COMMERCIAL law firm Denison Till is celebrating a record year after completing deals worth £90m in the past 12 months.

The corporate department, based at offices in York, carried out a range of acquisitions and disposals of shares and businesses, plus management buyouts and buy-ins for companies in York and throughout North and West Yorkshire.

Five of the deals were worth more than £5m, while most of the others were worth between £1m and £2m each.

Head of the department and partner Andrew Lindsay said: "We are delighted to have achieved our most successful year ever in terms of the value of deals completed.

"It is encouraging that two-thirds of our instructions came from our existing client base while a third - a significant proportion - was new business gains."

The department's work also included IT and intellectual property-related commercial agreements, franchising, company reconstructions, partnership agreements and agency and distribution agreements.

Its client list included Portasilo, a subsidiary of the Tyneside-based Shepherd Building Group, which bought Homeseeker Homes.

The team helped Flamingo Land, in North Yorkshire, dispose of interests in Bradford City Football Club.

The team acted for Douglas Craig, of Bootham Crescent Holdings, owner of York City Football Club's ground, in the sale of a majority stake of the company to York City Football Club.

Mr Lindsay said: "The volume and nature of the work demonstrates that business confidence in York and North Yorkshire and beyond was strong throughout last year, in spite of steadily rising interest rates.

"The level of activity is also good news for the local economy. It demonstrates a growing recognition among high-quality businesses that having quality professional services on hand is cost-effective and helps to develop strong commercial relationships."

Denison Till's corporate department was praised in the latest edition of independent legal guide Chambers.

The entry states: "Sources flagged up this firm as the major player in York and a driving force behind the city's SME (small to medium-sized enterprise) sector.

"Clients value the firm's clear level of corporate finance experience and speak highly of a helpful, knowledgeable and extremely competent service."

Published: ??/??/2004