Dow Schofield Watts has launched a specialist corporate finance service for the Hospitality & Leisure sector led by two of the UK’s leading experts in the field.

Will Baxter, who was formerly Head of Hospitality at Grant Thornton, and Payam Keyghobadi, who was a Partner in a London-based advisory practice, have worked on deals for chains including Bel & The Dragon, Giggling Squid, Rosa’s Thai Café, Mowgli, Las Iguanas and triyoga.

They will be based in the firm’s fast-growing London office but will advise clients throughout the UK on acquisitions, disposals, fundraising and other transactions.

Will originally qualified as a solicitor at Clifford Chance before moving into corporate finance with Ernst & Young in 1999. Payam qualified as a Chartered Accountant at KPMG before moving into corporate finance with Argyl Partners.

The team will service clients ranging from pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels to gyms and entertainment venues and other consumer businesses. “Dow Schofield Watts is a respected name with a reputation for its expertise,” said Will. “Working within an independent, entrepreneurial firm will give us greater flexibility and allow us to advise owner-managed businesses as well as corporates and provide a partner-led service from start to finish.”

Mark Watts, founding partner, said: “Will and Payam have a wealth of experience working with leisure, hospitality and consumer businesses and their arrival will add further depth to the expertise within the firm.”