Ison Harrison moves to employee ownership model

Ison Harrison moves to employee ownership model

Ison Harrison has become entirely owned by its employees after the three shareholder directors agreed to sell the business to an employee ownership trust.

The directors opted against a traditional business sale or merger options, choosing an employee ownership trust instead with the workforce now owning 100% of the business.

Under the new ownership model, the management structure is made up of eight directors, with five new ones welcomed to the existing board, including James Thompson, Gareth Naylor, Jenny Bland, Sarah Laughey and Richard Coulthard.

Jonathan Wearing, who has been head of the firm for 15 years, continues in his role as managing director, with Richard Timperley and Dominic Mackenzie, the other two shareholder directors, remaining as finance director and head of private client, respectively.

Ison Harrison, which has a network of 16 offices throughout Yorkshire, now employs more than 230 staff across the region and offers a broad suite of legal services, representing around 20,000 clients each year.

The growth of the firm over the past decade has been primarily driven through the development of an extensive branch network with residential property, wills and probate, and family work in particular taking the lead.

The last two years have seen the firm focus further on diversification by expanding its commercial offering substantially, to include corporate, litigation, employment and commercial property.

Wearing commented: “Richard, Dominic and I have enjoyed many successful years in growing the business and strengthening the firm’s footprint across Yorkshire but given our size we felt a new structure was necessary for us to continue to grow.”

“By becoming an employee-owned business and extending the breadth and reach of the board, we feel that we are really well set up for whatever the future holds. The move offers stability, continued job security for all of our dedicated staff and a platform for further growth.”

He continued: “Employees will have a greater influence over the future direction of the firm, will financially benefit from the ongoing success of the business and continue to deliver unrivalled client service in the multitude of private and commercial arenas in which we operate.”

“It will allow us to involve and reward everyone, attract talent in the region and demonstrate a genuine point of difference in a competitive market.”

“In short, converting into an employee ownership trust is great news for every single employee of the firm and everyone now has a stake in the business and can share in the success and profits that are made going forward.”

Pictured: Ison Harrison’s Richard Timperley (back, left), Jonathan Wearing, Dominic Mackenzie (back. centre), Richard Coulthard (front, left), Sarah Laughey (front, centre), Jenny Bland (front, right), Gareth Naylor and James Thompson (back, right)
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Mark Dugdale

Mark is the Editor of Yorkshire Legal. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached by emailing mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk