Brexit could alter the make-up of the Fastest 50, says leading lawyer

Winning ways - ESP group chief executive Terry Dunn pictured at the Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50 awards 2016
Winning ways - ESP group chief executive Terry Dunn pictured at the Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50 awards 2016
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BREXIT is set to play a key role in deciding the size and shape of Yorkshire’s economy, according to the organisers of the region’s leading awards for fast growing businesses.

Law firm Ward Hadaway, which organises the Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50, said that the UK’s forthcoming departure from the EU is likely to have a considerable impact on future editions of the awards, which recognise and celebrate the fastest-growing privately-owned companies from across the region.

Philip Jordan of Ward Hadaway

Philip Jordan of Ward Hadaway

The winners of the 2017 Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50 Awards will be announced this Friday.

With Prime Minister Theresa May poised to begin the formal process of withdrawing from the EU, Ward Hadaway Partner Philip Jordan said the momentous decision to leave the EU is likely to make its mark.

He said: “While the referendum result occurred a little too late to have a major effect on the 2017 Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50, I think we can say with quite a degree of confidence that in the future, Brexit will see its influence felt as the effects of the UK’s withdrawal permeate through the national and regional economy.

“Immediately following the Brexit vote last June, there was some concern and some volatility in the market as companies and consumers alike tried to figure out just what it meant to them.

“However, despite that initial uncertainty and slowdown, things picked up perhaps quicker than many anticipated as businesses adopted a ‘get on with it’ approach and pursued their growth and investment plans.

“The fall in the value of the pound has given Yorkshire’s many exporters an opportunity as their goods and services are cheaper to overseas buyers and therefore even more attractive an option than before.

“The other side to that opportunity is that the cost of importing goods into those businesses has risen considerably and increased import costs have fed a rise in UK inflation.

“The nature of our future trading arrangements with the EU and the rest of the world will prove vitally important to the UK economy, feeding through to Yorkshire and our fast-growing companies here.

“Many of the businesses named in previous Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50 lists built their success on exporting their goods, services and expertise around the world so it will be interesting to see how Brexit affects them and their fortunes and those listed in the 2017 edition.”

Mr Jordan, who has advised a wide range of clients worldwide for more than 30 years, emphasised that while the twists and turns of the UK’s negotiated exit from the EU would have an effect on Yorkshire’s economy, Brexit would not necessarily decide the fate of the region’s companies – for good or ill.

He added: “There is no doubt that Brexit has the potential to pose a major challenge to all kinds of businesses over the coming years, but there are also likely to be opportunities out there as well.

“In the end, it will be the companies who respond quickest and adapt best to the new realities of post-Brexit Britain who will prosper – and who will make up the Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50 in years to come.”

All eyes in Yorkshire will be on Aspire in Leeds this Friday as the winners of the 2017 Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50 Awards are announced.

The awards will be presented to the fastest growing small, medium-sized and large businesses, for companies with annual turnover of between £1m and £7.5m, between £7.5m and £15m and turnover of more than £15m respectively.

One of those three winners will then receive the accolade of being crowned Yorkshire’s overall fastest growing business for 2017.

The Ward Hadaway Yorkshire Fastest 50 is compiled by independent economic researchers who analyse company financial figures to create a rundown of the privately-owned, profit-making companies who have seen the biggest annual expansion in their turnover in recent years.

The awards, which have been run in partnership with The Yorkshire Post since their formation in 2011, shine the spotlight on the rising stars of our region’s corporate world.

A supplement to celebrate the awards will appear in The Yorkshire Post on Tuesday March 21.