Paul Hardman

Compliance Officer - Partner- Corporate & Commercial - Shakespeare Martineau, Bristol

Paul Hardman is a Director and Head of the Corporate and Commercial department; he became a co-owner of the firm in 2012.

With over 30 years’ experience, Paul specialises in corporate finance work covering mergers and acquisitions, management buy outs and buy ins, joint venture arrangements and shareholder agreements. He is well regarded by clients for confidently and competently pulling deals together. He is highly skilled in recognising what will work and what has been missed and knowing when to hold firm and when to concede to achieve his client’s goal.

Paul trained in Bristol and then spent 11 years with Lyons Davidson’s corporate and commercial team before moving to Thrings, Clarke Willmott and Blake Morgan. He was head of corporate Bristol at Clarke Willmott. 

Corporate deal highlights include completing his first deal, a £1m pub sale, as a trainee whilst his supervisor was on holiday.  Paul helped Grafton Group with its first UK acquisition and went on to deal with a number of their subsequent acquisitions (Grafton trade as Buildbase, Plumbase etc and are a UK top 3 builders’ merchant). Paul completed the acquisition of Bristol Rugby for a consortium of local businessmen he helped assemble. 

Paul’s team works with clients ranging from start-ups to well-established companies on corporate transactions and commercial contracts matters. The team are regularly recognised in the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners legal directories.

Paul is a Director of the Business and West of England China Bureau.

Examples of work Paul specialises in:

  • Motor parts distribution: Paul and his team worked with Alan Holly of SGS Gases to achieve a £4m buy out of his business partners. This included helping raise funding for the buy out, including pitching to investors in London, and designing the structure of the buy out which included a deferred element of the purchase price.
  • Clothing and sports goods: Acting for Route One to demerge and sell to a management buy out team including a substantial cash payment on completion with further deferred and contingent deferred elements.
  • Pharmacy tech: Recently acted for a pharmacy tech company as it deployed its new API messaging services to independent pharmacies and large customers including Lloyds creating 2 template sets of terms and conditions for the sale and purchase contracts, one set for the independents and one for larger customers.
  • Buy out from Administrators: acting for a hearing aid supplier company as it went through a turnaround involving a pre-pack purchase from administrators saving 30 jobs.
  • Food and Drink: Acting on equity fund raising for 4 new spirits manufacturers including compliance with SEIS/EIS Rules and handling equity funding from 30 plus investors.
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