Financial Services Business Sales

Who We Are

As a long-established solicitors’ practice working almost entirely in the regulated sector we offer a vast range of experience in helping clients sell their Financial Services Firms.

We work nationally with physical offices in the West Midlands and Manchester.

Our team has legal, accounting and commercial experience and assists in all aspects of a business sale from finding a buyer through to a successful exit by the vendor. We deal with valuation, regulatory compliance and deal negotiations with our “all under one roof” approach. Why use several disparate teams in your quest for support?

The Team

Head shot of Gareth Fatchett

Gareth Fatchett

Gareth has practised as a solicitor for over 20 years and is a nationally renowned expert in the financial services market. His knowledge of financial services regulatory matters is second to none and he has guided many firms through the labyrinth of FCA
compliance. A sensible approach to these matters can be critical in achieving a sale.

Head shot of Paul Crutchley

Paul Crutchley

Paul is an experienced corporate solicitor with a wealth of history in advising individuals, private companies and financial institutions in the financial services market. Paul is a man who you want on your side in completing a sale.

Head shot of Iain Johnstone

Iain Johnstone

Iain is a Chartered Accountant with significant experience in the transactional market. He previously headed the Corporate Finance department in a well known independent Midlands accountancy practice and acted for both regulated firms and financial institutions. Iain brings a strong commercial understanding together with associated tax knowledge to commercial sales.

Head shot of Sharon Smith

Sharon Smith

Sharon previously worked in the IFA Industry for 15 years and has many years experience in organising project management, ensuring procedures are followed so that the process runs efficiently, in a timely and professional manner.

Headshot of Jonathan Cook

Jonathan Cook

Jonathan graduated with a Masters Degree in Law. He applies his knowledge in mergers and acquisitions and corporate law to business sales.

Headshot of Rebecca Handley

Rebecca Handley

Rebecca is a corporate solicitor with more than a decade of experience in the Financial Services sector. Her primary focus resolves around facilitating seamless business sales and acquisitions, as well as navigating complex business restructurings. She has a particular interest in Employee Ownership Trusts and has helped numerous companies to establish and manage these trusts.

What We Do

We believe we are unlike any other “sales broker.”

We undertake an initial assessment of your business with a unique “Triage “approach. Our professional team undertakes this initial work free of charge to assess the important aspects of your business in order to achieve a successful sale. This includes regulatory, tax, compliance, and valuation aspects. Getting everything in order at the start of a journey is important.

When your business is “ready to sell”, we will find you a purchaser. Unlike most brokers, we act entirely for you, the seller, and have no conflict between seller and buyer (most brokers are actually employed by the buyer, which can lead to conflicts of interest).

Sale Options and Structure

There are many ways of extracting value from your business. The most common are:

  • External sale
  • Management buyout
  • Employee Ownership Trust (EOT)

All options should be thoroughly evaluated, and we will help you with this and, at the same time, advise on the sale structure.

  • Share sale.
  • Business assets asset sale
  • Personal asset sale
  • Hybrid structure

Trust and knowledge

This may be the only time you sell your business, and you need a knowledgeable team you can trust. The team at FS Legal Solicitors has been advising regulated companies for over 20 years.

We don’t “outsource” to other teams, providing a full service in relation to all aspects of the deal including buyer selection, valuation, sale structure, tax and regulatory tax and compliance.

Buyer Selection

We have built an in-depth knowledge of active buyers in your market. We do not contract with buyers who generally appoint brokers to act on both sides of the deal. However, we generally find that buyers are willing to add our own sale fee as a necessary part of the acquisition cost to them and we advise buyers of this at the outset.

Our sales process means that buyers receive all relevant business information anonymously and concisely. We don’t do “frills”. This allows them and you to ensure they fully understand what the important components of the business look like so that initial time is not wasted.


Business valuation is not an exact science, and you need the right price for your business. Value is more than just price and brings employees, clients and culture into the equation. However, you need to ensue you get the best price for your sale; we will help from our wide market experience.

We always consider all aspects of the valuation matrix being:

  • Recurring income multiples
  • Historic and forecast performance
  • Assets under management
  • Service range


We will look into the tax efficiency of deals and structures. Whilst we always involve your existing accountant as a valuable source of history and knowledge, we understand how deals work in this sector and can positively influence tax planning.


We are fully transparent about costs to you, which are 3% of the agreed sales value plus VAT. We have a minimum fee for very small sales at £20,000 plus VAT.

We will happily tender for the “legals “ work in finalising contracts and believe we offer competitive prices. On top of that we can offers discounts on legal fees where we act as sales broker.