When Briegal met Bennett – Part 2 – A bridge over troubled waters

Mar 14, 2019

In our first blog we poked fun at the serious legal work we carry out for other law firms and professionals and explained how we got there. It is a niche – and a rare one. We are not a full-service commercial law firm, but rather advisers to the advisory community: if you advise others and your business has a legal or management issue on the agenda, we can help.

So why are there two of us? Rolling Stone Magazine described duos as:

“Less narcissistic than a solo performer, more intimate than a mere “band”, musical duos embody special chemistry.”1

Our special chemistry is we complement each other’s legal skills and experience and meet in the middle with some fun. Mark is “Mr Partnership and LLP”, Paul is all about “Compliance and People” but we both have commerciality, business knowledge, managerial qualifications and experience.

We both buy and sell professional practices and advise partners.

We both resolve disputes: Mark with charm and humour; Paul with deadpan straight-talking which disarms the arrogant and humour; and both of us with a deep knowledge of the law of the professions.

Humour? We set out in Part 1 why our corporate values include fun. Owning and running a law firm, GP practice or accountancy business is a challenge, so we think your advisers should be able to laugh with you and talk over solutions.

Think of Bennett Briegal as your Islands in the Stream. We offer safe ground out of the water to get your business issues right for the next stage. In this blog if you spot the song titles, you will hopefully also understand what we do.

Get in touch if you need anything.

A warning about this blog – some of you will laugh but others will be asking: What have I done to deserve this?



Back to duos:

Sonny & Cher in Mark’s youth

Draft Punk when Paul was a DJ

You get the drift. We think your business is serious, but we do not take ourselves too seriously. If you are in a Partnership dispute, we are your legal The Righteous Brothers.

We are your Bridge over Troubled Waters if there is a challenge.


Merger – Close to you?

Are you thinking of growth or an exit strategy? A merger can be a great option if you have the right merger partner(s) lined up. Not Sure – take the chemistry test. Go for a coffee, go for a glass of wine or do a zip wire together. In simple terms go and talk it over. Take your advisers (us) with you if you want a sounding board.

If you need help finding a merger partner, we belong to two organisations that may help:

  1. Mosaic M&A – a coloration of advisers aimed at law firm mergers (http://www.mosaicma.co.uk/)
  2. ALFMA – the Association of Law Firm Merger Advisors – a collection of niche advisers to the law firm sector (https://alfma.com/)

We can help accountancy practices as well, although the market is less developed in terms of collective advisory groupings.

Over the last 10 years we have advised on numerous deals including some of those you will have read about the legal press, accountancy press or local business media. Large or small: we can help.

We have advised on how to merge across regulators under the Legal Services Act 2007. If you are a conveyancer or probate practitioner leaving behind the issues of SRA regulation can be attractive, but is it right for your firm? We have advised those that have been there and done it. We know the advantages and the challenges. We know the regulators.

Sole Practitioners seeking to retire may like to look at a merger, but is it going to work for them? We advise on the options.

Legally there is no such thing as a merger – someone must acquire to shift the responsibility. So, we advise on sales for the buyers just as often.

If you are thinking of buying a firm or practice or selling one contact Mark to discuss how we can help. So long as you are singing “You’re the one that I want!” we will Grease the wheels and ease the merger.

Are we allowed to do this?”

Professionals often want to know if their professional code will permit them to do something – entrepreneurs often want to break new ground. The question is really can we: Get Lucky (and make money from this idea?).

Artificial intelligence there is a lot of that in the legal sector, it is a digital love thing in 2019.2

Paul takes instructions as Counsel, provides written advice and holds conferences with clients and/or their advisers. Why? Sometimes this approach is the right one – clients need advice, their advisers need advice on a discrete point but it’s not full service; it’s a niche aspect and that is fine.

Since we launched at the beginning of March 2019, Paul has done this about the following:

  • The practical application of the Legal Services Act 2007 freedoms for investors who are non-lawyers (across multiple legal regulators);
  • The creation of a Solicitors Chambers;
  • The decision to pursue disciplinary cases by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). We have guided on the appropriate responses.

If your firm wants to know “Are we allowed to do this?” we recommend you email the background and documents to Paul to enable us to quote for the task in hand. We will usually do such work for a fixed fee.


The dispute – You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’

Partnerships, LLPs and quasi partnership through limited companies are like any other relationship – you will have your challenges and sometimes people move on.

When you have lost that loving feeling we act for firms and individuals – so we know what works to end a partnership dispute without it being too damaging for either party.

We undertake ADR work – mediation and partnership arbitration. Mediation is a negotiated outcome and works when you have difficult personalities involved. Arbitration imposes an outcome using the legal framework set by the Arbitration Act 1996. Paul does all our ADR

work and has experience of acting as an advocate ADR cases so if you need a credible advocate get in touch.

We are keen to speak to those in a dispute as early as possible. Why? Its easier to resolve at that stage.



If our silly songs might help your position get in touch: info@bennettbriegal.co.uk or call us. If you are under pressure, we can help.

We can promise you that each of our clients feels like they are top of our charts. We are not one hit wonders so if you need anything get in touch.

We are sorry if in the blog we have said Somethin’ Stupid, we are just trying to have fun whilst spreading the word about our specialist law firm, partnership and professionals expertise.

Thanks for reading – Simon and Garfunkel (aka Bennett and Briegal).



1Rolling Stone Website 20 Greatest Duos of All Time 17 December 2015

2 Only the smartest, coolest readers will have got the Daft Punk song title from 2001 – Digital Love. Forgive the ex-DJ.