Independent advisory firm Dow Schofield Watts has bucked the trend with a rise of over 25 percent in the volume and value of deals it advised on during 2018.

Its corporate finance and transaction services teams advised on 68 deals worth £1.07bn during the year, compared to 54 deals worth £839m in 2017. The firm also extended its reach nationally during the year with the launch of a new London office and new service lines including business planning and tax resolution.

Dow Schofield Watts now ranks as a top 75 accountancy firm with over 60 professionals in Leeds, the North West and London, most of them with backgrounds in ‘big four’ firms.

During 2018 the firm advised on deals including Beech Tree Private Equity’s investment in BCN Group, Rockpool’s investment in online retailer Primrose and the acquisitions of Rock Seven Mobile Services and YB Tracking by Horizon Capital’s portfolio company Wireless Innovation, as well as multiple acquisitions by Kinaxia Logistics, environmental consultancy firm RSK and Just Childcare.

Meanwhile its new angel network Dow Schofield Watts Angels completed its first three deals with investments in Warrington-based software company Avanite, the Manchester-based e-commerce platform Shopblocks, and the Newcastle-based online events marketplace PopTopUK. Its private equity arm PHD Equity Partners also celebrated its 10th anniversary with a significant investment in Goole-based chemicals business Technikraft.

James Dow, founding partner of Dow Schofield Watts, said: “2018 has been a landmark year for the firm. Not only have we significantly increased the volume and value of deals for the third year in a row, but the launch of the London office has established Dow Schofield Watts as a leading national advisory firm.

“We hope to make 2019 another year of growth as we continue to broaden our services, attract more high-calibre professionals and roll out the Dow Schofield Watts model to other regions of the UK.”

Ed Brentnall, joint head of the transaction services team, which celebrated its tenth anniversary recently, added: 2018 was our strongest performing year to date, no mean feat given the uncertainty in the M&A market. Despite this, we have increased headcount and launched a new team in London which has hit the ground running. Pipelines for all three offices remain as strong as ever but like the rest of the market, will have to wait and see what 2019 holds.”

Dow Schofield Watts 25% rise in deal volumes