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Business & Economy

Robson Laidler acquires Durham accountancy firm

Newcastle-based Robson Laidler Accountants, which operates out of Fernwood Road, Jesmond, has acquired Chester-le-Street’s Straughans Chartered Accountants for an undisclosed sum.

The firm, which is also currently undergoing a rebrand under Managing Director Graham Purvis, has bought Straughans due to its long standing reputation and solid client base in Durham and Sunderland.

The move gives Robson Laidler, which celebrates its 100th birthday in 2020, a group turnover of around £4m and brings its total headcount in Newcastle and Durham to around 80 staff.

Both Straughans’ founders, Mike Fleming and Mike Tait, are staying on to help integrate the two businesses, which will continue to trade under their own names, for the foreseeable future.

Robson Laidler Managing Director Graham Purvis said: “A crucial part of our work is advising clients on building their businesses and wealth and this acquisition is about being entrepreneurial in our own right.

“We have made a few acquisitions over the years, nothing as significant or substantial as Straughans, but this forms an important part of our overall growth and investment strategy in the business.

“Mike and Mike have built up a fantastic business over a great many years in the South of the region and share very similar values to us, in terms of building long term relationships with clients as their trusted advisors, looking after our staff and caring about our communities. They are just a fantastic fit for us in terms of values and geographically so we are thrilled they have chosen to join us.”

Meanwhile, as part of their rebrand, the firm’s Robson Laidler Financial Planning arm has appointed Amanda Cowie as a Director and changed its trading name to Robson Laidler Wealth.

The company believes the value it adds to clients is more closely associated with enhancing, maintaining and protecting wealth and so the new trading name is a better reflection of its focus and service.

Robson Laidler, whose well known director David Wiseman retired after 36 years’ service at the end of the financial year, has also promoted Michael Smith, 33, and Amy Park, 31, as Directors.

Co-founder Mike Tait said: “Robson Laidler were clear with Mike and I from the outset that they perceive us, both the firm and our people, to have a great many strengths and that they were keen to build on these.

“We will both learn from each other, look to share knowledge, processes and best practice but we all believe our businesses are stronger together and look forward to working together.”

Straughans will continue to operate as from its Hadrian House premises in Chester-Le-Street with its existing 20-strong workforce.

Legal advice was provided by for the Straughans acquisition by Newcastle’s Hay & Kilner, while Gordon Brown of Chester-le-Street acted for Straughans.

Hay & Kilner Corporate Partner Mark Adams said: “We were delighted to work with the management team at Robson Laidler on this strategic deal. We wish them every success with their future plans.”

Robson Laidler’s new brand family was developed by Newcastle creative brand agency Hedley McEwan.