Taking a personal approach to success

March 7, 2021

Standing as the largest commercial law firm in the Tees Valley, The Endeavour Partnership provides specialist support that is fuelling national and global organisations’ growth. Inherent to its approach is a commitment to the personal touch, with its highly skilled teams forging strong relationships that provide tailored client support. Here, Steven Hugill speaks to Nik Tunley, partner and head of the firm’s corporate commercial department, to find out more.

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As locations go, The Endeavour Partnership is rather appropriately placed.

Nestled between two sweeping bends in the River Tees, on land that once housed Head Wrightson’s sprawling engineering works, the law firm is nurturing present-day successes while retaining the industrious spirit of yesteryear.

As a commercial conduit, the river has, for centuries, provided a gateway for ships and subsequent connections to the world.

Today, The Endeavour Partnership is channelling that same ethos, acting as an alternative trading vessel for domestic and international clients alike.

And it is on a real growth trajectory.

Set on Thornaby’s Teesdale Business Park, The Endeavour Partnership is the largest commercial law firm in the Tees Valley.

Employing the biggest corporate and commercial law team between Leeds and Newcastle, it provides bespoke services to entrepreneurs, owner-managed businesses and investors covering transactions, financial deals and commercial contracts.

Furthermore, the company’s skilled teams work with clients on commercial disputes, property deals and planning law, provide corporate recovery and insolvency assistance and deliver employment law and HR support, flanking all of these services with an expert banking and finance team that tailors funding sources to organisations’ unique requirements.

Equally crucial to its success, however, is the firm’s fluid approach and deeply personal touch, which, says Nik Tunley, partner and head of the corporate commercial department, is a significant marketplace differentiator.

A tagline reading ‘business, taken personally’ emphasises the point, and Nik says the philosophy is a cornerstone of operations.

“Relationships are so important to us and properly
understanding a client and their needs is central to our work; our clients’ businesses are at the heart of everything we do,” he says.

“By knowing them well, as businesses and as people, we can offer more robust advice that really suits their circumstances.

“We pride ourselves on understanding the individual business’ model, its goals and objectives, and its risks too.

“By doing this, we become more than lawyers.” adds Nik, who reveals the firm’s mergers and acquisitions team has been instructed in 55 transactions worth £386 million since the beginning of the first COVID-19 national lockdown last year.

He continues: “We will always be advisors, but we go beyond being just advising lawyers.

“Our specialist business support extends way past static legal advice, and we are committed to producing innovative options for clients while still demonstrating our business-focused thinking.

“What we do changes the dynamic between lawyer and client.”

The calibre and breadth of The Endeavour Partnership’s client list more than reflects Nik’s point.

The company’s reach spreads far beyond the Tees Valley, with work in North America and Oceania complementing numerous national commitments.

However, the local element nevertheless remains equally important to the business, which supports organisations such as Teesside International Airport, Middlesbrough-based third-generation distribution firm AV Dawson and Tees Valley Combined Authority on the Boho Zone digital and creative hub.

It also counts Visualsoft, a flagbearer for Teesside across the national e-commerce and digital marketing sectors, and Racz Group, one of the UK’s largest owners of franchised businesses that include names such as Domino’s and Costa, as well-established clients.

The firm’s ability to cater for such a wide-ranging base is, says Nik, testament to the quality of its teams. He says: “We have created brilliant teams and departments that are the number one across the Tees Valley and we are the law firm of choice for organisations of all sizes.

“Our lawyers are highly experienced in working on high-value, multi-national, multi-party deals, and it is a real strength of ours that we can offer their expertise to large organisations, as well as mid-sized operators and start-ups.

“The fundamentals are the same, it is just the size of the companies that is different, and the nature of our teams and their varying skills means each client gets the best possible service.”

Such ability has seen The Endeavour Partnership form relationships that have subsequently spread across decades – with companies, such as Visualsoft, moving from fledgling operators to industry leaders thanks to its support.

Nik says: “We’ve helped Visualsoft grow over the years and advised the business on its recent major investment by Livingbridge, which will help it continue to expand.

“Its successes highlight the level of skill and expertise we are able to provide a business on its growth journey.”

He continues: “The team are very proud to be involved with several of the regeneration projects that are ongoing across the Tees Valley region.

“These include advising the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority in relation to its funding of the infrastructure works on land at Teesside International Airport to unlock a proposed £200 million logistics and manufacturing park, that has the potential to create up to 4400 jobs.

“The team has also advised the South Tees Development Corporation in relation to its acquisition from central Government of South Tees Site Company, a body set up to be responsible for the safe, secure and cost-effective management of the former SSI UK steelworks site, in Redcar.

“It’s all about getting close to and understanding the individuals that drive the organisations that are making things happen on Teesside,” adds Nik.

“We believe we do this successfully, but we are always looking at ways to improve.”

While helping such organisations evolve, Nik says The Endeavour Partnership has itself flexed to maintain its progress, revealing a previous IT infrastructure investment has delivered great benefits – and helped the business bypass issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crucially too, he says it has helped the firm strengthen its personal touch.

Nik says: “We wanted to have a much more modern, flexible workforce, so we invested in the right equipment and adapted our practices in summer 2019 to do that.

“We didn’t want people stuck on the A19 travelling to the office or to meetings, for example, so we took the decision to provide the means to allow everyone from a client-facing perspective to be able to work from anywhere in the world at any time.

He continues: “That was then extended to the wider support team, across areas such as accounts and marketing, and it has proved a great success.

“The transition to remote working hasn’t affected us; we were already used to delivering services remotely from cross-border work in countries such as Canada, Australia and the USA.

“The positivity hasn’t dropped and neither have service levels or client engagement.

“In fact, the pro-active way we adapted prior to the pandemic has only strengthened relationships.”

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