NORTH-EAST lawyers have acted for a Swiss business on its acquisition of a Durham company in a deal aimed reducing poverty and bringing long-term economic growth.

The Springfield Centre for Business in Development Ltd (SFC), in Durham, and Swisscontact Services AG have worked together on various projects around the world over the last 20 years and have now formalised a partnership through solicitors at BHP Law and DWF.

The Springfield Centre will become a subsidiary of Swisscontact but will retain its name, jobs and base in Durham, and continue to operate as a stand-alone, UK-based company.

BHP Law consultant, Gary Copeland, said: "The transaction involved multiple parties with two share purchase agreements entered into both under Swiss law and UK Law. This involved lawyers from Switzerland, ourselves advising Swisscontact, and DWF advising two of the selling UK shareholders.

“It was a pleasure to work alongside our Swiss and fellow North East colleagues to ensure the deal reached successful completion. It is a positive step for both organisations in terms of furthering their work to end poverty and we were pleased to play our part in the transaction.”

Peter Bissegger, a member of the Executive Board of Swisscontact, said: “BHP Law provided us with professional advisory and support services relating to the successful acquisition of an UK based company.

"We are very satisfied with the overall quality of the relationship, services and support of BHP Law. The delivery of their services was both timely and relevant and the broad spectrum of advice requested was delivered well. Overall the services of BHP Law were provided in a professional and thoughtful manner.”

Both SFC and Swisscontact share a mission to reduce poverty and improve livelihoods through economic development and aim to address the many changes and challenges in global aid markets.

Samuel Bon, CEO of Swisscontact, said: “We share the same values and are fully committed to continuing our mission to deliver more effective and better development to make a meaningful contribution to long-term economic growth in developing countries; creating jobs and increasing incomes.”

Jon Burns, CEO of Springfield Centre said: “Successful delivery will require new thinking, including the development of new delivery and financing models, new partnering models with the private sector, and the appropriate application of new technologies.

"In this context, the ability to deliver larger scale and lower cost high quality services is becoming a fact of life in our existing and emerging markets.”