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Consolidation: DWF to merge with City-based insurance practice Watmores

The acquisitive DWF shows no signs of slowing down with the announcement today that it is to acquire niche insurance practice Watmores Solictors.

The merger, expected to complete next month, will boost DWF’s local authority work and add weight to the firm’s insurance, rail and local authority sector capabilities.

Watmores, which employs 26 people including five partners, has a turnover of £2.5m and is led by Simon Johnson and Ron Mullins. Specialising in delivering dispute resolution and litigation insurance services to many of the UK’s major insurers, the practice is currently based on Chancery Lane but will relocate into DWF’s office space in the Walkie Talkie building.

Commenting on the merger DWF’s managing partner and chief executive, Andrew Leaitherland (pictured), 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.’

Watmores’ Johnson added: ‘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.’

Last month DWF launched its first international outpost with a four-lawyer team in Dubai. The firm, which is targeting rising levels of construction work in the region, purchased a 1000 sqft office located in the Dubai International Finance Centre which will focus on construction, energy, insurance and transport.