Bradford-based CN Gaunt & Son bought by HCE Group

Tuesday 5th March 2013

A leading Bradford-based firm of High Court enforcement officers has been bought by the largest privately-owned enforcement company in England and Wales.

CN Gaunt & Son is now part of High Court Enforcement (HCE) Group.

HCE Group has other offices in Cardiff, Colwyn Bay, London, Liverpool and Swansea. It employs more than 200 staff, including over 20 authorised High Court enforcement officers.

CN Gaunt & Son had been owned since 2008 by partners Gary Bovan and James Metcalfe, who were advised on the sale by Duncan Firman, a solicitor in the corporate team of Yorkshire law firm Gordons.

Mr Bovan said: “We’ve worked with Gordons regularly for many years and have always been impressed by them, so we weren’t surprised their service on this occasion was excellent. Duncan’s speed, legal knowledge, enthusiasm and ready understanding of our business, including where its best interests lay, were impressive.

“Our experience indicates Gordons boasts great people, who are practical business advisers rather than traditional lawyers, and that was certainly borne out on this occasion.”

Founded in 1874, CN Gaunt & Son were High Court Enforcement Officers and certificated bailiffs, providing a range of services to the legal profession. The firm operated nationally, its expertise covering the enforcement of unpaid county court judgments, commercial rent forfeiture and distraint, evictions and process serving.

HCE Group provides a comprehensive range of recovery services for businesses, organisations and individuals. It also engages over matters such as employment tribunal awards, commercial writs of possession and traveller evictions, while also dealing with commercial landlord services, process serving, investigations, vehicle recovery, recovery of parking fines and unpaid council tax.

Gordons’ Duncan Firman said: “The CN Gaunt sale makes sense, as both parties will benefit significantly from it. HCE Group has established a presence in a key area of the country where it wasn’t fully represented previously. James and Gary will remain working within the group, with James  as enforcement director for the north of England, overseeing field officers, and Gary as director of new business and client care, responsible for enhancing links with existing clients and cultivating new business opportunities.

“HCE Group will now also gain from having its business in this part of the world conducted by a team with an excellent heritage and reputation and a wide range of important contacts in the local market, spearheaded by two very well-respected authorised High Court enforcement officers.”

Gordon Dean, group director, HCE Group, said: “The purchase is a strategic coup for the group, cementing our status as an industry leader with strong local links and unparalleled experience in enforcing High Court warrants.”

One of the UK’s most successful law firms with offices in Leeds and Bradford. Gordons has been established for over 168 years, currently employs 280 people and has a turnover of over £25m.  Gordons’ excellence was recognised in a number of award schemes during 2012:

  • Business of the Year in the £10m to £50m category in the Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards
  • Private Client Team of the Year and Managing Partner of the Year in the Yorkshire Lawyer Awards
  • UK and Ireland Regional Team of the Year in the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners Private Client Awards
  • Property Law Firm of the Year in the Yorkshire Property Industry Awards
  • Runner-up in the Regional Law Firm of the Year category of the Lawyer Awards
  • Highly Commended in the Excellence in Community Investment category of the Law Society Excellence Awards.

Clients include Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc, construction and high performance materials manufacturer Saint Gobain, international brewers Molson Coors, greetings card retailer Card Factory and the world’s largest electrical heating business Glen Dimplex. For more information visit