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Sweet smell of success for Hawkins Hatton.

Hawkins Hatton has advised on a merger that creates a new trade body controlling a majority of florists in the country.

The Dudley-based law firm worked with the British Florist Association on its purchase of the Society of Floristry.

The acquisition has increased the BFA's membership by 700 to 3,200 mak-k ing it the UK's largest independent trade association for florists and the second largest in Europe. Often acknowledged as the 'voice of the industry,' the BFA represents nearly 6,500 florists and is the only sector trade association to be recognised by the UK Government and in Brussels.

Hawkins Hatton, led by corporate partner Colin Rodrigues, handled all legal aspects of the acquisition including the drawing up of heads of terms.

Under the deal the Society of Floristry's database has passed onto the BFA which has also acquired an online shop selling publications previously listed on the society's website.

As part of the acquisition a new training and education committee will also be formed to retain and build on the success of the Society of Floristry in this area.

The BFA has a secretariat based in Dudley.

President Mark Ward said: "We rely solely on our membership subscriptions for funding so this acquisition will further strengthen our position in the industry enabling us to support florists with business advice through our manned helpline and lobby government on important issues such as increases in business rates."

Hawkins Hatton has developed strong links with the BFA having previously sponsored the organisation's trade exhibition FleurEx, where the firm hosted a number of legal seminars for florists.

Mr Rodrigues said: "We were delighted to be able to support this deal which will help consolidate the BFA's leading position in the UK floristry industry." The corporate department that involves Mr Rodrigues was recently boost-t ed by the appointment of partner Richard Baizley, who joined the firm from the Birmingham office of Martineau.

One recent high-profile deal involving the team was the purchase of caravan and camper van recovery firm Caps (UK), by Midlands entrepreneur Roy Pitchford.

CAPTION(S):

BFA president Mark Ward, Colin Rodrigues of Hawkins Hatton and Victoria Willsone of the BFA
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 29, 2010
Words:360
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