Fieldfisher was a member of the professional team that advised on the sale of 100% of RPC Land & New Homes Limited ("RPC") to RPC Employee Trustee Limited (the "Trustee"), the trustee of an employee-ownership trust ("EOT") in August 2015. RPC is believed to be the first real estate agency to move to employee ownership. Employee ownership has demonstrably secured the independence of the RPC Land & New Homes business and boosted the teamwork on which its success depends.
Founded 17 years ago RPC specialises in the sale of land and new homes throughout Kent, SE London and Sussex. All RPC's employees now have a stake in the ownership, governance and financial success of the business. The Trustee holds 100% of RPC's shares on behalf of all employees of RPC. Peter Randall and Mark Linington have transferred their shares to the EOT and a new management team has been put in place with Peter Bowden as Managing Director and Graeme Dowd and Kirstie Slaven being promoted to the Board of Directors. Peter Randall and Mark Linington continue to provide guidance and support as directors of the Trustee and the staff has full engagement in the business as employee owners.
The Fieldfisher team comprised partner Graeme Nuttall OBE and senior associate, Jennifer Martin. They worked alongside Stephen Berger, Consultant, Baker Tilly UK Group LLP and David Pollacchi of Commercial Contract Advisers (London) Limited.
Graeme Nuttall OBE partner Fieldfisher said of the employee buy-out:
"New employee-ownership trust tax exemptions, introduced as a result of the findings of the Nuttall Review of Employee Ownership, have raised awareness of this way of owning and governing a business. But it is the track record of employee-owned companies in delivering better business outcomes and happier staff that provides the compelling reason for considering this business model. Everyone at RPC Land & New Homes immediately saw the benefits of the employee trust model of employee ownership. In comparison to a management buy-out, an employee buy-out is less divisive, avoids personal financial risk for managers and provides a business model that helps secure the long term independence of the business, in a way that supports and grows employee engagement. "
Mark Linington, Trustee director and former shareholder said:
“The employee ownership model has allowed us to maintain the integrity of the company which is continuing to operate as it always has done within the specialist land and new homes sector. This has allowed a smooth transition to hand the reins of managing the business over to the new management team with Peter Randall and I concentrating full time on fee earning work. The advice we have received has been first class and essential to ensure the whole process is carried out with the necessary diligence.”
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