Chess’ Acquisition of CyberLab
Nimbus Legal and Vector Tax Consultancy advised leading technology provider Chess Cyber Security on its acquisition of CyberLab.
Shakespeare Martineau and Wright Vigar advised CyberLab on tax and financial matters.
Chess serves more than 1,000 blue-chip companies, government departments and well-known household names in the UK, with a service offering that includes testing and assessment, consultancy, delivery and hardening. Its acquisition of CyberLab is expected to further entrench its position as a comprehensive cybersecurity advisor, equipping its team with a greater portfolio of technology, expertise and knowledge to better serve businesses of any size, particularly large public sector organisations.
CyberLab is known for its innovative cybersecurity-as-a-service (CSaaS) model that combines consultancy and technology to deliver effective cybersecurity solutions for its clients. Users can access CyberLab’s holistic service via an online portal, providing comprehensive oversight of their security measures. The firm also assesses clients’ security blind spots and offers tailored training programs to address them. The all-in-one nature of CyberLab’s cybersecurity management offering simplifies the process for organisations looking to obtain a comprehensive security solution.
An Interview with Karen Houghton at Nimbus Legal:
Can you give us some background into this acquisition and the role played by the Nimbus Legal team?
I have worked with the Chess team for over 10 years, having been initially instructed by them principally for both my M&A expertise and my in-house legal and technology experience gained from working for nine years at TalkTalk Group. Nimbus had already acquired a couple of other cybersecurity businesses for Chess and we were aware that Chess see this as a key growth area. When they approached us to act on the CyberLab acquisition, we knew exactly what issues to focus on, what was important to our client and how this fitted in with their strategy.
The role we play in all our deals is that we invest time to understand what our clients are trying to achieve, where necessary challenging the thinking and always having an eye on the post-completion issues to factor in how these can be dealt with. Seeing the ’bigger picture‘ is fundamental and can often influence our legal advice.
What were the main challenges that arose during the course of the acquisition? How did you address them?
As with all M&A deals, a key challenge is managing multiple parties and ensuring there is joined-up thinking. We like to ensure from that the outset that all the parties are aligned on timescales and that the steps required to get to completion are carefully mapped out. Some of the ways we achieve this are through compiling transaction document lists, ensuring the progress of the various workstreams is set out and monitored. We also schedule weekly progress calls with the advisers to the sellers and, indeed, other advisers of our client, such as tax and finance.
How did Nimbus Legal’s work on the transaction fit the profile of the firm?
There are many mutual and shared values between the two companies, such as putting people at the heart of what we do and delivering outstanding service to our clients. Chess are specialists in what they do and so are Nimbus – we are a niche law firm specifically focused on providing corporate and commercial services to the telecoms, IT and technology sectors. We do this through a very experienced, hand-picked, specialist team of corporate/commercial lawyers, each of whom are time-served in working in-house. The team’s experience and understanding of working in industry has been an integral factor to our success with clients and is a key differentiator for us. We get what is important to our clients – we talk the same language, we get the job done efficiently, effectively and on time and, importantly, we make sure the deal is not about the lawyers!