Knowledge Hub | Cases and deals

05 February 2014

B P Collins helps events crewing company build international infrastructure

Full-service law firm, B P Collins LLP, helping international events crewing company, Gallowglass, expand and diversify.

The importance of trusted legal advice to support sustainable business expansion cannot be underestimated. And, as private organisations grow, diversify and develop international operations, the need for independent advice to help secure and enhance the value of a business is a critical to long-term growth.

Evidence shows that, in a fast-evolving business environment, partnering with a strong corporate and commercial practice can help management and owners minimise the disruption of change, protect business legacy and maximise shareholder value. This has certainly proved to be the case throughout the ten-year partnership between events crewing company Gallowglass Ltd and the full-service legal firm, B P Collins LLP.

Gallowglass – the company

Gallowglass is the largest events crewing company in the UK and Europe, providing complete crewing support service for corporate events, exhibitions, festivals and official ceremonies. Established in 1996 with a client-base of just five companies, Gallowglass now boasts more than 2000 customers, including high profile brands such as the BBC, ITV and the London 2012 Olympics.

The business has subsequently diversified into a Group of companies, with the introduction of organisations providing adjacent services such as health and safety consultancy, environmental/event sustainability and training & development.

International markets

In the process it has expanded its international presence beyond the UK, with operations in Barcelona, Nice, Paris and Monaco, and offices in Qatar due to open later this year. The rapid rise of Gallowglass as an internationally-renowned brand has been underpinned by independent advice, support and legal expertise from B P Collins LLP.

Business partnership

Gallowglass first began working with B P Collins LLP in 2003 and has maintained a valuable relationship with the firm ever since. “B P Collins LLP has been fundamental to our growth and has been a trusted advisor throughout all our key developments in the past decade,” says Nick Grecian, Managing Director at Gallowglass.

“Our initial engagement with them was to sort out the contractual shareholdings of the company and establish a legal platform and structure for the future growth of the business. Their expertise in corporate law at this stage was hugely beneficial, and they guided us enormously in terms of business valuation, contracts and negotiation. And we’ve relied on their guidance ever since.”

Full service requirements

B P Collins LLP has subsequently continued to play an important role in evaluating commercial contracts with Gallowglass’ clients. It has also provided property law services to support Gallowglass through a major office move and to handle leasing arrangements to increase the capacity of its premises during London 2012.

“Whenever we have any major developments within the business, B P Collins LLP is one of our first ports of call,” says Nick. “They are able to offer pragmatic and honest advice to help us ensure we are doing the right thing and are legally protected by binding contracts. We really value their opinions from a commercial perspective.”

Expansion assistance

B P Collins LLP has been instrumental in the diversification and international expansion of Gallowglass Ltd – supporting the company through a major restructuring exercise when it opted to split the crewing and consultancy arms of the business into two distinct groups. “B P Collins LLP also helped us set up our health and safety consultancy, which included the acquisition of another business.

They created an LLP with the existing principle consultant and helped us to incorporate the new company within the group. Subsequently they have provided similar support in helping us establish our sustainability and training businesses,” says Nick.

Growth strategy

Gallowglass’ international expansion – a crucial part of the company’s growth strategy – has also dictated the need for robust legal support. “Since we now dominate the domestic market, we realise that future growth is likely to come from overseas markets – so expansion into Europe and beyond has been a key priority for us.

We have recently opened in Monaco and Paris and are shortly due to launch in Dubai. We are also looking at opportunities in Rio and Australia,” says Nick. “But all of these countries present different challenges. B P Collins helps us to assess the options and advises on how we might handle things – not simply in terms of the company set-up, but also around how we operate on the ground.

Do we need partners? How do we find them? What are the best contractual arrangements to protect our interests? These are key questions – and B P Collins LLP gives us a really good steer on how we should respond.”

Trusted relationship

Gallowglass cites the trusted relationship it has built with B P Collins LLP as one of the main reasons why the partnership has been so durable. “We have an open and transparent relationship; they know everything about us,” says Nick.”

“Relationships are incredibly important to us as a business – and transparency and disclosure is critical to that. To make sure we get the best advice, we need to be able to share everything that’s going on in the business with them – and you can only do that if you’ve got total trust in the relationship.

“We not only trust B P Collins LLP, but we see tremendous value in the relationship we have with them. And to have maintained that relationship for ten years is a testament to the work they have done with us. They’ve been fundamental to our growth.”

Simon Deans

Simon Deans

Tel: 01753 279022 | 07841 672809

Gillian Price

Gillian Price

Tel: 01753 279001 | 07714 303172

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