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Lawyers’ advice gets top rating

26 Mar 08

Lawyers are more highly valued than auditors or nominated advisers by AIM companies

LAWYERS are more highly valued than auditors or nominated advisers (nomads) by AIM companies.

Baker Tilly’s 12th annual Taking AIM survey found that lawyers provided the best value for money during the flotation process (34 per cent), ahead of nomads (24 per cent), who were also most frequently considered to have provided the worst value (20 per cent).

Just under half of AIM companies regard the continuing advice from their nomads and auditors as “excellent” or “very good”, while corporate lawyers get two thirds of the top vote. Scottish AIM companies gave similar findings.

Gerry O’Neill, the chief executive of employee benefits software specialist Vebnet, said: “Some of the advice we get from our nomad is good, but like everything else, it comes down to the individual. If you’ve got a nomad who’s dealing with 100 other companies, you only get so much mindshare.The pecking order for us is lawyers, accountants then nomad.”

At Dundee-based Axeon, chief financial officer and ICAS member David Campbell felt lawyers and accountants were able to give broader advice than the nomads.

He said: “I think the personalities who get involved in the nomad function tend to be lawmakers who perhaps take a more detailed view of a particular item or group of words than the lawyers and accountants, who can give a more independent view.”

The survey found that few investors believe AIM companies need a Big Four audit firm.

The tightening of AIM regulations in 2007 was generally well received.

The survey covered 200 quoted companies, 50 private companies and 50 institutional investors.

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AIM | Baker Tilly

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