Insurance services business launches legal services arm with acquisition of major UK firm

The company will acquire a top-50 law firm in the UK to launch a new line of business

Insurance services business launches legal services arm with acquisition of major UK firm

An international insurance services business is launching a legal services arm with the acquisition of a major firm in the UK.

Keoghs will be acquired by Davies Group in a deal that’s expected to close before April, subject to customary conditions. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Bolton-headquartered Keoghs is known for its work on dispute resolution and risk services for the UK insurance industry. Working in a defendant-only model, it manages more than £1bn worth of insurer claims and resolves more than 100,000 claims every year.

According to The Law Society Gazette, Keoghs was among the 50 highest-grossing law firm in the UK last fiscal year, with revenues of £93m. The acquisition also adds more than 1,700 employees to Davies, the publication said. Keoghs lists 119 partners on its website.

John Whittle, Keoghs chief executive, will continue to lead the business and join the Davies executive committee. The wider Keoghs leadership team will join Davies as shareholders in the bigger business, which expands its team to more than 3,700 with the acquisition.

“Keoghs and Davies were both founded in 1968 and have proudly served the insurance market and our clients for more than 50 years,” said Dan Saulter, Davies chief executive. “Both firms have a big focus on values, culture and employee success. At Davies we place considerable value on disruptive thinking and new ideas.  Keoghs has made investments in R&D and innovation in the past five years, not least in its core case management system and client-facing solutions, particularly ‘Lauri,’ the legal-AI platform, and ‘ADA,’ the fraud detection solution.”

Saulter said that it is essential that Davies offer clients valuable services across the insurance, claims, and risk value chain in order to compete and win in an increasingly integrated global insurance market.

Whittle said that the acquisition fits the law firm’s strategy and goals, in the context of the changes in the insurance industry.

“The insurance market is undergoing exciting change with the wide scale adoption of technology offering new innovative opportunities to provide services to the market on an industrial scale,” he said. “The Keoghs strategy has always been to place our business, our clients and our people at the heart of this change, driving forwards to create the preeminent law firm in the insurance legal sector. The opportunity to join forces with Davies was too good an opportunity to miss to deliver on this, and we are delighted to be a part of an organisation that has a single, shared and unified vision for the future.”

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