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Insurance: Mills & Reeve takes up last of DLA’s defendant insurance team as CMS snares RPC head

Mills & Reeve and CMS Cameron McKenna boosted their offerings at opposite ends of the insurance spectrum this week, taking staff from the Birmingham office of DLA Piper and the City office of RPC respectively.

Top 50 UK firm Mills & Reeve acquired a nine-strong defendant insurance practice from DLA, marking the conclusion of DLA’s withdrawal from the typically lower margin area of law, as first announced by the top 10 firm last year.

The team, which will start at Mills & Reeve on 1 July and bring its client book, is led by DLA’s former head of the Birmingham insurance group Alan Jacobs, who joins alongside five fee-earners and three support staff.

The sale by DLA comes after its Manchester and Sheffield defendant insurance teams joined Hill Dickinson in late February this year.

Neil Davis (pictured), head of Mills & Reeve insurance sector said: ‘Both we and DLA Piper are convinced this is a positive step for the clients involved, and have worked together to facilitate a smooth transition.

‘Alan’s team have an impressive list of insurance and corporate clients, all of which fit well within our existing strategy for the development of a diversified and corporate focussed insurance offering, across a national footprint. Our strategy is to grow our business in line with our sector commitments, including insurance and corporate services, while maintaining our reputation for outstanding client service. The fact that Alan’s clients have enthusiastically supported this move speaks volumes for the regard in which his team are held.’

The 384-lawyer firm on 1 June also completed its merger with Manchester’s George Davis.

Meanwhile CMS announced yesterday (18 June) that it has recruited RPC’s head of reinsurance and longstanding partner Simon Kilgour to its ranks.

Kilgour advises domestic and overseas insurers and reinsurers on matters including high value and non-standard coverage disputes, and has led numerous high value disputes and arbitrations in London, the US and Bermuda.

CMS managing partner Duncan Weston said Kilgour arrival will add ‘strength and depth to our big-ticket capabilities across CMS.’

Ed Foss, head of the insurance and reinsurance group said: ‘Worldwide, the industry faces a challenging environment characterized by increasingly global competition, regulatory oversight and a rising cost of capital. Now, with CMS’s broad service offering to insurers and reinsurers across disputes and arbitration, transactional, corporate advisory and other key areas, Simon’s experience will be a tremendous asset for this practice and its clients.’