News

Bank House added to National Heritage List for England

Bank House, 27 King Street, Leeds, a former Bank of England regional headquarters building, 1969-71, is the most architecturally ambitious and accomplished example of the Bank of England’s 1960s programme of rebuilding regional centres. Photo: James O. Davies, English Heritage.

English Heritage announces iconic Walker Morris office to be Grade II-listed

Walker Morris' office building at Bank House has been selected as one of 14 post-World War Two office buildings to be added to the National Heritage List for England.

English Heritage offered 23 buildings for assessment, and it is from that list that the 14 were selected by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

The new additions celebrate the work of leading modern architects and show how architecture has responded to radical changes in the way we work.  This follows an English Heritage project to assess commercial buildings from 1964 to 1984.

Bank House at 27 King Street, Leeds, was designed and built by Building Design Partnership and was the Bank of England regional headquarters building from 1969-71.

Heritage Minister, Ed Vaizey, said:

"Listed buildings are not just about historic houses and ancient monuments, they also serve to protect our recent heritage and preserve the best examples of our fantastic architecture. This group of listings reflect the changing face of our working environment and represent the very best in design and it's entirely right that they be listed Grade II."

Nick Bridgland, designation team leader for English Heritage in the north said:

“Bank House is a boldly designed and executed office building by a well-respected practice. Its powerful street-presence is offset by the use of good quality materials. This architectural finesse and historic interest mean it fully deserves listing at Grade II.”

University spin-out company recognised for award-winning invention to reduce greenhouse emissions

A pioneering technology developed by a spin out company from the University of Salford has been recognised for its ingenuity at the prestigious Times Higher Education Awards, winning the 'Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology Award'.

The Salford Valve Company Limited t/a Salvalco was spun out from the University in 2013 and was assisted in its formation by a multidisciplinary team from Walker Morris comprising of specialists from the Firm's Corporate, Commercial and Intellectual Property departments.

The spin out company centred around its innovative technology for an eco-friendly aerosol valve system that has the potential to significantly reduce global green house emissions.

Developed by a team led by Professor Ghasem Nasr, director of Salford University's Spray Research Group, the system negates the need for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in aerosols sprays, which have a negative impact on the environment.  As well as reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, the valve will also reduce production costs and enhance safety in aerosol production.

Alan Harper from Walker Morris commented:

"Walker Morris originally started working with Salvalco in 2013 and provided multidisciplinary support from the Firm's Corporate, Commercial and Intellectual Property departments. The team was led by Corporate Partner Debbie Jackson and assisted with the formation of the spin out company from the University and the acquisition of a number of patents relating to this exciting technology.  Since then the Company has gone from strength to strength and we are delighted to see the innovation being recognised in these prestigious awards.  With an estimated 17 billion aerosols being produced each year this is a multimillion pound market, the technology has huge potential and we look forward to working with the company to achieve greater success in the future."

Walker Morris advises Mibelle on acquisition of majority stake in Quantum Beauty

A multidisciplinary team from Walker Morris has advised the private label manufacturer Mibelle on its acquisition of a majority shareholding in Quantum Beauty Company (QBC).  QBC is the owner and creator of brands including Lee Stafford Haircare, Arganoil from Morocco and Salon Science Haircare.

While QBC continues to work on consolidating the global success of its own brands, the two companies will now work together to develop new brands in the global marketplace while actively seeking to grow their business with strategic acquisitions.

Mibelle Group is number three in European private label manufacturing, with an annual turnover in excess of €300m.

Max Costantini, CEO of Mibelle Ltd, adds:

“QBC is such a strong, creative business and its track record in brands management is there for all to see. Together with the Mibelle Group, the company is ideally placed to take advantage of the opportunities for growth that exist in today’s markets and those of the future.”

John Hamer, who led the team at Walker Morris, commented:

“The two companies have worked together for a number of years and have several synergies which will help to provide a solid platform to move forward.  We have experience in this sector having previously provided a broad range of legal advice to a global manufacturer in the personal care market including its international anti-counterfeiting campaign.  As such, we were able to field a multidisciplinary team to provide comprehensive legal advice tailored to Mibelle.”

Mibelle were advised by a team of specialist lawyers led by John Hamer with support from Jamie Burgess (both corporate) with input from Alan Harper (intellectual property), Alex Clayton (commercial) and Stephen De'Giovanni (employment).

£40m refinance to accelerate growth at Andrew Page

Walker Morris has advised Endless LLP and the borrower group on the £40m refinancing with PNC of automotive parts and garage equipment supplier Andrew Page Group, as it looks to accelerate its growth plans.

The business said the deal came on the back of a successful 2014 when the now £200m-turnover group achieved major operational improvements, acquired 21 former Unipart Automotive branches, entered into a strategic collaboration with Unipart Group and also strengthened its senior management team.

The group, which is backed by private equity houses Endless and Phoenix Equity Partners, operates 114 branches across the UK and has a firmly stated aim of adding 50 sites through a combination of acquisition, new openings and franchise arrangements.

Endless and the Andrew Page Group were advised by a team of Finance lawyers from Walker Morris comprising Peter Considine, Michael Taylor, David Tinkler and Ben Roden.

Indra Harrison, Endless investment director and non-executive director for the group, commented:

"The refinancing tops off a really strong year for Andrew Page – the business has been on a roll with winning new customers, opening new branches and delivering a number of key operational step changes.

"We are very proud of what the business has achieved and are excited about 2015 and its continued growth and success."

University spin-out company recognised for award-winning invention to reduce greenhouse emissions

A pioneering technology developed by a spin out company from the University of Salford has been recognised for its ingenuity at the prestigious Times Higher Education Awards, winning the 'Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology Award'.

The Salford Valve Company Limited t/a Salvalco was spun out from the University in 2013 and was assisted in its formation by a multidisciplinary team from Walker Morris comprising of specialists from the Firm's Corporate, Commercial and Intellectual Property departments.

The spin out company centred around its innovative technology for an eco-friendly aerosol valve system that has the potential to significantly reduce global green house emissions.

Developed by a team led by Professor Ghasem Nasr, director of Salford University's Spray Research Group, the system negates the need for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in aerosols sprays, which have a negative impact on the environment.  As well as reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, the valve will also reduce production costs and enhance safety in aerosol production.

Alan Harper from Walker Morris commented:

"Walker Morris originally started working with Salvalco in 2013 and provided multidisciplinary support from the Firm's Corporate, Commercial and Intellectual Property departments. The team was led by Corporate Partner Debbie Jackson and assisted with the formation of the spin out company from the University and the acquisition of a number of patents relating to this exciting technology.  Since then the Company has gone from strength to strength and we are delighted to see the innovation being recognised in these prestigious awards.  With an estimated 17 billion aerosols being produced each year this is a multimillion pound market, the technology has huge potential and we look forward to working with the company to achieve greater success in the future."

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