Law At Work acquires Dundee’s Youmanage

Magnus Swanson

Scottish-based employment law, HR, and health & safety specialist Law At Work has announced a trio of acquisitions worth £5.15 million which includes Dundee-based HR software provider Youmanage.

The firm has also acquired employment law firm and employee relations (ER) technology business ESPHR and third sector specialist HR Services Partnership (HRSP).

The three firms will now be integrated into parent company Marlowe plc’s Employment Law and HR arm.

The firms will be led by Law At Work (LAW) and Ellis Whittam, which deliver Marlowe’s extensive employment law and HR services across the UK. The transaction represents a major step for the group, supporting the overall growth trajectory and expansion of its services proposition.

Magnus Swanson, chairman of Law At Work, said: “We’re delighted to welcome these new businesses into the group. Since becoming part of Marlowe, our ambition has been to acquire further businesses that complement our own, in order to strengthen the services we provide to our clients. These acquisitions reinforce our current offering with more high-quality legal expertise, market-leading software and greater capability in our HR consultancy offering.

“I’m very excited about our future, the opportunities that this will bring for our brilliant team, and the enhanced level of support this will offer our SME and mid-market clients.”

Reinforcing Law At Work and Ellis Whittam’s software offering, Youmanage helps employers improve the quality and effectiveness of their HR management processes through a new breed of subscription-based HR technology. Based in Dundee, the company supports approximately 200 clients, having developed a functionally-rich platform that addresses the needs of both smaller and larger organisations.

Youmanage was acquired for a total consideration of £1.25m, comprising a £0.75m upfront consideration and a deferred element of £0.5m.

Commenting on the acquisition of the business, Nick Pye, CEO at Youmanage, said: “Technology is set to play an increasingly important role in the delivery of HR and advisory services to business owners, HR professionals and people managers alike. The entire Youmanage team look forward to working with Law At Work and the Marlowe group of companies to provide technological advances in the HR tech space.”

ESPHR is a new model employment law firm and ER technology business comprised of a 14-strong team, including highly qualified employment lawyers. Established in 2003, the organisation now supports some 170 retained clients – including Greene King plc, Randstad and Entain plc.

The acquisition of ESPHR will build on the existing strength of Ellis Whittam and LAW in the legal space, combining technology and SRA-regulated employment law expertise to deliver a truly competitive proposition against traditional law firms.

The Woking-based employment law compliance specialist was acquired for a total consideration of £3.2m, comprising a £2.5m upfront consideration and a deferred element of £0.7m.

Building on Law At Work and Ellis Whittam’s strong presence in the third sector, HRSP specialises in delivering bespoke HR support to charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Its team of 21 HR consultants provides project-based and retained support to around 200 clients each year, offering trusted assistance with administrative, operational and strategic HR requirements.

Located in Horsham, the company has experienced strong growth in the last year, with an annual turnover of £1m. It was acquired for a total consideration of £0.7m.

With backing from Marlowe, the group’s five-strong Employment Law arm, led by Law At Work and Ellis Whittam, now offers a perfect blend of services designed to help employers manage their employees and remain compliant with employment law.

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