Our award-winning Corporate Finance dealmakers advised the Shareholders of UK Waste Solutions on their sale to Reconomy, a portfolio company of EMK Capital LLP, marking the team’s second high profile circular economy deal in the last 18 months.

Headquartered in Newark, Nottinghamshire, UK Waste Solutions Limited are sustainability consultants and managers who specialise in supporting clients across the hospitality, distribution, transport, facilities management, manufacturing and construction sectors.

Through its flagship Novati brand, it works with many well-known and highly respected brands, including Marston’s, Prezzo, Roadchef, Network Rail, CBRE and Birmingham Airport. The business has enjoyed significant growth in recent years and now has 3,500 customers.

The acquisition of this fast-growing, profitable business and the foremost independent waste broker in the UK includes all four of UK Waste Solutions Limited’s primary brands (Novati, AMA, Click Waste UK and Evolution) and its 160 employees. It further strengthens Reconomy’s market-leading position in the commercial waste sector as the biggest technology-enabled, outsourced resource management solution in the UK.

UK Waste Solutions Limited’s offering across a broad range of sectors and industries is highly complementary to Reconomy’s existing business, deepening its capabilities and footprint within this vertical to better service new and existing clients.

The transaction follows the acquisition of Denmark-based green-tech business Combineering in February this year. Reconomy Group recorded revenues of over £1 billion through FY 2022 across its 30 offices worldwide and is one of the UK’s largest and fastest-growing businesses operating in the circular economy, waste management and sustainability sectors.

Guy Wakeley, Chief Executive of Reconomy Group, said:

“We are delighted to welcome the UK Waste Solutions Limited team to Reconomy Group. It is a great fit with our business due to our shared commitment to developing closed loop solutions that will accelerate the shift towards a more circular economy. The transaction is consistent with our ambitious plans to grow both organically and through further acquisitions in the UK and around the world.”

Michael Benton, Managing Director of the Recycle Division at Reconomy Group, commented:

“UK Waste Solutions Limited has a track record of delivering an excellent outsourced service and will be a valuable addition to the Recycle Division at Reconomy Group. Its customer-led approach aligns perfectly with our values and deepens our capabilities. It increases our joint offering in the commercial, industrial and construction industry to deliver economic and environmental benefits for businesses, providing an unrivalled, added-value outsourced alternative.”

Max Kanda, Managing Director at UK Waste Solutions Limited, said:

“Reconomy Group’s commitment to innovation in the circular economy and well-established footprint across the UK market will strengthen our combined growth, as we will be able to offer a wider range of services to our joint customer base. We are excited to become part of one of the UK’s largest and fastest growing companies at a critical period for meeting the challenges of resource scarcity through technology- and data-led closed loop solutions as the adoption of the circular economy becomes increasingly central to how we do business globally.”

The Cooper Parry Corporate Finance team was led by Ben Rookes, Tom Summers and Alex Ydlibi. Legal support on the deal was provided by Kuit Steinart Levy LLP.

Tom Summers, Associate Partner, stated:

“UK Waste Solutions is a fantastic local business. The focus on sustainability solutions it shares with Reconomy makes for an exciting partnership and a combined outsourced business service offering that will support the UK’s transition to a circular economy. We are proud to have supported the Shareholder group and Management team through this transaction and wish both them and the business every success going forwards.”



The term ‘greenhushing’ rose to prominence in 2020 when it was coined by the aptly named consultancy firm, TreeHugger.  

It refers to companies failing to publicise their environmental goals and approaches towards them, keeping their climate responsibilities and strategies ‘hush hush’ for fear of their reputation.  

Greenhushing is worryingly common, be it through a lack of awareness on the company’s part, or a conscious effort to sweep their impact under the carpet to avoid being called out.  

In a 2022 report published by South Pole surveying 1,200 companies, almost a quarter had no plans to publicise their science-based emissions targets. It’s a trend that could catch on. And as we collectively do our bit to combat climate change, it poses a big problem. 


The obvious, planet-sized issue associated with greenhushing is how damaging it can be to progress against the climate crisis. The corporate world accounts for a mind-boggling proportion of global greenhouse gas emissions, and if companies aren’t being held accountable and continue to keep their impact under wraps, who knows how much they’re helping – or hindering? 

In 2022, Deloitte asked leaders about the benefits of sustainability in business. You’d hope the top answer would be combatting climate change, but instead, ‘brand recognition and reputation’ reigned supreme. Cue the sighs.  

When wanting to be seen to be doing the right thing is more important than actually doing it, we have a problem. And that’s why greenhushing has become seen as a way to avoid accusations of greenwashing, which involves companies misleadingly cashing in on the demand for more environmentally friendly products and services, with little to no measurable data to back up their claims.  

Greenhushing can lead people who want to be part of the solution towards being an unintentional part of the problem. Trust in brands is already low. Recent research shows that 86% of the public want greater transparency. And as customers, employees, investors and stakeholders become more sustainably-minded, expectations are high, and the reputational damage of greenhushing can have severe repercussions for any business.  


There’s no such thing as ‘perfection’ when it comes to sustainability. But being transparent about your commitments and progress and communicating them honestly is a powerful way to build trust and loyalty. 

We all need to find the balance between the complex work required to have the most detailed reporting and making progress with what we have and improving that year on year. But consistently reporting and backing up your targets with science-based emissions reductions milestones is always the right move to make. For your customers, employees, business, and the planet.  

If you want to have a natter about greenhushing and how to avoid it, our Head of Sustainability, Nico, would love to chat.



Our team advised on the sale of leading East Midlands Law firm Nelsons to Lawfront, backed by private equity firm Blixt Group (Blixt).

Nelsons is Lawfront’s fifth acquisition and its fourth in the last twelve months, giving it a strong foothold in the East Midlands from which it intends to grow further in the region, along with expanding nationally with more acquisitions of leading regional firms.  The acquisition takes Lawfront’s revenue to over £45m, with market leading profitability, and is an important step in achieving its vision of building a high-quality, national legal services business.

Celebrating its 40th year anniversary on 3rd May this year, Nelsons was co-founded by Tim Hastings in a small Nottingham office and has gone on to become one of the leading law firms operating across East Midlands with offices in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham.

The business recently reported over £20m revenue with 161 legal and investment management fee earners.

Tim Hastings, chairman at Nelsons said:

“Cooper Parry has been our advisor for over 20 years so they’ve been a constant presence during Nelsons’ journey. But, this is the first time we’ve worked with its dedicated Corporate Finance Team and we’ve been delighted with the service and advice. Sachin and the team’s specialist knowledge,  coupled with its understanding of our business, the sector, and how we work, helped pave the way for a smooth transaction.”

Stewart Vandermark, CEO at Nelsons commented:

“The legal sector is constantly evolving and since the pandemic we had anticipated an increasing move towards consolidation. Change has always been part of Nelsons’ DNA and having consistently achieved excellent results, we wanted to be at the forefront of this consolidating market and joining Lawfront ensures that for our ambitious team.  It was clear early on that Lawfront was a great fit for Nelsons, bringing greater opportunities for all our colleagues and enhancing the services we can offer to our clients.”

Sachin Parmar, Associate Director at Cooper Parry Corporate Finance, added:

“Nelsons has a built a fantastic reputation as a leading regional law firm focussed on the needs of private businesses and their owners. We’re delighted to have been able to support the management team on this transaction and really look forward to seeing the business prosper in its next chapter.The legal sector is attracting attention as a hot space for investment from private equity in addition to other players looking for synergies. This deal underlines Cooper Parry’s expertise and commitment to supporting businesses operating across the professional services space.”

We kick-started the calendar year with two deals – bringing iHorizon and Acclivity into CP to create a platform to service early stage companies alongside that we have been building specifically for scaleups.  Adding another 30+ people, it rocketed the Tech & High Growth team to 100+ team members and enabled us to offer a complete service to startups and scaleups – from seed stage to exit.

A couple of months on and Head of THG, Steve Leith, is sharing the thinking behind the deals, what it means for the tech ecosystem and importantly, how it will impact CP clients…  

From a standing start two years ago to working with 200+ post series A scaleups – it’s been a fun ride so far to say the least. I’ve been working with the high-growth, venture funded community since the early days of the startup scene in the UK, experiencing first hand the challenges 100s of founders and CFOs have faced scaling their businesses and raising £Bn’s in venture capital along the way. This has provided a unique insight on what really matters when designing a service and team to support those companies: people dedicated to, and connected in, the ecosystem; people used to tackling the same issues and situations; people who are passionate about the venture journey and the ups and downs that come with it; and finally people who have your back, and can get ahead of issues created by rapidly scaling a business, before you’ve even got there.  This is our DNA. This is what we have built the team on.

It’s this ethos that has driven our success with Series A and beyond companies – resulting in us onboarding hundreds of scaleups across audit, tax and R&D services who connected with our message and our approach.

Following this, it felt like a natural next step to add an early stage team who could support startups with an outsourced service with the same DNA at the heart of it. Building a portfolio of high quality startups means our clients can transition seamlessly from basic support (designed for startups) to complex support (designed for scaleups) with zero friction.  An organic build was possible, but finding quickly the best people in the market already servicing early stage companies was optimal and ultimately the fastest way to capitalise on the opportunity. This is where the deals come in.

I had been talking to Asif Ahmed for some time about what it would take to “win” the early stage market – a notoriously difficult product to get right, let alone accel in. It was in us deep diving on the principles of this, as well as the power of connecting an early stage team with our fast growing scale up team, that we started to get excited at the possibility of what we could build together: the UK’s best early stage and scale up team for founders and CFOs of venture stage companies.

Asif built his Acclivity practice around strong principles of operational excellence, straight forwardness in client communications, and truly connecting with the ecosystem to add value wherever it was needed. Startups don’t need another commoditised accounting product at the lowest price point they can find (there are plenty of those in your Google searches!); they need a team who ‘get it’ and are 100% all in; they also need a team who are committed to building a scalable finance function inside a business not outside. Acclivity were on that path already and Asif was a perfect fit to lead the charge with our Early Stage Tech & High Growth team.

Over the years Asif has been in the unique position of being a founder that advises founders; at CP he will be cultivating personal relationships with founder teams and will help navigate what is needed across their venture journey, busting some myths along the way and laying the foundations for scale. Asif will also form an important connecting role deep into the ecosystem covering VCs, Accelerators and wider partnerships.

iHorizon, having been around supporting startups for over a decade, is a team most people in the early stage market know about. Acquiring one of the leading early stage accounting players in the market and creating the platform overnight for our early stage offering, felt like the right next move. Accelerating the deal, and adding 30+ people dedicated to supporting startups, meant we could immediately gain momentum in delivering the vision and the product we wanted to create. Pratik, who had founded iHorizon over a decade ago, moved on to new challenges as part of the acquisition, with myself, Asif and Tom Watts – who had been instrumental in building and leading iHorizon’s practice in recent years – took the lead on integrating both Acclivity and iHorizon into the Tech & High Growth business at CP. 90 days in, and it feels as good as we expected it to. And in truth, we’ve barely even started.

I truly want to leave a legacy that CP has developed 100s of high growth specialists with successful and fulfilling careers, and supported companies and founders who have changed people’s lives in their ventures. These recent deals are a key part of building this legacy and I hope it’s clear that CP are now equipped to support this market in ways others cannot. From a startupcoming to life, to the pressure of creating momentum and managing venture rounds, and from rapid growth to planning for a major liquidity event  – we’ve got you covered.

Across Audit, Tax, R&D and Early Stage – our expert team are specialists who are dedicated and eager to help people like you.

We can’t wait to see what the next two years has in store. Watch this space… There is more to come. This is just the start.


Many changes to the R&D tax regimes are underway and further guidance has emerged from HMRC regarding the new compulsory additional information form.

Every claim submitted on or after 1 August 2023 must be accompanied by the submission of an additional information form, providing HMRC with details of the claim.  You can view the full guidance here

Some of the information required is very much as you’d expect. Things like the Unique Tax Reference (UTR) number of the company, employer PAYE Reference number, the accounting period start and end dates and a breakdown of qualifying costs being claimed. It’s very much a case of HMRC wanting the information all in one place.

However, they also ask for contact details of the person at the company responsible for the R&D tax claim and the name of any agent or advisor involved in compiling the claim.  Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out what they’re doing there.

There are also some areas that will require additional effort. One area being the need to write up a prescribed number of detailed descriptions of the R&D projects claimed, depending upon the amount of the claim each project represents.

More than ever it is important to correctly identify qualifying projects and the boundaries of R&D.

When writing up the R&D project descriptions HMRC asks for the information under 5 headings:

The key is being clear and concise in articulating how the project meets the R&D criteria.

Interestingly HMRC also state that the form must be submitted before the tax return and if it isn’t they will write to you to confirm they’ve removed your claim from the return.

We’re talking to clients who we are in the process of preparing R&D claims to ensure they remain compliant with the new form and process.  Even if submitting prior to 1 August 2023, the new guidance clearly shows what HMRC are interested in understanding more about your claim.

If you want to know about what the changes in the guidance will mean for your claim get in touch.



He’s a busy man our Paul.

Every facial expression, each twitchy mannerism, every minor adjustment of his relaxed sartorial style is that of someone on a mission.

It’s just a question of which mission he’s on at the time.

We meet in CP’s chilled out workplace and Paul looks, well, suitably chilled. He really shouldn’t be, given that he’s just got lost enroute. Not badly, but enough to hassle most folk.

Situations like this, however, are what entrepreneur Paul Richardson thrives on. Last time we caught up, Gymshark was Lycra-stretched over every part of the media. A Solihull Unicorn was born. £1 billion valued and galloping away from most of the competition. But we’re not here to look back at that awesome story. You can always catch up on that HERE. We’d rather talk about what’s happened since.

As it turns out, that’s quite a lot.

Paul adopts a simple mantra: ‘Work Hard, Stay Humble. Dream Big.’ And he’s worked damned hard to keep the statement real rather than something you’d see on a naff mug around the office.


Paul’s a Birmingham City fan through and through. But when he joined the Club Board with David Sullivan, David Gold and Karen Brady back in 2002, it was still an eye-opener. He was the local-lad-done-good and this bond with the West Midlands was critical. Looking back, Paul reflects: