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Ian Brent

Ian Brent


I specialise in private company M&A. I have a sector focus on recruitment and technology, and I am one of the Recommended Lawyers for sub £50m deals in Legal 500 UK.


I have been a lawyer for 30 years and a corporate partner for over 20 years. I love doing deals and that gets me out of bed in the morning (although my wife would say it’s the Peloton bike). I not only advise on deals but have managed to match many buyers and investors with target companies.

I focus on the battles worth winning rather than point scoring and am happy to use my experience of over 300 deals to help clients get the best commercial outcome.

I know the recruitment sector particularly well and am on one side or the other of many of the M&A deals in that space.

I am very familiar with the PE landscape as I act both on the buy side for firms such as Nickleby Capital and the sell side for shareholders selling to PE houses.

Outside of law, my main claim to fame is that I’m a 5th dan black belt at karate. I normally only reveal that at the trickiest parts of negotiations……


Our dedicated Funds team offer our clients a full range of legal services from a fund’s inception right through to its dissolution or disposal, including potential restructuring and consideration of exit strategies.


Advising on venture capital and growth capital investments, the team offers extensive experience of market practice enabling the delivery of VC fundraisings in a timely and efficient manner. Clients trust the team to work on unusual and complex matters and guide them through difficult investments which are frequently first-of-a-kind.


Fladgate understands the changing nature and dynamics of the professional services sector, from structures such as LLPs or incorporations to mergers and joint ventures, enabling us to provide advice and insight that extends beyond the routine aspects of business.


A team with the expertise, track record and resources to service a wide range of domestic and international clients on large-scale transactions, and our clients range from entrepreneurs to quoted multinational corporations, we have particular strength and an established reputation in the mid-market.


We act across a broad swathe of corporate matters in the UK and internationally on both public and private deals.



  • Advised Hydrogen Group PLC on the acquisition of global recruiter Argyll Scott Group.
  • Advised PE firm Greybull on the acquisition of Morrisons’ M Local convenience store business.
  • Advised on the sale of Gatenby Sanderson, no 1 in the Hot 100 Recruiters, to PE firm Primary Capital.
  • Advised the shareholders of Irish software supplier Careworks on the sale to PE backed UK software firm Advanced.
  • Advised the shareholders of contractor accountancy firm First Freelance and its sister umbrella company to Optionis, the largest provider of professional services to the flexible workforce.


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