Memery Crystal is a 12-partner firm with a leading reputation among AIM-nominated advisers (nomads) as the predominant AIM firm. Its corporate finance practice consists of four partners – Peter Crystal, Lesley Gregory, Jonathan Davies and Greg Scott – supported by 10 further fee-earners. Corporate finance is the biggest part of the corporate group. The remaining three partners each take a practice area each – tax, intellectual property (IP) and digital technology, and employment and employee benefits.

The firm works particularly closely with investment house Seymour Pierce. In fact, 15 of its 26 initial public offerings (IPOs) saw them acting for the bank, and on four IPOs where they acted for the issuer, Seymour Pierce was either the nomad or the broker. But this is not to say it only works with Seymour Pierce. Smith & Williamson use it and Scott has particularly close ties with Investec Henderson Crosthwaite.

When acting for the issuer, the firm will charge between £40,000 and £70,000; and when acting for the broker, between £20,000 and £30,000. This, though, is not to say that fees cannot rise towards the £100,000 mark for more complex transactions.

Despite a particularly buoyant year, and its long-standing reputation for AIM work, Memery Crystal has not always had it easy. In 1998 the firm felt the pinch of a slumped market, working on only about seven IPOs. But as the market recovered, so the volume of work grew. In 1999 it worked on 13, and from January 2000 to the present day it has worked on nearer 20.