Napthens advises A. Lamb Associates on Edinburgh acquisition

12/06/2023
Left to Right: Ewan Slight, Alan Harper, Byron Tyson and Tom Lamb

CUMBRIA-headquartered A. Lamb Associates (ALA), a quantity surveying and commercial consultancy, has completed the acquisition of Morham + Brotchie Ltd (M+B), a historic quantity surveying and cost consultancy based in Edinburgh.

Leading northern law firm Napthens advised ALA on the deal, which is set to bolster the breadth of its services, increase its collective headcount to more than fifty, and scale the capabilities of both firms in Scotland and England.

Originally founded in 1876, M+B is known for its depth of expertise in traditional building and complex one-off projects. Its roster of clients includes National Museums of Scotland; Scottish Historic Buildings Trust; Historic Royal Palaces; The Royal Household and National Trust of Scotland. 

Major projects it has been involved with include The Queen’s Gallery in Edinburgh, for the Royal Household; the National Museum of Flight; The Johnnie Walker Experience in Princes Street, Edinburgh; Gala Fairydean Stadium; Lindores Abbey Distillery; and the Robert Burns Museum. 

Established in 1996, ALA is a family-owned consultancy that has grown from its roots in the oil and gas pipeline sector to offer commercial services across the construction industry. ALA specialises in major construction, infrastructure and energy projects worldwide. Significant projects include the Khazzan gas pipeline project in Oman, Thirlmere Link water pipeline in Cumbria, Runcorn Energy from Waste Plant, Windermere Boat Museum and the Baltic Pipe project in Denmark.

The acquisition will see ALA’s Byron Tyson and Tom Lamb become directors of M+B, whilst the existing leadership team is being retained. Alan Harper has been promoted to Chairman, David Anderson takes on the role of Managing Director. Ewan Slight and Euan Watson will continue in their Director roles. This structure allows M+B to focus on continuing to provide first-class services, whilst benefitting from greater resources and capabilities. 

Legal advisors to A. Lamb Associates were Napthens LLP, led by corporate partner Richard Robinson, associate solicitor Natalie Ormerod and legal assistant Lydia Spencer. HSBC, led by relationship manager James Toppin provided banking to ALA, whilst MHA Moore and Smalley provided accountancy. Morton Fraser LLP provided legal advice to M+B’s shareholders.

Tom Lamb, Managing Director at A. Lamb Associates, said: “We’re naturally hugely excited by the acquisition of M+B, as it represents a real watershed moment for both companies. It takes us to a collective of over 50 exceptional staff, and is another milestone on our ALA25 business plan, as we work towards our goal of a 100-strong team. Our objective is to create a stronger and better business that is the market leader in our chosen sectors.  

“Special thanks go to Napthens and our other advisors for their support in the transaction. We now look forward to taking this well-established business with a long history to the wider market, working with the existing management team on this exciting new chapter.”

Alan Harper, Chairman at Morham + Brotchie Partnership, said: “We’ve been familiar with the team at ALA for some time, and have always valued the synergy and cultural alignments between our two organisations. Our shared values made taking this step feel natural for both parties, and it represents an opportunity for two well-established QS consultancies to share best practice, develop talent and provide market-leading services to our clients. The future is bright.

Richard Robinson, Corporate Partner at Napthens, said: “Tom, Byron and the team at A. Lamb Associates are one of Cumbria’s most dynamic businesses at the moment, and today’s deal marks the start of a new era for the business. We are delighted to have helped them continue to build on their already impressive reputation with an exciting acquisition.”

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