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Gloucestershire Business News

Gloucestershire law firms receive multi-million pound investment

Two niche property law firms, Equilaw and Thomas Legal, have received a multi-million pound investment from BGF, the UK's most active investor in growing companies.

Set up in 2007, Gloucester-based Equilaw is the UK's only dedicated equity release legal adviser, working with homeowners and financial advisers to provide independent legal advice on the process of releasing home equity for a range of purposes including retirement planning, house improvements and care provision.

Over the last few years, Equilaw has built up a team of over 70 staff based at its Gloucester offices and has completed tens of thousands of cases.

Thomas Legal, also formed in 2007 and based in Gloucester, focuses on high-end conveyancing services in the South West and London. The firm is technology-centric and has won a large number of consumer awards for its consistently impressive service in the residential property sector.

Claire Barker, MD of Equilaw, said: "Equity release is now a significant part of later life financial planning but, with the increasing range of products, many homeowners find it hard to understand what's best for them. As an independent legal service provider, we've built an excellent track record through our forensic approach to analysing equity release schemes and our efficient service, thanks to our specialist focus and technology."

Simon David, MD of Thomas Legal, added: "We're delighted to have BGF on board as an investor. Its funding and support will help us to scale the business, whilst providing high-quality legal advice and market-leading turnaround times to our ever-increasing customer base."

Ned Dorbin, an investor at BGF, said: "The equity release market has grown rapidly in recent years and Equilaw has established itself as the leading provider across the UK. Thomas Legal has also built an excellent reputation over the last 12 years, due to its deep conveyancing expertise, quick turnaround times and high standards of service for customers.

"Led by experienced management teams and supported by market-leading technology, the businesses are well-placed to capitalise on a growing industry and we're excited to be working with the teams in this next stage of growth."

BGF's team in the South West experienced a record year of investment in 2018, providing over £50m of funding across seven new businesses and two existing portfolio companies. The most recent investments include Cornwall-based Seasalt, Devon-based Lightfoot and Bristol-based Hydrock.

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