Fladgate acts on the sale of award-winning contractor accountancy and umbrella businesses First Freelance and First Umbrella to Optionis

Our team: Ian Brent

Optionis, the largest provider of professional services to the flexible workforce, has acquired award-winning contractor accountancy firm First Freelance and its sister umbrella company, First Umbrella.

The acquisition will further strengthen Optionis’ position in the contractor accountancy and umbrella market, where it currently has a stable of six brands supporting clients across the UK.

First Freelance and First Umbrella were founded in 2013 and provide accountancy services and an umbrella employment solution to contractors and freelancers.

The business is led by its three founders, Managing Director Mark Beal-Preston, Commercial Director Reece Harrod and Operations Director Carlo Fardella. It has enjoyed exceptional levels of growth in the past five years, securing many leading industry body accreditations and associations, including FCSA, REC, APSCo, TEAM and Customer Service Excellence.  It was also named 2017 Overall Supplier of the Year to the recruitment industry by Recruitment International.

Mark Beal-Preston, MD of First Freelance, said: “Ian Brent came highly recommended as a leading lawyer within the industry. The advice and support provided by Ian and his team was excellent from start to finish. The team worked tirelessly to achieve a first-class result within a tight two-month timetable which was successfully achieved.”

Corporate finance advice to the First Freelance and First Umbrella shareholders was provided by Ryecroft Glenton’s Carl Swansbury, with support from Alex Simpson.

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