A Newton Aycliffe-based commercial finance firm continues to grow thanks to the expert legal guidance of Endeavour Partnership.
Commercial Expert expanded at the end of 2015, taking on additional team members and moving to larger, modern premises on Aycliffe Business Park due to continuing success.
The firm, founded by managing director Mike Coates (above, left) in 2008, manages more than £48m-worth of deals a year for clients nationwide.
And Mike says the top legal service offered by Endeavour Partnership has enabled him to offer a more professional service to his clients.
“We were in the process of expanding our team and relocating to larger offices, and we needed our legal documentation reviewing as we felt that was an area which needed improving,” explained Mike.
“It wasn’t robust enough. So if things went wrong we were just hitting a wall and getting nowhere. We would try to claim some of our broker fees back and there’d been a couple of occasions when the documentation was torn up and we needed legal representation.
“So all our documents have been re-written by Endeavour Partnership, which was the first piece of work they did for us.
“Since then, Endeavour has reviewed all of the HR side to our business. So we now have a new employee’s handbook. We’ve also had all of our regulated Ts & Cs reviewed and re-written by Endeavour.
“And I’ve just instructed them to look at a new agent contract for us. Pretty much anything that requires legal documentation, we now hand over to Endeavour.”
Mike says it has been the documentation side of his business which has helped to improve Commercial Expert’s offering to clients.
He said: “All our documents are now transparent, but also watertight. That means we have utter faith in the paperwork we deliver to our clients, and equally our clients have peace of mind that we the documentation is legally sound.
“Particularly now when we’re dealing with larger clients and more complex projects, they want to know who we work with, and it’s really useful for us to be able to tell our clients that all our documents are written by Endeavour.
“But they have also helped us collect unpaid bills, as well. We did a large, very specialist development in the Tyne & Wear area, the finance for that completed beautifully, it all went according to plan, but then the developer decided they didn’t want to pay.
“We decided that we needed an aggressive approach, rather than mediation. Endeavour created the right legal documentation for us to submit to the client, which still declined to pay, so we then instructed Endeavour to collect for us and they were very successful.”
In the last two years, Commercial Expert has utilised the expertise of a number of key Endeavour Partnership staff, including partners Lee Bramley and Paul Bennett from the firm’s commercial disputes team, partner and head of the corporate team Nik Tunley, partner and head of the employment team Stephen Elliott and associate Martin McKinnell from the corporate and commercial department.
Mike said: “One of the most noticeable things when you work with Endeavour is that they’re human beings, which I think is unusual for the legal profession.
“I often talk about how some Dickensian professionals just don’t keep up with what’s going on in the world. We feel that we’re leaps and bounds ahead in technology, while Endeavour Partnership as a firm feels young and vibrant, and in-tune with the modern world, so it’s a great firm to work with.
“They’re more approachable than other lawyers we’ve had experience of working with.”
As one of the North East’s leading commercial law firms, Endeavour Partnership is the go-to legal practice for a range of issues in sectors ranging from construction, healthcare, hospitality and leisure to agriculture, education, retail, IT and start-ups, and has a reputation spanning over 15 years.
Lee Bramley (above, right), who is partner and Head of the Commercial Disputes team at Endeavour, acknowledges the Stockton-based law firm has deliberately tried to change the image of lawyers.
“One of our clients recently described us as professionally informal,” says Lee. “We’re not in three-pieces with pocket watches, some people have that image of lawyers which we’re trying to get away from.”
Having worked with Commercial Expert for the last two years, Lee described how the relationship has brought added benefits for both firms.
He said: “Once we understood what Mike did, we then had the opportunity to introduce Commercial Expert to some of our clients looking for specialist, non-High Street funding, or those who maybe have historical credit issues looking for complicated refinancing options.
“So it’s very much a two-way working relationship which has benefits to both sides.
“Clients of Commercial Expert recommend their clients to us because they see the paperwork is transparent and fair – what you see is what you get.”
The start of 2016 saw Endeavour Partnership begin a period of recruitment to add to its team of 45 as it continues with its planned growth for 2016, following a successful 2015 where the firm exceeded its anticipated development across the North East.
The company was launched in 1999 by four partners who saw the need for a law firm to provide purely commercial legal services.
Endeavour has continued to grow thanks to its varied expertise in areas including commercial litigation, banking and finance, employment, corporate recovery and insolvency and commercial property and its links with its local community.
• For further information, practical advice documents and career opportunities visit www.endeavourpartnership.com