Anderson Strathern inks partnership to help navigate new deal legislation

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Anderson Strathern has partnered with Linc Scotland to advise the angel association’s members around newly-implemented legislation regarding acquisitions and investments – with the law firm saying Scottish activity is progressing nonetheless.

The business is working with Linc – the national association for business angels in Scotland – to provide guidance around the National Security and Investment Act 2021, which came into force on January 4 this year, and allows the UK government to scrutinise relevant financial activity that could harm the UK’s national security.

The act covers 17 areas of the economy including advanced robotics, artificial intelligence, civil nuclear, computing hardware, cryptographic authentication, data infrastructure, defence, energy, and satellite and space technology, the firm added.

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However, Euan Tripp, a partner in Anderson Strathern’s corporate practice who heads up its investments team, said that despite “widespread” concerns that the act could out the brakes on investment activity, the law firm has seen organisations affected “getting to grips” with it and deals “continue to move in the right direction”. He added that this is “encouraging for the Scottish scene, as we’re coming off a record year of investment deal activity last year”.

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Alco commenting was Max Scharbert, a director in Anderson Strathern’s corporate practice, who is speaking on the act at a forthcoming Linc Scotland members’ event. He said: “While we dealt with a high volume of calls in the first few weeks after the new legislation came into place, there is a definite feeling that there is now greater clarity and consensus.”

Anderson Strathern says it advises a number of investors based in Scotland also including Par Equity, Equity Gap, Kelvin Capital, Foresight Group, and Tricapital, in addition to advising companies raising investment, and engaging in mergers and acquisitions. The legal business adds that it continues to build expertise in the tech and life sciences sectors, and has as many as ten investment deals completing immediately before and after the new tax year.

Boasting 53 partners and 295 employees across Edinburgh, Glasgow, Haddington and Lerwick, it in February reported revenue of £26.2 million in the year to August 31, 2021, up from £23.3m in the previous financial year.

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From left: Anderson Strathern partner Euan Tripp and chair Bruce Farquhar in conversation. Picture: Stewart Attwood.From left: Anderson Strathern partner Euan Tripp and chair Bruce Farquhar in conversation. Picture: Stewart Attwood.
From left: Anderson Strathern partner Euan Tripp and chair Bruce Farquhar in conversation. Picture: Stewart Attwood.

Customer base

Among other clients on its books are Buccleuch, the Scottish Government, Crown Estate Scotland, Scotmid, Apex Hotels, Ineos, City of Edinburgh Council, Glasgow City Council, the University of Strathclyde, Edinburgh Napier University, Transport Scotland, the Scottish Prison Service, and the Royal College of Nursing.

Linc said in February of this year that in 2021, deals led by its angel syndicate members secured a total of £146m of funding for young companies with high-growth potential, almost double the amount raised in 2020, and 70 per cent higher than the record set in 2019.

It also stated that the 21 member syndicates were “very successful” in bringing into their deals external co-investors – corporate investors, venture capital firms, other angel groups, and other institutional investors, many from outside the UK – who contributed 54 per cent of the total amounts raised in 2021, with an average investment of £1.7m, almost double the 2019 level.

Separately, KPMG said recently that more than £2 billion worth of deals were seen across Scotland’s private equity market in 2021, and it expects 2022 to see the market finally return to “full force”.

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