Essex law firm Birkett Long advises on major care homes deal in Northern Ireland

A care homes firm has praised the contribution of an Essex law firm in helping it acquire three homes in Northern Ireland.

Benfleet-based Runwood Homes specialises in care for the elderly and looks after around 4,000 people across its 67 homes, spread across England and Northern Ireland.

Martin Cooper, director of finance, said the advice received from Birkett Long, which has offices in Basildon, Chelmsford and Colchester, had been invaluable.

“They provided me with the knowledge to enable me to present options to our Board as to how we could proceed with the transaction,” he said. “This advice allowed Runwood Homes to make a seamless acquisition of three care homes in Northern Ireland and has attracted market attention in the care sector due to how well the transaction was managed.”

The acquisition was led by Birkett Long’s corporate and commercial finance team, which advises clients on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and is headed by David Wisbey, chairman of the firm, with support from employment law specialist Reggie Lloyd.

Mr Wisbey said: “Our team excels at this type of work, so it is pleasing to hear that our client has been so satisfied with the outcome.”

Mr Cooper added: “I have worked with Birkett Long now for over seven years, and have always been impressed with their professional and calming approach to complex matters.

“They have always shown a great depth of knowledge in any situation we have worked on together and they truly ‘get to know’ and understand their clients. I have always been impressed with their customer service and quick response.”

The deal was finalised during the summer and created natinal news in Northern Ireland.

Arlene Foster, a Member of the Legislative Assembly and the First Minister for Northern Ireland, said at the time: “This is a major investment in our local private care sector by Runwood Homes and reflects the desire of the group to provide a model of best practice for older people in the community. I wish them success in this venture as the care homes are in my locality.”