About us

You will be able to tell, I hope, from the fact that this is not your typical corporate finance website, that we do things differently. We have unrivalled experience in governance, risk , compliance and legal services markets. Our lead consultant, David’s experience in particular is set out below, but we keep it simple. We don’t do ’emperor’s clothes’. We tell it straight. We can do so, because we’ve built companies from scratch, taken small ones to becoming big ones, acquired, been acquired and managed everything from professional adviser engagements to EU Competition Commission negotiations. We’re not lawyers. We’re not accountants, or IFAs. We’ve been where you are and we’re here to help you cut to the chase. It started with years, many years ‘in the trenches’. Setting up a small legal services charity in South London from scratch. Running advice lines 24/7 and duty court rota days on legal ‘triage’. Then running the chief-sub desk on a busy weekly legal magazine. Even running international management journals for academics for a while. Extensive line experience came with Croner: as Managing Editor, Publisher, Publishing Director, General Manager (CCH), Executive Director (UK M&A) and Non-Executive Director. Described as a ‘great coach who didn’t take any passengers’, the team that led the organic growth and transformation there broke every record for well over a decade – ‘the invincibles’ of business services who stayed at the top for a decade. That £4m compliance services team grew to over £60m in sales in 12 years organically.

David Johnston

David got the task of doubling that with targeted M&A. He started with the tax and accountancy brands and acquired the core software platforms to bring the CCH brand into the 21st Century in the UK. Training, publishing and health & safety software acquisitions bolstered Croner. There then followed the first major consolidation of the Regulatory Consulting market with the IRPC ‘anchor’ acquisition bolstered with ESS, PPC, LPMS, and Empire to establish the Croner Consulting brand.

David Johnston of NED

A crash course in applied economics came too from being the UK negotiator for WK in the (abortive) merger with Reed Elsevier. It’s why we don’t deal in guesses; all our research is tested at CMA and EU Competition Authority levels. We have worked at Cabinet Office, Supreme Court and CMA investigations successfully. Our data is relied on when it really matters. Dotcom was an interesting time, and having been Principal in acquisitions for a blue chip, David then experimented with advisory roles for others in GRC (governance risk and compliance) services. Working with National Britannia and Lyceum Capital, the M&A operation for the health & safety market leader in the UK delivered the best result in Lyceum’s investment history. Working with Thomson Reuters he acquired Abacus and Digita to get their tax position in software established. Having done it organically, then with M&A, as a non-exec for the Practical Law Company we were able to hit the ball out of the park for a third time. As a non-exec I supported their growth (to £60m+), and helped this excellent team disrupt the governance, risk and legal services information market. Head to head with global blue chips, they transformed digital legal support services (and sold to Thomson Reuters eventually).

We Were Asked to Bottle It

The M&A world will tell you the DCFs, econometrics, funding, etc are the hard part. They really aren’t. They’re as hard as you let the ‘suits’ make them. With over 30 deals completed, David was a buy-side specialist – now with sell-side wins growing too. ” The best GRC specialist you’ve never heard of ” as one VC put it – because we take confidentiality seriously at NED, and always have. We’ve helped create many dozens of millionaires and they’ve all asked us to ‘bottle it’. The result is NED Legal. Our service is designed to ensure (a) you don’t have to risk diluting equity, (b) you don’t have to run through the costs of new or adjusting shareholder agreements, and (c) you can get ahead of the curve with better data than the competitors, buyers and sellers in the market. You have nothing to lose. We’re here to help. Give us a call.