Pinsent Masons advises Equistone Partners Europe and management on the sale of Travel Counsellors

05 Jun 2018 | 10:00 am | 1 min. read

International law firm Pinsent Masons LLP has advised Equistone Partners Europe and management on the sale of Travel Counsellors through a secondary buyout to Vitruvian Partners.

Travel Counsellors was founded in 1994 by travel entrepreneur David Speakman, and has expanded to include international operations in Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Australia and the UAE. In October 2014, Equistone backed a management buy-out of the business led by CEO Steve Byrne. Since then, the business has continued to experience rapid growth, with annual total transaction values growing by £130m to £512m. Statutory turnover and profit have also seen strong growth over the period, growing by an average of 17 per cent and over 20 per cent per annum respectively. 

From its global headquarters in Manchester, the company operates a franchisee model, with more than 1,800 self-employed Travel Counsellors working flexibly from home. This model is underpinned by the company’s proprietary technology platform, Phenix, which assists each Travel Counsellor to run their business and deliver high levels of personal service to both its leisure and business customers.

In 2017, the company was awarded the Best Customer Focus Award in the UK National Business Awards, and has been named in the Sunday Times HSBC International Track six times, including in each of the last three years.

The Pinsent Masons team was led by Corporate Partners Gregg Davison and Amie Norris assisted by Lisa Early and Sarah-Louise Baird, with support from colleagues in the firm’s Australia, South Africa, Republic of Ireland and UAE offices. Corporate Partner Ed Stead and Associate Adam Murphy advised management on their reinvestment.

Gregg Davison commented "It has been a privilege to advise Equistone and the management team on this sale process, having advised Equistone on their investment in 2014.  We wish Steve and the rest of the management all the best for the next stage of their journey with their new partners, Vitruvian".

Latest press releases

Show me all press releases

Pinsent Masons Joins Climate Bonds Partners Programme

International law firm Pinsent Masons has joined Climate Bonds Initiative's Partners Programme, an international network mobilising debt markets to tackle climate change and finance green solutions.

Pinsent Masons launches Spark Board

International professional services firm Pinsent Masons has today announced the launch of the "Spark Board" to bring a new perspective to strategic decision-making at the firm.

Pinsent Masons virtual internship Australia UK

International law firm Pinsent Masons has launched a virtual internship enabling students to gain valuable experience of working as a lawyer within its business.

For all media enquiries, including arranging an interview with one of our spokespeople, please contact the press office on

+44 (0)20 7418 8199 or 

Location contacts