The Brief

This was an extremely complicated brief. Kanishka required a holding company to be created for Atul Kochhar and Tina English and beneath this limited companies. In addition, the business needed representation in an investment round for a multi-million pound deal from both institutional and angel investors.

Gannons were required to act as an investor relations bureau, ensuring the best deal for a tight knit investment team by way of tax break opportunities, together with end goals and exit plans. The chosen law firm would need to be extremely approachable, solid and independent, whilst having a hands-on professional approach.

Why did you choose Gannons?

I had previously worked with Gannons on a number of projects, including for the sale of the Cinnamon Club in 2015. More recently, I worked with the firm on a very complicated sale involving 40 shareholders. I had an outstanding experience with them, so when it came to initiating the legalities for the Kanishka and Mathura deals, I had no hesitation, as they really are quite an extraordinary legal firm.

I knew from previously working with Gannons, that the team you initially meet – which always involves the senior lawyers, will be the team that undertake the work from start to finish. Catherine, the Founder, is an extremely reassuring woman, who is both generous of spirit and heart. She’s straightforward, edgy and savvy and you absolutely know she has your best interests at heart. Helen Curtis a Partner, is a very smart, articulate, tactful and approachable lady. She is an absolute powerhouse of information, again, very reassuring.

Tell us more about the service provided to you from Gannons

We required Gannons to act as our quasi general counsel, providing advice on all aspects of the commercial requirements for Kanishka and Mathura. As part of this, the team needed to apply for SEIS and EIS advance assurance, together with creating a Shareholders Agreement, Articles of Association for review by our investors and employment agreements for directors and staff.

Due to Gannons exceptional organisational skills, they developed an unprecedented amount of documentation to meet the tight timelines. They truly are an efficient machine.

Interestingly, as a business person, people assume you know everything about tax and EIS. Gannons don’t assume. They make you feel okay to ask questions. They explain your options in a very user-friendly and competent manner, to ensure you eventually become an expert in that field. I believe the key to business success is to employ people who are better than you and Gannons encapsulate this.

Did Gannons provide any services over and above your brief and expectations?

Absolutely. Even though it wasn’t part of their remit, the team handled all communications with the property agents. They also attended our initial kick-off sessions with the investors – which was instrumental in adding reassurance. Helen dealt with the investors on a one-on-one basis and supported me in presentations. Our investors are very savvy business people who don’t suffer fools. Gannons are trusted and indeed loved by them, to the point that they want to work with the team on their own private projects.

Helen Curtis

Helen is a partner and heads up the corporate team, advising start-ups, SME companies, partnerships, entrepreneurs, investors and shareholders. Dual-qualified in the UK and USA and a qualified solicitor since 1998 you couldn't ask for more experience.

Let us take it from here

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