Blog

From this day forward

July 16th, 2015

We are delighted to announce the publication of a new e-book, commissioned by Graeme Quar & Co to coincide with our 21st anniversary and published as we reach the half-way point within our milestone year.  

ftdf

From This Day Forward focusses on businesses based along the Solent corridor, and seeks to answer questions such as:

  • How much of an appetite have independent companies really got to grow their business?
  • What difficult issues are companies forced to face and address in order to fully realise their potential?
  • What key things do successful companies do to set them apart from their competitors?

The 55-page e-book book, published in association with Decision Magazine, is an insight into the business practices of some of the most successful firms in the southern region, and we hope you will find it an interesting read.

Many of these businesses are, like Graeme Quar & Co, gazelle firms — companies characterised by rapid growth in revenue of at least 20 per cent over four consecutive years — so have a unique insight into how to succeed in business.

We hope you will find the book an interesting read.

Click here to download the e-book free of charge.

Another selfie

May 6th, 2015

At Graeme Quar & Co we like to have fun, so we took another selfie.

Cake was also involved.

MJPselfie

back row: Richard, Sarah, Gabor, Graeme

front row: Christine, Sue, Michelle, Ann

On Thursday 23 April 2014 Graeme, Gabor and Richard completed work for the management team of  Williams & Co, the Hampshire based trade-only plumbing and heating merchant, in their buy-out of the company.

We are proud to have been able to assist in seeing this complicated transaction through to a successful conclusion.

The fact that 62% of employees have between them invested £500,000 is a massive vote of confidence in the company and its management.

Williams and Co is an excellent business, with a strong future.

This is quoted from Williams & Co’s website:

Trade-only plumbing and heating merchant, Williams & Co, has been acquired from the Williams family by its management team and staff for an undisclosed sum.

Founder Mick Williams retains a minority share, and will continue as non-executive chairman after the buyout, which was finalised on 23/04/2015.

A consortium of management and staff, led by longstanding executive directors Ray Stafford (MD) and Rachel Moore (FD), put the successful bid together, supported by Nat West and Royal Bank of Scotland who have structured a flexible finance facility secured on receivables and inventory. Professional advice has been provided by Taylor Cocks (accountants) and Quar & Co (solicitors). The consideration includes a mix of cash, equity and loan notes, ensuring that the business retains ample resources to maintain its aggressive trading style and expansion plans.

Outgoing boss, Mick Williams, is enthusiastic about the future. “After four decades at the helm, there was always going to be a moment when I took a less active role, and I am delighted that this solution permits the company to retain its unique character and values.”

Managing Director, Ray Stafford, commented: “Rachel and I are overwhelmed by the incredible buy in from the management team and staff. 62% of the staff have invested nearly half a £million of their own money to own a slice of their future and demonstrate their commitment to the business. It’s a huge expression of support and belief from everyone involved. Words can’t express how proud we are to lead such a fired-up team, or how fortunate we are to retain Mick’s matchless experience in the boardroom.”

Graeme Quar & Co is proud to have helped a retailer find a unit that will fit her expanding business perfectly.

Lisa Farley owns a dress shop called Mousetrap, which specialises in occasion dresses such as ball gowns, bridesmaid dresses and evening wear for cruise ship holidays.

Mousetrap was originally opened by its former owner in the late 80s, and is loosely named after the long-running West End “whodunnit” play of the same name.

But with high rents and a desire to grow her business to encompass wedding gowns and accessories, Lisa needed to find alternative premises and identified a vacant unit in Havant’s North Street.

Graeme Quar & Co co-director Robert Harris handled the details of the lease on the 2,500sq ft former post office unit, currently owned by Waitrose plc, which has a supermarket store next door.

Lisa currently has both shops open for business, but her plan is to close the Chichester shop on January 31 and concentrate on the shop in Havant.

 Robert said: “It has been a real pleasure to help Lisa secure the lease on the shop in Havant, which will see her business grow and expand into the wedding market. We are looking forward to hearing about her continued success into 2015 and beyond.”

Lisa said: “I was actually referred to Graeme Quar & Co by another firm of solicitors, and I found they handled the lease really well, and it all went smoothly.”

You can visit Mousetrap’s website by clicking here

Mark Hoban MP visits our office

December 23rd, 2014

Hoban

We enjoyed a visit from Mark Hoban MP, when we were able to discuss with him some of the issues affecting us and local businesses.

Click here to read the full article in today’s Portsmouth News

F&H

Graeme Quar & Co has been part of a team of businesses and organisations that have helped a community save a much-loved pub from being bulldozed.

The owners of the Fox & Hounds pub in Denmead, Hampshire, wanted to sell it for housing but the local community was determined to save a vital village facility and return it to profitability.

The legal issues surrounding the pub were complex, but thanks to the introduction of the Localism Act in October 2012, the local community successfully applied to Winchester City Council to have the pub listed as an asset of value.

This in turn meant planning a planning application to demolish the building and develop housing on the site was likely to fail, which it did, and meant the pub owner was eventually minded to sell it to the community.

Graeme Quar & Co was approached to help the community group behind the purchase and refurbishment of the pub. They had become an Industrial and Provincial Co-Operative by that point, and it was our pleasure to help thegroup secure a mortgage to help cover the £300,000 purchase price and to carry out the conveyancing work for the building.

Thanks to private investment and a community fundraising share scheme, the money to buy and a further £160,000 to refurbish the building was found and, in early December, the pub was opened to the public.

Graeme Quar said: “As well as the mortgage and conveyancing work, we also helped the co-operative draw up the lease for the tenant so an experienced professional licensee could run the business and turn it into a profitable and popular local pub once again.

“The co-operative behind this project spent two-and-a-half years working incredibly hard to secure this valuable security asset, often in very difficult circumstances, and we were very proud to have been invited along to see it officially opened at the beginning of December.”

Rob Stark, director of The Fox & Hounds (Denmead) Community Co-Operative Limited, said: “We have been helped by so many local firms, from builders merchants which helped us with materials to companies like Graeme Quar & Co, whose expertise was invaluable.

“We would like to thank them for all their help because without it we wouldn’t have been able to return The Fox & Hounds to the community. There are now five full time and eight part time jobs that simply didn’t exist in November and, as the pub gets more successful, that number of jobs will grow.”

Christine Quar recently visited Uganda with charity Send A Cow. She met some amazing women, and heard their stories. Read more about them (and about the chickens that changed Christine’s life) in the News:

http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/the-chickens-that-changed-my-life-1-6472431

A Hampshire solicitor has helped preserve the history of a 300-year-old paper mill during its transformation into a gin distillery and visitors’ centre.

Graeme Quar, founder of Graeme Quar & Co, was asked to carry out complex legal work behind Bacardi Ltd’s plans to sensitively renovate the old mill into the Bombay Sapphire distillery at Laverstoke, near Whitchurch in Hampshire.

Laverstoke Mill is in a Conservation Area and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and the site upon which it sits was originally part of Laverstoke Manor, which is mentioned in the Doomsday Book. The River Test flows through the site creating a unique wetland habitat that Bombay Sapphire has taken the utmost care to preserve and protect.

Graeme Quar, who founded the Fareham-based solicitors 20 years ago, said: “This has, by necessity, been a very complex development which has been carried out extremely sensitively by Bombay Sapphire.

“As a result a historic paper mill has been preserved for the future and opened up for the public to visit, either to the distillery itself or by the heritage trail that encompasses the site.

“We are proud to have been asked to deal with the legal work underpinning this development, which has been awarded the highly prestigious BREEM Award for Industrial Design.”

Work has finished on the transformation of the mill into the distillery, as well as on glasshouses and the heritage trail around some of the other mill buildings on the site. It is due to open to the public for the first time on October 1.

However, further plans have been submitted to transform two of the buildings into a bistro, shop, lounge bar, high-end dining area and a dining terrace in order to further open the site to visitors.

“It is an exciting development and we are pleased to have been involved in both stages of it,” added Graeme.

“It is good to know that such an important and historical building is being preserved for future generations to visit and enjoy.”

There has been a mill on the site since records began, first used as a corn mill and then, from 1790, as one of the largest paper mills in the country, producing paper which was used in the production of bank notes.

It was owned by the Portal family until the 1950s, when its operations transferred to the Overton Mill nearby.