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There comes a time in the life
of most businesses when a
decision has to be made:
whether to invest in growth, or
cash out and let someone else
deal with it. Access to good
financial advice and creative
funding can be one of the
biggest factors in making that
decision, as one firm of Brighton
solicitors discovered.
Engleharts is a family-owned business that
has grown over the last 30 years into one
of Brighton’s most respected law firms.
Unlike many small start-ups that never
reach beyond low-key general practice,
Engleharts has managed to carve out a
strong niche in the business and property
sectors, while still offering the widest array
of services to individuals.
In early 2007, the firm’s proprietor David Englehart faced a major For some time, Engleharts had worked with NatWest in the
decision, whether to take the business to a new level of professional arena, and David gradually came to the conclusion
development or to call it a day and retire. At the time, the dread that the NatWest people he came across had a vision of business
words ‘credit crunch’ had not been heard of, but as it turned out and life similar to his own.
the decision he made, which was to bring all the various elements
of the business under one roof and build a platform for that future “I think a key part of one’s relationship with a banker must be this
development, could not have been wiser. common approach to moving forward. I wanted, indeed I found a
bank that instinctively understood the sort of dreams I have and
It was a process that would take 18 months, during which time the was prepared to work with us creatively to achieve them.”
property market, which had always provided a strong stream of
fees, entered the early stages of crisis as did the economy. It was Engleharts made the switch to the NatWest team led by
a case not only of consolidating their base to secure future growth Relationship Director Hugh Cole and the firm is now happily
but also to neutralise some of the risk inherent in a weakening
ensconced in its new Vallance Hall premises.
economic climate by increasing efficiencies and cutting costs.
“I have enormous respect for David and Angela Englehart,” Hugh
Having already acquired Vallance Hall in Hove, David Englehart Cole says. “They are motivated not just to be good, but to win, not
needed the right kind of financial advice and a properly applied unlike Britain’s gold medal winners. With new premises, a new
funding stream to finance the firm’s reorganisation and the corporate look and a new technology infrastructure to maximise
inevitable business disruption that went with it. efficiencies, the firm is set for a strong future. When the decision is
finally made to hand over the reins in the fullness of time, their
“I felt I needed a bank that was commercially minded,” David
successors will be taking control of a very fine business. We are
Englehart says. “While my existing bank was helpful, the impression I delighted to have played our part in helping Engleharts build such
gained was that I was just another solicitor and was being a strong future.”
bracketed with those many other solicitors who had borrowed
heavily but not provided commensurate collateral as a backup for Sources:
the banks. In short I wanted a bank that looked at me as an Engleharts Solicitors
individual, not at a group of people who just happened to be in Hugh Cole, NatWest Business Banking
the same profession.”
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