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Press Release

Fieldfisher advises Hayes Davidson on transition to employee ownership


United Kingdom

A team from Fieldfisher has advised architectural visualisation studio Hayes Davidson on its transition from a limited liability partnership to a 100% employee trust owned company.

A team from Fieldfisher led by partner Graeme Nuttall OBE has advised architectural visualisation studio Hayes Davidson on its transition from a limited liability partnership to a 100% employee trust owned company.

Hayes Davidson, founded in 1989, pioneered the use of computer graphics to visualise architecture in the early 1990s. The company works with some of the UK's largest architecture and design practices including Foster + Partners, RSHP, Allies and Morrison, AHMM and Zaha Hadid.

Employee ownership is being seen as an increasingly attractive proposition in the architecture and design industry. Hayes Davidson's announcement closely follows the decision of architecture practice Stride Treglown to adopt an employee ownership model, in relation to which Fieldfisher also acted. 

The rest of the Fieldfisher team comprised partner Nicholas Thompsell, director Guy Burman and associate Janice Houghton. On this transaction, Fieldfisher worked with Andrew Broome - a partner at accountants and tax advisers haysmacintyre - and Ben Walmsley of Spring Law.

Business Minister Jo Swinson said:

“Greater employee engagement leads to better business and a stronger economy. That is why Government has raised awareness of employee ownership with our industry partners and made changes to company law to help those hoping to move in this direction. Hayes Davidson is the most recent UK company to take this step, providing their employees with a stake in their own company and I wish them every success.”

Graeme Nuttall OBE, partner at Fieldfisher, and the Government's independent adviser on employee ownership, author of the influential Nuttall Review of Employee Ownership, commented:

"Employee ownership allows Hayes Davidson's employees to focus on using their technical skills and artistry for the benefit of the business, its clients and themselves. The employee-ownership trust provides a long-term, secure way of owning the business: one that underpins genuine employee engagement.”

Hayes Davidson Founder, Alan Davidson, said:

"I am delighted for everyone at Hayes Davidson. This change reinforces the truly collaborative nature of a professional architectural visualisation studio. Employee ownership reflects many of the important values already held at Hayes Davidson; of partnership, transparency and mutual support. A plan over a year in the making, we are indebted to friends and advisors in the EO and architecture sectors who have helped us make this transition.”

Ken Shuttleworth of Make architects added:

“I am very happy to hear that Hayes Davidson has become employee-owned. As pioneers in their field, this is a very positive and progressive change that Hayes Davidson is making. At Make we are committed to employee-ownership, and have found significant benefits from the greater engagement, transparency and collaboration that shared ownership brings.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the Nuttall Review, please click here.

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