Following DAC Beachcroft‘s decision to establish a four-firm international network earlier this year, Weightmans is collaborating with firms from the UK, Spain, Canada and the USA to provide a global insurance service to clients.
The new network, called the Insurance Law Global (ILG) network, comprises Weightmans, Canadian firm Blaney McMurtry, Spain’s LC Rodrigo Abogados and American outfit Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin. ILG will operate on a non-exclusive basis, with the firms involved expressing in a joint statement the need to combat challenges presented by globalisation and the ever-changing political landscape.
Weightmans senior partner Dan Cutts was the key orchestrator of the collaboration, which was announced at a conference in London in late March. Thanks to the tie-up, ILG will have bases in 30 cities, spanning six countries.
Cutts commented: ‘The legal services market – and the way in which our clients need us to work – is changing. By bringing together law firms with exceptional pedigree and experience in the global insurance market, we are formalising a collaborative approach to respond to the challenge.’
Weightmans director of insurance Kieran Jones told Legal Business: ‘To help our clients we took the view that entering a network of like-minded firms, all best in class in their countries with local knowledge, would be the way forward.’
Jones (pictured) added: ‘Our clients are trading in a global market. But politically, you’ve got borders and boundaries going up. The insurance market still wishes to trade globally.’
ILG bears significant resemblance to an insurance alliance that DAC Beachcroft signed up to at the beginning of the year. The network, called Legalign, comprises German firm BLD Bach Langheid Dallmayr, US firm Wilson Elser and Australian outfit Wotton + Kearney. The tie-up will bring together more than 2,000 lawyers across the four firms and will provide legal services in insurance/reinsurance coverage, insurance/reinsurance defence and insurance regulatory and compliance.
Weightmans is still in talks with Newcastle-based firm Ward Hadaway over a merger that has been mooted for over a year. If the firms were to combine, it would create a £130.8m national firm with offices in Newcastle, Birmingham, Dartford, Glasgow, Knutsford, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London and Manchester.