The Manchester office of national law firm Shoosmiths advised on almost £900m worth of deals in 2015, it has been revealed.
Manchester corporate partners Karen Procter and Kieran Toal and say the volume of activity was a signal of the robust health of the city region's corporate deals market.
Notable merger and acquisition activity led by Toal in 2015 included acting for Truworths International Limited on the £256m acquisition of an 89% stake in Office Retail Group.
The Shoosmiths team also advised private equity firm NorthEdge Capital on a management buyout of TKC, a Greater Manchester-based kitchen trade supplier, and NVM Private Equity (NVM) on its investment of development capital into Bolton-based Love Energy Savings (LES).
Partner Karen Procter advised Chase Templeton on 10 significant acquisitions during 2015 including Atlas Consulting Group and private medical insurance consultancy, Consilium Employee Benefits.
The Shoosmiths Manchester team has advised Chase Templeton on more than 50 acquisitions since the private health insurance specialist secured investment from Palatine Private Equity in 2013.
Chase Templeton, which is headquartered in Darwen, Lancashire, and works with insurers including Aviva and Bupa, is now the biggest consolidator in its market and Shoosmiths' Karen Procter has advised them all along the way.
Kieran, who was recently singled out as one of the UK's 'up-and-coming M&A stars' by trade publication Legal Week, said a combination of entrepreneurial flair and globally significant corporate finance expertise was driving activity in the marketplace.
He said: 'The private equity houses founded, owned and managed in Manchester are critical to the continued health of the regional economy because they are helping to fund the growth ambitions of businesses from all sectors and creating jobs and wealth.
'The native Manchester PE houses enjoy some distinctive advantages over their London competitors. Local decision-making is faster and often more effective and local networks and insight can bring the kind of value to a deal which isn't counted in pound coins.'
Karen Procter added: 'Proximity also enables the investment professionals in private equity-backed businesses to work much more closely with management teams in investee businesses which is particularly helpful for buy-and-build strategies.'
Nationally, Shoosmiths was recently ranked joint first in the Experian Deal Review and League Tables 2015 for volume of UK deals completed (and 5th in Europe).
The team was also recognised for its mergers and acquisitions expertise at the 2015 M&A Awards, winning the Law Firm of the Year category.
Karen said: 'The Shoosmiths team is developing an enviable reputation for providing the very best services in the corporate finance sphere and we're very confident of further growth in 2016.'