LAVA Advisory Partners strengthens foothold in education and training sector with AIRDAT EOT deal. Read more.

LAVA series: Working at a challenger boutique – securing the best results for clients

Over the past few months, we’ve invited each of our LAVA team members to answer one of our most frequently asked questions – “What’s it like working for a challenger boutique after a career at a large organisation?”

We’ve explored themes including the benefits of building an M&A team starting from a blank sheet of paper, arriving at tailored client solutions over forced fits and having a voice to shape the organisation and its culture.

We’ve also talked to our team about their experiences of more tailored career progression, enhanced collaboration with colleagues and the ability to pursue the deals they want to work on.

Now, for the final instalment in our series, M&A Manager Lesley Dorrance-King discusses the impact of LAVA’s diverse team skill set on her decision to join the firm and how it enables us to reach the best possible outcomes for our clients. 

“Achieving the best results for clients through a differentiated skill set”Lesley Dorrance-King


As a relatively new challenger boutique, LAVA have actively ensured the team build has been strategic, with the idea that a mix of people with skill sets developed in varied professional backgrounds offers more effective support for clients.

The wide-ranging experience of LAVA’s people and the small, agile team means there is much easier access to these diverse skill sets than in more traditional, bigger firms.

With everyone not of the same mould, this means a range of unique perspectives and enables constant learning and development for the whole team.

LAVA’s warm, inclusive culture and flat structure encourage all levels to ‘pitch in’, readily offering a different opinion or idea to really make the most of each opportunity – we prioritise constant communication within the team, so we are all wholly abreast of each transaction. For larger projects, we cherry-pick the most suitable skill sets for each client engagement whilst still benefitting from using the rest of the team as a sounding board and for wider advice.  This is a culture that has become firmly embedded in LAVA’s ethos, so will continue as we grow.

This well-thought-out approach of using team differentiation to reap benefits for clients is typical of how LAVA has thoroughly considered all aspects of how to operate as a challenger boutique – which was an enormously motivating factor in my decision to join LAVA. The divergent skills and experiences each team member brings to the table generate wider insight, challenge, and ultimately valuable advice to ensure the best solutions for our clients!

Follow LAVA on LinkedIn to be the first to hear about our latest company news, editorial releases and team updates.