DAC Beachcroft has expanded its Latin American presence via a merger with Colombian alliance partner De la Torre & Monroy Abogados Asociados, which began trading as DAC Beachcroft Colombia yesterday (1 December).
The 1000-lawyer top 25 UK firm, which formally allied with the six-lawyer Bogata insurance firm in March this year ahead of the liberalisation of the Colombian insurance market, agreed the tie-up after partners voted in favour on 22 November.
De la Torre & Monroy, which is ranked first tier by the Legal 500 for insurance in Colombia, has been operating under the direction of founding partners Camilla de la Torre and Gabriela Monroy for 20 years and already shares a number of existing clients with DAC Beachcroft in the local Colombian insurance and international reinsurance market, particularly in London, New York and Spain.
Past clients at the firm include Aon, TPL, Cordel Limitada, and RA Ajustadores.
DAC Beachcroft Colombia will specialise in working with international insurers and reinsurers, advising on the full range of claims as well as arbitration, corporate, commercial and regulatory issues. The firm will also provide full service legal support for international investors in Colombia and to local clients.
DAC Beachcroft managing partner Paul Murray (pictured) told Legal Business: ‘Legacy DAC has worked with the firm on Columbia reinsurance matters going back 12 years and as a result we have built up mutual confidence in each other’s technical ability as well as on a relationship level between the people. Since our formal association earlier this year, we have spent the intervening months going through the financial and regulatory niceties to get to the point of merging.’
According to Murray, the firm will look to bring some of the Colombian office into London as part of a training programme, while DAC Beachcroft European lawyers will also go to Colombia as part of building a stronger connection between the offices.
This latest move builds on the firm’s tie-up with Chilean firms Seguros Lex and Amunategui y Cia in November last year, while its now 20-strong Mexico base has been ‘going strong’ according to Murray, since it’s opening 12 years ago by legacy Davies Arnold Cooper.
The firm is one to watch in Latin America as, Murray says, it has further long-term plans to expand in the region, with its sights set on an alliance in Peru, while Guatemala and Panama are also viewed as prospective locations.