Knights Professional Services

Derby Embassy at Capacity

Over 120 delegates packed into today's Derby City Embassy at MIPIM to hear about the latest investment and development opportunities.

In his welcome at the event, Martin Rawson, Deputy Leader of Derby City Council and Cabinet Member for Regeneration highlighted the city’s flagship Heart of the City regeneration scheme, which features in the Midlands Engine Investment Portfolio launched yesterday in Cannes: “The £60 million Heart of the City project is a major investment and a game changer for Derby city centre. It is critical to the future success and economic regeneration of Derby and the catalyst for further investment in the retail, leisure and office sectors.”

Keynote speaker at the event Paul Harris, Director of Economic Development at Rolls-Royce plc reinforced the global company’s commitment to Derby with significant improvements being made to their civil aerospace and nuclear campuses in the city. Speaking about Derby’s position as a leading centre for advanced manufacturing innovation, he said “Having local supply chain partners is incredibly valuable for us and there are great opportunities to invest and locate in Derby.”

Derby City Council’s Head of Regeneration Projects, Catherine Williams, spoke further about the £1 billion of opportunities available in the Heart of the City regeneration plans which includes the new £32 million performance venue, refurbished and regenerated Grade II Listed Market Hall, new £10 million car park and enhanced public realm across the area on Osnabruck Square and the Market Place. This is in addition to the new Museum of Making at the Silk Mill, the world’s first factory and UNESCO World Heritage site, and the regeneration of Becketwell.

Plans to stimulate the city centre Grade-A office market were also showcased with Derby City Council’s plans for a new 31,000sq ft office scheme on Bold Lane.

The annual event is regularly referred to as the “best breakfast in Cannes” and while always popular, it received an unprecedented number of registrations this year. Managing Director of Marketing Derby, John Forkin commented: “MIPIM is important for cities like Derby to fly the flag on a global platform. In the past this has led to numerous enquiries and genuine investments.  2018 is no different and we have seen huge interest amongst the investor community in Derby’s offer.”

Derby's Embassy and activities at MIPIM are also supported by Smith Partnership, Knights 1759, Idom Merebrook, Innes England, East Midlands Airport, Godwin Development, Harworth Estates and the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

Team Derby Powers Midlands Engine

The Midlands area will come together to showcase investment opportunities worth almost £10 billion at this year’s global property and real estate show MIPIM (13th-16th March, Cannes, France).

It is the second year that the Midlands region will work together to attract investment from around the world following a successful united presence at MIPIM 2017. A partnership approach which Derby successfully uses at MIPIM – the delegation this year includes Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council, Marketing Derby, Rolls-Royce, Smith of Derby, Freeths, Geldards, East Midlands Airport, Godwin Developments, Harworth Group, Idom Merebrook, Innes England, Knights 1759 and Smith Partnership.

John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby said: “This is the second year of Midlands wide collaboration following an incredibly successful event last year. People will see a step up in the quality of the Pavilion, and we have evolved a strong “Team Midlands” approach that compliments our own destination promotion. Derbyshire is bringing a very strong team out this year with senior representation from Rolls-Royce, both City and County Councils, Derby-Nottingham Metro, Marketing Derby and our supporters.”

More than 70 public and private sector partners, 10 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas, and the Department for International Trade (DIT) will represent the region – the largest delegation Midlands UK has ever taken to the annual event.

The region will present details of the multi-billion pound portfolio to the exhibition’s 24,000 attendees, which will include potential investors, property agents, developers and media from more than 100 countries.

Destinations attending MIPIM as part of the Midlands UK delegation alongside Team Derby & Derbyshire include Birmingham, the Black Country, Coventry & Warwickshire, Greater Lincolnshire, Leicester & Leicestershire, The Marches, Nottingham, Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire, UK Central Solihull, West Midlands Combined Authority, City of Wolverhampton and Worcestershire.

The region’s presence is being coordinated by the West Midlands Growth Company, with key partners including Bondholder East Midlands Airport, Birmingham Airport, global car giant Jaguar Land Rover and the Midlands Enterprise Universities Group.

The 200m² dedicated Midlands UK pavilion will showcase the region’s investment portfolio through a variety of media including an event space to host a programme of more than 50 events, including presentations, receptions and panel discussions.

Marketing Derby will once again be hosting our award-winning Embassy on Wednesday 14 March at the Eden Hotel. Our key sponsors for the event include Bondholders Idom Merebrook, Innes England, Knights 1759 and Smith Partnership.

Knights 1759 kick off MIPIM 2018


MIPIM 2018 is just around the corner, and to begin the hectic event schedule, Knights 1759 and Marketing Derby are hosting a breakfast event in Derby on Thursday 1st February.

This is your opportunity to be among the first to hear about some of the key themes for Derby at MIPIM 2018, and also from Richard Brown, non-executive board member, HS2 Ltd about the key infrastructure project and the impact it could have on our region.

MIPIM is the global commercial property show and consistently attracts 21,000 delegates from around the world – with more than 93 countries, 430 journalists and 4,500 investors. 


2018 will once again see Derby taking its place in the Midlands UK Pavilion alongside the other Midlands locations, promoting the vibrancy and opportunities available in the Midlands Engine. We will once again be hosting our sell-out Derby Embassy, with key panels and discussions in the Midlands Pavilion itself.

Please click here for further information and to register for Knights 1759 Pre-MIPIM Breakfast, this event is open to all, but advance registration is essential.

If you’d like to meet with a member of the team in Cannes, or would like further information about our Embassy or the Knights Pre-MIPIM breakfast, please contact Katie Delve at katie.delve@marketingderby.co.uk. 

Cannes Do

MIPIM is the global commercial property show and consistently attracts 21,000 delegates from around the world – with more than 93 countries, 430 journalists and 4,500 investors. 

MIPIM 2018 is fast approaching and Team Derby will once again have a presence as one of the UK’s leading places to invest in or relocate to. The strength of our message lies in our public-private partnership approach to the week and this year will be no different with delegates including the Deputy Leader of Derby City Council attending alongside key business leaders from the city.

2018 will once again see Derby taking its place in the Midlands UK Pavilion alongside the other Midlands locations, promoting the vibrancy and opportunities available in the Midlands Engine. We will once again be hosting our sell-out Derby Embassy, with key panels and discussions in the Midlands Pavilion itself. If you’d like to meet with a member of the team in Cannes, please contact Katie Delve at katie.delve@marketingderby.co.uk. 

We are delighted to be working with our partners at MIPIM Smith Partnership, Knights 1759, Innes England, Idom Merebrook, East Midlands Airport, Harworth Estates and Godwin Developments. If you would like to join us, please contact Katie Delve at katie.delve@marketingderby.co.uk.
 

£33.5 Million Turnover for Knights

Revenue at Bondholder Knights Professional Services has soared by 64%, achieving a turnover of £33.5 million.

This is the law firm's largest annual increase ever recorded and is the result of a successful year of trading following an acquisition and the recruitment of more than 100 professionals and specialist teams.

David Beech, CEO, said: “The last 12 months has been a major step forward in our vision to become the number one regional professional services business in the UK.

“By moving away from the traditional legal partnership-model to operate as a commercial business has allowed us to grow quickly.

“We have expanded our specialist services to provide integrated solutions to clients with legal services being part of a wider offering, as well as strengthening our existing real estate, corporate, litigation, employment and private client teams.

“We’ve continued with our long-term plan to invest in our people and we have structured the business to ensure that we can maintain a consistent and ongoing recruitment programme across our six regional offices.

“Our success is testament to the hard work of everyone at Knights and we have plans for further growth to become the number one regional professional services business in the UK”.

365 Days and Knights in Derby

It's been one year since Bondholder company Knights Professional Services opened the doors to its Derby office, and since then the law-firm has more than doubled its revenues to become a £21 million turnover company. 

The Derby office has been integral to boosting growth for the law-firm, following the recruitment of 32 professionals in the last twelve months. Knights is now on track to almost double its revenue again, by 2017. 

David Beech, CEO of Knights, said: 'Our success is a testament to the hard work of everyone who works at Knights and we have plans to grow further to become the number one regional professional services business in the UK.'

Andrew Pilkington, Office Leader of Derby, said: '“It’s been a fantastic year for everyone based here. We have significantly grown our specialist services to include experts in franchising, data protection, banking and tax and estates, as well as strengthening our existing real estate, corporate and commercial, employment and private client teams.'

The law-firm has recently secured a funding package to aide their growth.

Knights expanded into the city after meeting Marketing Derby at our Embassy Breakfast at MIPIM in March 2015.

“I’m looking forward to helping Knights grow the team and its capabilities further, develop long-standing relationships with new clients, work with more businesses across the region and help to put the city of Derby on the map.
— Andrew Pilkington, Office Leader

Knights announced as national finalist

CEO of Bondholder Knights Professional Services, David Beech

CEO of Bondholder Knights Professional Services, David Beech, has been shortlisted for the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year title in a national awards ceremony hailed by David Cameron as "the Oscars of great British business".

David Beech was recognised for his 'visionary leadership' and for creating a 'culture of innovation' in the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards. He is one of ten finalists for the award, but the only person to be from the professional services sector.

David commented: "I am thrilled to have been shortlisted at the National Business Awards, especially in an entrepreneurial category with other forward-thinking and dynamic business leaders."

He continued: "Moving away from the traditional partnership model and operating like a 'proper business' has enabled Knights to achieve our full potential by being truly entrepreneurial in everything we do. We pride ourselves on always thinking originally, creatively and commercially."

As described by former Prime Minister David Cameron as "the Oscars of great British business," the competition's finalists were chosen from hundreds of businesses across 18 award categories. David Beech will now present to an expert judging panel who will ultimately determine the overall winners. These results are due to be announced on Tuesday 15th November.

Knights was the first professional services business the UK's commercial legal sector to attract private equity investment and is now the UK's fastest-growing 'full service' law firm.

Knights hails Derby office as sales hit £21m

Bondholder professional services firm Knights has hailed its Derby office, launched a year ago, as an "integral" part of the business as it eyes revenues of £40million.

The firm's £40million turnover ambitions come after revenues of £21million were reported for its 2016 financial year.

We’re supporting more businesses in the East Midlands and nationwide, thanks to our full service offering.
— David Beech, Chief Executive of Knights

David Beech, Chief Executive of Knights, explained: "We're supporting more businesses in the East Midlands and nationwide, thanks to our full service offering which includes non-law specialist services, alongside our legal expertise."

He continued: "Denby Pottery, Mortgage Advice Bureau, Greenthumb, Servicemaster and Snappy Snaps, part of the Timpson Group, are just some of the businesses we are now working with. The Derby office is establishing itself well both in the city and across the wider East Midlands."

Andrew Pilkington, Office Leader at the Pride Park brand, said: "It's been a fantastic year for everyone based here. We have significantly grown our specialist services to include experts in franchising, data protection, banking and tax and estates, as well as strengthening our existing real estate, corporate and commercial, employment and private client teams."

The Derby Embassy turns ten at Rolls-Royce

The Derby City Embassy came home to Rolls-Royce last night. Hosted by Marketing Derby, the Derby City Embassy is internationally renowned as an award-winning and innovative inward investment event, which brings together Derby ambassadors and investors.

Marketing Derby and the Bondholder scheme was originally launched at Rolls-Royce in 2006; the intention to hold an Embassy event in London was also announced. The first Embassy was held in the House of Commons and was hosted by then Foreign Secretary and current Derby South MP Dame Margaret Beckett.

The event was attended by 120 of the most powerful and influential people from Derby, including business leaders, major employers, politicians and civil servants.

Embassies have since been held in prestigious UK locations such as Downing Street and the Institute of Directors in Pall Mall, as well as overseas locations including Cannes and Monaco, during MIPIM.

These events play a pivotal role in sparking and cultivating an interest in Derby amongst he investor community; the Embassies demonstrate Derby’s strength in a number of key areas, including hi-tech clusters, as well as its highly-skilled workforce and highlight the latest development opportunities.

The investor reception at Rolls-Royce is part of a calendar of events to celebrate Marketing Derby’s tenth anniversary.

Speaking at the event, John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby, said: "In celebrating our tenth year, and the levels of investment secured by Derby in the last decade, we wanted to bring our Embassy home and are delighted that Rolls-Royce are hosting this Investor Reception."

"Derby's public-private partnership ethos is a key factor behind the successful attraction of over £3 billion of investment since 2006."

"Marketing Derby has helped create 3,650 jobs over 3,650 days - that's one job for every day worked."

"This event is part of our plans to secure the next wave of investment for Derby."

Colin Smith, Group President of Rolls-Royce, said: “Rolls-Royce is delighted to host this event celebrating 10 years of Marketing Derby. Congratulations, and thank you for your tireless efforts to create a positive business environment in Derby.

“Over the last ten years Rolls-Royce has invested in Derby at unprecedented levels, including a recent £30m factory extension to help deliver the best-selling Trent XWB and our state-of-the-art Apprentice Academy to train the next generation of Rolls-Royce engineers. We also work together with local schools and the wider community to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers and we support the Derby Manufacturing University Technical College.

“We will continue to invest in Derby with plans for a Rolls-Royce Aerospace Campus and as partners in Infinity Park Derby. We look forward to working with Marketing Derby for the next ten years.”

Since its inception in 2006, Marketing Derby has attracted over £150 million worth of investment, and has worked with Knights Professional Services, Florida Turbine Technologies, Webhelp, White Stuff and Yo! Sushi bringing them to the city. 

To close the event, Marketing Derby also previewed its new investor video, a personal take on the city called Me, Myself and Derby, which can be seen below:

In celebrating our tenth year, and the levels of investment secured by Derby in the last decade, we wanted to bring our Embassy home and are delighted that Rolls-Royce are hosting this Investor Reception.
— John Forkin, Managing Director of Marketing Derby
Rolls-Royce matters to Derby, and Derby matters to us
— Colin Smith, Group President at Rolls Royce

Opportunity knocks for Derby

Derby continues to be a cost-effective office and retail location with plenty of opportunities for investors and developers according to Market Insite 2016 launched by Bondholder Innes England.

Nick Hosking, Shareholding Director at Innes England,  commented that the lack of commercial property was "a real challenge for the market" and that the launch of Infinity Park Derby will be a real "game changer" for the city.
 

Derby’s Office Market

In the office market, the report shows that Derby’s Pride Park continues to be the premium business location of choice for many new businesses moving to the city, including Bondholders Knights Professional Services and Aspin Group. The year also saw a significant uptake of serviced offices in the city centre, largely through Derby City Council’s Connect scheme, which has created ca. 50,000 sq ft of office space in the past two years in response to the needs of Derby’s flourishing start-ups and SMEs.

Some of the city centre’s lower-grade office space, such as St. Peter's House and Roman House, have been snapped up by developers for conversion to residential use, but the demand for new and refurbished office space in the city does, and will continue to, exist.  The availability of top-grade office stock in the city is at its lowest since pre-recession days, and the city’s focus needs to turn to the provision of 1,500 - 5,000 sq ft, offices, of modern design and with attractive lease terms, which new and expanding businesses can move into to support their growth plans.  It is clear that there is an opportunity for developers in Derby right now to provide what the market requires.
 

The Retail Renaissance

Market Insite highlights the renaissance in Derby’s retail and leisure scene over the past couple of years.  Independents in and around the Cathedral Quarter are going from strength to strength, desirable brands such as Yo! Sushi, MAC, Byron and Tiger have all taken space in intu Derby, and new brands such as Turtle Bay, Cosy Club, Prezzo and White Stuff have all spotted opportunities in Derby’s city centre.

The report highlights that Derby is far more cost-effective than its local rivals when it comes to rent levels, offering retailers in Derby more space for their money and opportunities for greater overall financial returns.
 

Industrial Stock Market

Competitive industrial rents highlight Derby’s excellent connectivity within the East Midlands, and the availability of industrial stock in Derby is strong.  There is renewed confidence in this market locally, with the success of Derby Commercial Park - including the new speculative 'Angle 325' building about to be let to a major high-street retailer – Eagle Park on Alfreton Road and plans for Derby Triangle all progressing. 

Speaking at the launch, Strategic Director of Communities and Place for Derby City Council, Christine Durrant, highlighted Derby’s Enterprise Zone, Infinity Park Derby. The site has the potential to deliver a world-class engineering and technology park, building on Derby's 300-year industrial heritage.

Inward Investment Executive at Marketing Derby, Jimmy Drew said ‘Innes England’s Market Insite report is always a useful summary of the East Midlands markets, which backs up the information we are asked for by investors looking at Derby.  This year’s report really highlights that Derby is a city on the up, and that there are real opportunities in the next few years to develop Derby’s offer even further.”

Knights welcomes leading experts

Gurmeet Jakhu joins Knights Professional Services and brings over 15 years' experience with him

Bondholder Knights Professional Services has recently appointed regional and experienced experts to join its team.

Recognised as one of the leading franchise specialists in the Legal 500, Gurmeet Jakhu will be based at the firm's office at Pride Park. Gurmeet joins the expanding litigation team and brings over 15 years' experience and knowledge of franchising and licensing to the firm.

David Beech, CEO at Knights Professional Services, said: "We're delighted to have Gurmeet join our growing team, he is bringing a very niche area of expertise to the firm which will really enhance our litigation offering and fits well with our strategic plans. Having lectured on behalf of the World Intellectual Property Organisation and the British Franchise Organisation I am confident he will be a very strong asset to Knights."

One of the region's most highly-regarded lawyers, Zaf Bashir, joins Knights Professional Services

I wanted to find the right place to continue growing my profession and Knights is the perfect fit
— Zaf Bashir

Knights has also appointed one of the region's most highly-regarded lawyers, Zaf Bashir, who brings with him more than 20 years' experience. During his career he has increased revenues for his previous department five-fold and played a major role in the growth of the business before deciding to leave earlier last year.

Zaf commented: "I wanted to find the right place to continue growing my profession and Knights is the perfect fit. As one of the most ambitious and forward-thinking firms in the UK, I'm really thrilled to be joining the team - it was the top choice."

Knights rises to the top with new acquisition

Managing Parter at Darbys, Simon McCrum (left), and David Beech, CEO of Bondholder Knights Professional Services.

Bondholder Knights Professional Services is in talks to acquire another major regional law-firm with expected completion in early January.

As part of its ambitious plans for expansion, the legal and professional services firm is set to acquire Darbys Solicitors LLP and once the acquisition has completed Knights will reach a combined turnover of £40 million and will employ more than 300 professionals across seven offices, including three of Darbys’ current locations.

Knights set an ambitious business objective to become a top 100 law firm by 2017 - and with the purchase of Darbys, we have achieved that target a year early.
— David Beech, CEO Knights Professional Services

The acquisition will establish Knights as one of the largest independent professional services firms in the UK.

David Beech, CEO of Knights Professional Services explained: 'We have been talking to Darbys as part of Knights' expansion plans and culturally we felt this was the perfect fit for both businesses in terms of client services, expertise and geographical coverage. We have a similar ethos in respect of our working practices and our focus on delivering outstanding client service. Knights set an ambition business objective to become a top 100 law firm by 2017 - and with the purchase of Derbys, we have achieved that target a year early. We are proud of the growth that Knights has seen over the past two years in particular - which has seen us open in two new locations, appoint more than 150 new professionals and double our turnover.'

Knights Professional Services expanded into Derby in August of this year after meeting with the Invest in Derby team at the popular embassy breakfast event at MIPIM in Cannes.  

Knights boosts real estate team

Joanne Backhouse brings 14 years' worth of experience to Knights Professional Services' real estate team

Bondholder Knights Professional Services continues to grow its Derby real estate offering with the hire of one of the city's leading commercial property lawyers.

Joanne Backhouse brings more than 14 years' of experience across a range of sectors including healthcare and aviation having advised numerous local and national companies including a global telecommunications business.

Knights has a unique culture with a strong emphasis on team work which I’m looking forward to being a part of
— Joanne Backhouse
Joanne is an expert in her field with a strong reputation and a wealth of local knowledge
— David Beech, CEO at Knights Professional Services

Knights is recruiting now at a rate of one professional per week to join its huge team of 250 professionals across four counties including Derbyshire.