Employee ownership

Family Law Group moves to employee ownership model

Family Law Group, which has an office in Chesterfield has announced that 2022 will see the transfer of ownership to the firm’s staff, by becoming an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT).

This is the first step in empowering the company’s lawyers to drive the business forward and to support the strategic growth plan to become the largest and best Family Law Firm in the country. The aim is to grow to 15 offices, creating up to 100 new jobs, and the launch of a national telephone advice line, in the next five years.

75% of the group, which currently has over 130 employees across 10 offices, will now be owned by the EOT, and all staff, regardless of seniority, will receive equal annual bonuses based upon the firm’s performance. Whilst the day to day running of the firm will remain with the existing management team, as an employee-owned business, any decisions taken are now done for the benefit of all staff.

This move is about empowering lawyers to take ownership of the firm in respect of its direction and commitment to Family Law Group’s core values and purpose. They will now have a greater input in to the day to day running of the firm, and the decisions that are made as it grows.

A statement on Family Law Group’s website said: “The company has already grown considerably over the last 4 years. It is imperative that we ensure our model is right to not only retain the lawyers who contribute to our success, but also to be able to attract the highest quality talent to our growing business.

“The move to an EOT is a way of ensuring the longevity of our firm. We really value our staff, and this was one way of demonstrating that. In the long term as we grow, we intend to become 100% employee owned.

“We don’t intend upon standing still and we differentiate ourselves from other firms by not just targeting high net worth individuals, but by also ensuring that the most disadvantaged in society have access to our expert legal advice. In addition to the move to becoming an EOT, we have invested heavily in our IT infrastructure this year and have refreshed our brand. We are confident that these changes, and our whole ethos, will ensure that we continue to grow within the family law world.”

Established in 2005, Family Law Group has over 130 employees across 10 offices in Nottingham, Chesterfield, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Wellingborough, Derby, Loughborough, Peterborough, Bedford and Cambridge.

Family Law Group provides expert legal advice across the full range of Family Law matters including Divorce & Separation, Child Arrangements & Social Services, Care Proceedings, Matrimonial Finance & Property, Mediation, Collaborative Law, Forced Marriage and Domestic Abuse Injunctions. Family Law Group is Investors in People and Lexcel accredited.

Derbyshire Family Law supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , , ,

Local Energy firm transitions to Employee Ownership

Shorts Chartered Accountants recently teamed up with Knights plc to act as corporate finance, tax advisors and legal representatives as Cost Advice Energy Specialists (Cost Advice) transitioned to an Employee Ownership model.

Established in 1995, and previously owned by brothers Christopher and Stephen Ball, the Company strives to set the benchmark for providing quality advice for commercial energy customers on the best ways for them to purchase and manage their electricity and gas.

Over its history, the business has expanded into a team of professionals who assist businesses across Britain, ranging from small independent retailers to large multi-site organisations.

On completing the transition, Stephen Ball commented: “Chris and I are extremely proud of the company and how it has grown and evolved over the last 26 years, and it is important to us that we protect its legacy and ensure it remains independent.

“Employee ownership provided a way for us to do this; it’s progressive and forward-thinking and provides a way to give back to our loyal and talented workforce who have helped to make Cost Advice what it is today. The company is going from strength-to-strength and now is the perfect time to start our exciting new chapter.”

Speaking about the transition to employee ownership, Shorts Corporate Finance Partner, Andy Ryder said: “We would like to extend our congratulations to Cost Advice and its new employee owners.

“Having discussed various succession planning options with Stephen and Chris, it was clear that the EOT route would best meet their overall objectives.

“Businesses that choose the EOT route build trust and shared responsibility. and we are confident that this will result in a very positive future for the business. We look forward to seeing Cost Advice’s continuing success under their new ownership model.”

Shorts supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , ,

Mitchells Chartered Accountants & Business Advisers celebrates UK Employee Ownership Day

Chesterfield Champion, Mitchells Chartered Accountants & Business Advisers are delighted to be part of the UK Employee Ownership Day (EO Day), run by the Employee Ownership Association (EOA) today (Friday 25th June 2021.)

Mitchells are taking part in this year’s campaign, to celebrate and raise awareness of how business is better together for individuals, businesses, and the community.

Since 2018, the company has supported several of our region’s businesses through the decision to become employee owned and have become a Trustee on their Boards to support their future journey.

One such business is specialist engineering company, P&D Specialist Services which was established over 30 years ago by brothers Pat and Dave Musgrave.

Pat Musgrave explained: “At P&D, legacy has always been important to us, and we wanted to keep it that way.

“An EOT was the only option that checked all our boxes because it not only gave our employees security, it also ensured that the legacy we had built could still be developed within the community.

“We were delighted to hand the company over to the people who are the most invested and critical to the success of the business – the employees.”

The UK government introduced the concept of EO in 2014 to encourage more businesses to transition to the corporate structure, that many colloquially refer to as the “John Lewis” model.

Mitchells Partner, Andrew McDaid explained: “For many years, the entire concept was overlooked and under utilised.”

“We have been talking to clients about EO since 2018 and have seen firsthand, the benefits that employee ownership can bring.”

“It’s great to see so many businesses raising awareness of EO and for any businesses who would like to know more, I would encourage them to speak to a firm who has many years’ experience of advising and supporting businesses through the considerations and challenges, such as Mitchells.”

Deb Oxley, CEO for the Employee Ownership Association, said: “Companies such as P&D Specialist Services are great examples of the economic and social benefits that can be achieved when employees have a stake and a say in the business in which they work.

“This year’s EO Day theme reflects what we have been hearing from our members – when it comes to resilience, mental health and well-being and good business we are better together.

“This rapidly growing sector of the economy offers many great reasons why more employee ownership has lots to offer the UK as it seeks to recover from the pandemic.”

With numerous events running across the UK and the involvement of thousands of employee owners and other partners, EO Day is an integral part of the EOA’s events calendar and was introduced to raise awareness of employee ownership as an economically strong and balanced business model.

The benefits of employee ownership have been proven in EOA-led research, and include improving employee health and wellbeing, increasing productivity and fostering creativity and innovation across an array of industry sectors. In addition:

• UK employee owned companies contribute over £30 billion to the UK economy annually
• Employee-owners have higher levels of job satisfaction, feel a greater sense of achievement and job security, and are more likely to recommend their workplace than employees in non-employee owned businesses
• Employee owned businesses operate in a range of sectors including healthcare, social care, education, transport, manufacturing, retail and professional services

Mitchells Chartered Accountants supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Development, Featured, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , ,

Ascento announces innovative company ownership change after successful pandemic period

Staff at a Dronfield-based training firm have been handed an opportunity to share in the financial success of the business after its owner sold the company to an Employee Ownership Trust.

Ascento has switched to an employee-owned business model, meaning all 20 employees have been given indirect ownership in the company via the trust.

Previous sole owner Chris Ash will continue to act as Managing Director for the business but its future profits will be shared with staff on a yearly basis.

As outgoing owner, Chris Ash, says “I am excited to step aside as the sole owner and cannot wait for the whole team to share in the next exciting stage of our journey.

“Becoming employee owned means we are stronger together, means we can all share in our successes and means the culture we have strived, and continue to strive, to develop is maintained through a collective spirit and drive”.

Oliver Simpson, Commercial Director explains “Due to the changing nature of business as a direct result of the Covid19 pandemic we have seen an overwhelming increase in demand for our industry leading digital marketing and management apprenticeship qualifications, this is primarily due to the huge migration to remote working over the last year and because of the strong likelihood of this remaining in place for a larger proportion of the workforce than usual, businesses now recognise the urgent need to up-skill their existing staff as the existing management structures need to be adapted and their traditional routes to market have changed.

“We have ambitious growth plans in place for the coming years as we look to cement our place as the leading provider of Digital Marketing and Management apprenticeships in the country”.

While the pandemic resulted in a cessation of in-person learning, with education undergoing significant transformations in virtual classroom courses and on-demand online courses growing in popularity through digital platforms; Ascento has thrived as an online learning and development provider increasing retention and time efficiencies. This has provided flexibility for our staff and learners as well as their employers.

Notably, with a recent wave of high profile model conversions to an employee owned model, including Aardman Animations, Richer Sounds, and Riverford Organic Farmers, the business world is being transformed, refocused and inspired. The positive shift for Ascento  in cultural terms shows the company is positively focused on changing lives, empowering people and motivating them in their working lives.

Chris Ash, founder of Ascento Learning and Development, said, ““I am excited to step aside as the sole owner of the company and cannot wait for the whole team to share in the next exciting stage of our journey”.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Development, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , ,

Keep up to date

Dont miss out on all the latest news, updates & special offers.

Signup to our newsletter