairmays all but collapsed with the departure of four legacy Fairmays partners, leaving Merricks with just one partner in London.

Merricks, which is headquartered in Chelmsford, still has offices in Birmingham and Manchester, but was forced to close its Ipswich office last summer.