Legal Business Blogs

‘We’re taking proximate steps’: DAC doubles up in Madrid with 20-lawyer hire

DAC Beachcroft is looking for further opportunities in Europe and South America after doubling the size of its Madrid office by combining with a three-partner insurance boutique.

The firm today (21 January) took on 20-lawyer outfit Asjusa, which focuses on professional liability and insurance in the healthcare sector, led by partners Eduardo Asensi Pallarés and Iñigo Cid-Luna Clares. The third partner joining is Julio Albi.

The move effectively doubles the size of DAC’s Madrid outpost, with the two firms having known each other for a while. DAC managing partner David Pollitt (pictured) told Legal Business the combination made sense given clients’ increasing desire to buy more services from fewer firms.

‘A lot of Asjusa clients are existing clients of our Spanish office and to integrate their health insurance business into an existing international office hit a lot of sweet spots for us,’ he said. ‘We will once again become the largest insurance practice in Spain.’

The move follows a period of expansion at DAC, which launched in Paris and Belfast in the last year, as well as expanding its Dublin and Glasgow offices. The firm also brought in a seven-strong team from Norton Rose Fulbright in London. It now has a presence in the UK, Paris, Dublin and Madrid as well as a German partner, Bach Langheid Dallmayr, as part of its international alliance Legalign. It also has offices in Mexico, Chile and Colombia as well as associations elsewhere in South America.

‘Europe’s pretty well covered but of course we have other jurisdictions that insurance clients are interested in,’ added Pollitt. ‘I also wouldn’t rule out us wanting to open our own offices in other countries in Latin America. We’re very much trying to take proximate steps, rather than trying to have an ambition to do absolutely everything all at once.’

DAC has turned things around after clearing nearly £40m of debt in the last four years. Revenue at the firm grew 6% to £243m in the year to 30 April 2019, building on an 11% uptick the previous year, and coupled with a 10% increase in profit to £52m. Profit per equity partner (PEP) similarly increased 7% to about £570,000.

For more on DAC Beachcroft’s turnaround, read ‘The DAC Interview – Close to the rocks’