Ski slope deal underpins Temple Bright’s ascent as major corporate player

Bristol law firm Temple Bright recently advised OpalTec International on its purchase of Gloucester Ski & Snowboard Centre for an undisclosed sum.

OpalTec, also based in Bristol, is the firm behind Weston-super-Mare’s ambitious £50m Leisuredome project. Over the coming months it will unveil its plans for the Gloucester dry slope, one of the UK’s longest, and the associated club facilities, which it acquired from Jupiter Hotels.

The Temple Bright team advising OpalTec included partners Tim Summers (corporate), Justyn McIlhinney (property) and Paul Manson (employment).

Mr Summers said: “We were invited to advise OpalTec on this exciting strategic acquisition and we welcomed the opportunity to get involved. OpalTec is a dynamic and entrepreneurial business and this project is sure to have a positive long term impact in the region.”

OpalTec managing director Mark Hamilton-Davies added: “Having secured an agreement in principle with Jupiter Hotels, we were keen to appoint solicitors who would guide us through the deal process efficiently and meet a tight timetable. Temple Bright provided a senior team who were always available and gave us a refreshingly unfussy approach, for a reasonable fixed fee. It was a pleasure working with Tim, Justyn and Paul and I have no doubt we will do so again.”

OpalTec was established in 1998 and has risen to become one of the world’s leading suppliers of used, refurbished and new barcode and point of sale hardware. Directors Mark and Clive Hamilton-Davies have combined their business success and personal passion for skiing to diversify into the sports and leisure sector.

Temple Bright was established in 2010 and has pioneered an alternative model for legal advice, aimed primarily at entrepreneurs and owner-managed businesses. The firm is a ‘chambers practice’ – a solicitors’ firm structured like a barristers’ chambers with only senior, specialist lawyers who charge on a fixed fee basis.

It has grown from three founding partners to 14, with more committed to joining this year.

Mr Summers said: “Advising on the Gloucester Ski Centre purchase was an ideal test case for the Temple Bright model: ambitious and entrepreneurial clients looking to do a deal without endless process and costs running away. This is what we do best, and what we enjoy most.”

This article appeared in the Bristol Business Newsletter on 17 August 2012.