Law firm Hugh James ‘heartened’ by Marstons deal which safeguards 156 S.A. Brain pubs

Top 100 UK law firm, Hugh James, has welcomed this week’s news that its long-standing client, S.A. Brain & Co (Brains) has safeguarded 1,300 jobs in Wales through a deal under which Marston’s PLC will take over the operation of the Brains portfolio of 156 pubs in Wales.

Marston’s intends to continue to operate the pubs under the Brains brand and to continue to offer Brains beers in these pubs. The deal, which is expected to close in February, will add to Marston’s 1,368 pubs in the UK, including 106 in Wales.

Along with the entire UK hospitality sector, the independent family-led brewery business, which has been operating since 1882, has been severely hit financially by COVID-19 and UK lockdown restrictions.

Hugh James, has advised Brains for many years and has continued to do so throughout the pandemic, including advising the board on this transaction.

Speaking about the announcement, Partner and Head of the Hugh James Corporate/ Commercial team, Gerallt Jones, said:

“I am heartened by today’s news. This deal secures hundreds of Welsh jobs, not only within Brains but also across numerous other businesses that are reliant on the company. This mutually beneficial transaction puts Brains on a firmer financial footing to weather the current storms, opening another chapter in this iconic company’s 130-year history. We’ll continue to support the company as it navigates the future and are confident the pub estate will thrive under its new operator.”

Chief Executive of S.A. Brain & Co, Alistair Darby, said:

“Securing a long-term partnership with Marston’s at such an uncertain time is great news for Brains and enables the company to prosper in years to come. We were grateful to be advised by Hugh James as we navigated our way through a very complicated transaction.”