DWF to merge with niche insurance practice Watmores

Andrew Leaitherland

DWF has announced that it has signed terms to merge with niche insurance practice Watmores.

The merger, which is expected to complete in May, will support the firm’s planned national and international growth strategies by strengthening DWF’s insurance, rail and local authority sector capabilities, deepening relations with the firms’ shared insurance clients and growing DWF’s client base of rail operators and local authorities.

It is expected that through its merger with Watmores, DWF will become one of the UK’s largest law firms for local authority work.

Through the merger, Watmores will benefit from DWF’s insurance and commercial offerings, as well as its scale and infrastructure, and innovative approach to client service delivery which has been facilitated by a £12 million investment in technology.

Led by partners Simon Johnson and Ron Mullins, Watmores is a circa £2.5m turnover limited company which provides dispute resolution and litigation insurance services to a number of UK insurers.

Based on Chancery Lane in London, the firm employs 26 people including 5 partners and directors, all of whom will move into DWF’s London office in the Walkie Talkie building.

The firm said the merger will strengthen its national industry sector focus, specifically in transport where DWF has a strong focus on rail, developed through its merger with Biggart Baillie in 2012 and further bolstered by additional lateral hires.

DWF’s managing partner & CEO, Andrew Leaitherland said: “Watmores has first-rate niche expertise which complements, and will add depth to, our own enabling us to deliver enhanced service to our existing clients and also to grow our client base of insurers, local authorities and rail operators.”

Alasdair Peacock, partner at DWF, added: “This is fantastic news for the business. DWF has a strong presence in the insurance market and today’s merger will further enhance our national practice, whilst strengthening our sector expertise across the business.”

Partner Simon Johnson from Watmores said: “Combining forces with DWF will enable us to capitalise on the firm’s infrastructure, tech capability and reach to strengthen our shared focus and capability in key industry sectors for the benefit of our clients, a significant number of whom we have in common.”

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