Visualsoft is a multi-award winning e-Commerce company and one of Teesside’s largest private company employers.
Headquartered in Stockton, the business boasts offices in London, Manchester and Newcastle, currently employing over 200 staff.
With an impressive portfolio featuring hundreds of clients, ranging from independent sellers to multichain retailers and internationallyknown brands, Visualsoft has come a long way since opening its doors in 1998.
In order to stay at the top of its game and secure its position as an industry leader, the forward-thinking company relies on support and advice from one of the North East’s leading legal firms.
Also based in Stockton, Endeavour Partnership has worked with Visualsoft for the last three years and played a pivotal role in the company’s complex management buyout (MBO) which took place last July.
The law firm’s involvement in the transaction – described on the night by the judges as “truly transformational for the business” – saw Visualsoft walk away with Deal of the Year in September’s prestigious North East Dealmaker Awards.
Visualsoft’s CEO Dean Benson is pictured (above, centre right) with colleague Emma Hart and Martin McKinnell (left) and Nik Tunley (right) of Endeavour Partnership.
“The deal has enabled us to grow our staff by 30 per cent and we are on target to increase turnover threefold in the next three years,” said Dean.
“Endeavour Partnership’s legalexpertise has been crucial to Visualsoft. They fully understand tech businesses, but despite being extremely knowledgeable, don’t over complicate things, which is important when dealing with people who don’t have a legal background.”
Dean continued: “What first attracted us to work with Endeavour is their forward-thinking approach. They’re on the same wavelength as us and understand what we are about and where we want to be. They can see the bigger picture and we have built up a trusting relationship.
“In fact, we are so happy and trusting of their services, we highly recommend them to all of our clients, which is rare that we feel comfortable to do this.
“Ours is definitely a relationship where we learn from each other and further down the line, we would like to work with Endeavour to develop an e-Commerce law platform for more standardised documents.”
Endeavour Partnership – which has recently been ranked in Chambers UK 2016 as the top Teesside law firm – has provided legal services and advice to several of Visualsoft’s departments, including Human Resources, employee and customer contracts, financial contracts, online terms and conditions of sale, building contracts, intellectual property contracts and corporate governance contracts.
The legal experts admire Visualsoft’s pioneering and unique approach to all aspects of the business and also provide services for their innovation lab spin-outs, such as the recently launched Hive and Talent Hunter.
Emma Hart, Visualsoft’s HR manager credited with Talent Hunter – a ground-breaking recruitment idea which rewards job hunters and their friends for filling roles – said: “Endeavour are professional and knowledgeable but also fun and adaptable, just like Visualsoft.
“They understand our ethos and fit the mould of what we want our legal team to look like perfectly.”
Martin McKinnell and Nik Tunley work closely with Visualsoft, and say they relish the challenges they face from of being involved with such a pioneering company.
Martin said: “Visualsoft is a really proactive business, which is refreshing to work with.
“The team is very creative which keeps us on our toes and they are always coming to us with inventive ideas, such as the suggestion of unlimited holidays for staff, which we were able to advise them on and help them implement.”
A partner in the firm’s corporate team, Nik was also involved in a landmark project earlier this year, which saw Endeavour work alongside Growth Capital Ventures to develop a new legal framework, which has been highlighted as having the potential to revolutionise the way entrepreneurs and investors take advantage of alternative finance markets.
His team of lawyers developed a suite of standardised legal documents to facilitate coinvestment and syndication between the various different types of investor using its platforms.
Speaking about Endeavour’s involvement in the ground-breaking work, Nik said: “The Growth Capital Ventures project was an interesting and exciting piece of work for Endeavour.
“We have an experienced corporate and commercial team and it was good to support an innovative ‘Fintech’ business like Growth Capital Ventures.”
Since its formation in 1999 by four experienced lawyers, Endeavour Partnership has established itself as the only Tees Valley firm to provide purely commercial legal services to businesses in the region.
Operating out of Tobias House on Teesdale Business Park, the company has quadrupled in size and has been nominated for three national awards – the Legal Business “Most Enterprising Law Firm of the Year” and, for two years in succession, the “Best Trainer of the Year, Small Firm” nominated by the Trainee Solicitors Group.
Working successfully with Visualsoft, Growth Capital Ventures, Unitel, Coatsink Software Limited and Sapere Software Limited, Endeavour prides itself on being able to provide practical and commercial advice on all aspects of the law relating to information technology and the internet.
The firm recognises this is a sector which is ever changing and essential to businesses of all sizes but relishes the challenge of being acknowledged throughout the North East as the industry leader and number one legal tech-sperts.