Square One Law enters exclusive relationship with NEL Fund Managers to support delivery of North East Fund

Square One Law has entered into an exclusive relationship with NEL Fund Managers to support the implementation of key elements of the £120m North East Fund Supported By The European Regional Development Fund.

The North East commercial law firm which has offices in Newcastle and Stockton, is the only practice to be appointed to work with NEL on its investment of two of the NEF funds - the £18m North East Growth Capital Fund and the £9m North East Small Loan Fund.

NEL will draw on the experience of Square One Law’s Corporate Team. Having completed the documentation to create the fund and updated all of the associated investment documents, Square One Law is well-placed to understand the deal structures and ensure the investment process runs as efficiently as possible.

The North East Growth Capital Fund has been designed to create around 790 jobs in more than 70 regional firms over the life of the programme, and offers unsecured investments of up to £500,000 to established businesses to support their growth ambitions.

Targeted at smaller SMEs, the North East Small Loan Fund offers loans of between £10,000 and £50,000 to businesses in the same areas, and is designed to assist with the creation of 1,200 new regional jobs in over 320 SMEs over its lifetime.

Dr Yvonne Gale, Chief Executive at NEL Fund Managers, said: "Both the Growth Capital Fund and Small Loan Fund have been tailored to meet the investment needs of specific businesses, and are available to firms trading across most industry sectors for a wide range of purposes.

“Our investment mission is now to start utilising these funds as quickly and efficiently as possible, and to get them to management teams with robust growth plans that will take their businesses forward.

“We have worked with the team at Square One Law over a number of years and know we will get the service we want. We also knew that Square One Law had played a pivotal role in the creation of the North East Fund and therefore are fully up to speed on EU compliance issues, particularly State Aid.”

Neil Warwick, Head of EU and competition law at Square One Law, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed to this role. We are also aware that compliance, particularly in relation to State Aid, will feature more heavily in the investment assessments. As the UK prepares to leave the EU it is likely that compliance with EU Regulations will need to be extremely tight. We anticipate that audits from bodies such as the Commission and the EIB will become even more stringent.”

Mark Lazenby, Square One Law’s newly appointed head of corporate, said: “The North East Funds are positive news for the region as there’s been a hiatus in this type of funding. They will hopefully stimulate more investment for the benefit of our thriving local SME community.”