Legal Business

DAC Beachcroft boosts professional negligence practice with hire of team in Wales


DAC Beachcroft has announced the appointment of a five-strong professional indemnity (PI) team from Morgan Cole to its Newport office.

The team, led by partner Clare Hughes-Williams, comprises one associate and three solicitors who will work as part of the professional and commercial risk practice from 1 May.

Hughes-Williams has led Morgan Cole’s professional indemnity team since 2002 and is highly rated in The Legal 500. She is particularly known for defending solicitor negligence cases but the team handles claims against the full range of professions, including accountants and surveyors.

Partner Marcus Campbell, who leads DAC Beachcroft’s professional indemnity practice in Bristol, said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Clare and her team to the firm. They are the only specialist professional indemnity team in Wales and will enable us to support our clients’ requirements in Wales, as part of our national team working from offices across England and Scotland. We look forward to working closely with them all.’

He added: ‘The professional indemnity market is becoming increasingly competitive with the rationalisation of insurer panels and ever-increasing pressure on rates but DAC Beachcroft is uniquely well-placed in the market.

‘The appointment of Clare and her team is further testament to our commitment to recruiting high-quality teams with the reputation and ability both to provide a first-rate service to our existing clients and to attract new business.’

Legal Business

Clydes opens in Madrid with DAC Beachcroft insurance team


Clyde & Co yesterday (16 April) confirmed it is to open a Madrid office following the appointment of a four-partner insurance team from DAC Beachcroft’s local office.

The team of nine lawyers, including insurance partners Ignacio Figuerol, Ricardo Garrido, Pablo Guillen and Miguel Relano, have resigned to establish the office for Clyde & Co, extending the firm’s international footprint to 18 locations across Europe, America and Asia.

The four partners are widely considered heavyweights in a firm thought to be a market leader in insurance law in the area. Figuerol also sits on the DAC Beachcroft management board.

The terms of the departures, including timings, are currently under discussion but DAC Beachcroft says that it will continue to provide a full-service insurance offering to the market in Spain under the leadership of Paulino Fajardo, Enrique Gich and Pablo Wesolowski.

The move to open in Madrid further reflects Clydes’ intention, since its merger with Barlow Lyde & Gilbert in 2011, to spread further internationally.

Last summer, the firm became the first to open in post-Gaddafi Libya after it recruited Libyan Investment Authority general counsel Abudery Shariha. In the same period it announced that it was to launch in Sydney and Perth with an eight-strong team hire from Australian heavyweight Allens, while in February this year Clydes announced its intention to form an alliance with an Indonesian firm.

James Burns, senior partner elect at Clyde & Co, said: ‘The DAC Beachcroft office in Madrid has had an excellent reputation for many years. We have known and worked with the partners there for a long time and are very pleased that we are now in a position to establish a Madrid presence with lawyers of the calibre of Ignacio, Ricardo, Pablo and Miguel.’

Paul Murray, managing partner of DAC Beachcroft, said: ‘Although we are obviously disappointed they have made this decision, DAC Beachcroft continues to be the leading insurance practice in Spain. DAC Beachcroft’s 60-strong team in Madrid will continue to serve its clients across all lines of work and we remain absolutely committed to investing in the development of the Spanish office and continuing to create a Latin American platform.’

Davies Arnold Cooper (DAC) established the Madrid office in 1989 and merged with Beachcroft in 2011, attracted by its Latin America group. Since then it has forged alliances internationally, most recently with an alliance with Colombian firm De La Torre & Monroy and Malaysia’s Gan Partnership.

Just last month US firm White & Case opened in Madrid following the appointment of Latham & Watkins’ corporate head in the country, Juan Manuel De Remedios.

Legal Business

DAC Beachcroft becomes first UK firm in Chile

DAC Beachcroft has strengthened its presence in Latin America by becoming the first European-based firm to launch in Chile by acquiring two local firms.

Chilean players SegurosLex and Amunategui y Cia joined the English firm to create DAC Beachcroft Chile at the beginning of November in a move to extend its leading insurance practice in the continent.

DAC Beachcroft is also keen to seal a partnership with Colombian firm De La Torre & Monroy within the next 12 months. De La Torre works primarily with insurers and undertakes a lot of work related to the London market, so would be a logical fit for the major UK firm.

Legal Business

NHSLA looks to control growing legal spend in panel review

Newly appointed NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA) chief executive Catherine Dixon’s priority will be getting value for money and using law firms to engage with NHS trusts as she prepares for a legal panel review later this year.

Dixon joined the NHSLA in April from the NSPCC where she was general counsel and company secretary. She was previously head of legal at Bupa and in private practice at Eversheds. She replaces outgoing NHSLA chief executive Steve Walker.

Legal Business

Mixed fortunes for mid-market in tough Scots climate

TLT’s recent takeover of niche Scottish firm Anderson Fyfe is the latest chapter in a flurry of movement among mid-market firms in Scotland trying to secure their futures amid pernicious market conditions.

The Bristol-based firm is set to acquire Anderson Fyfe’s Glasgow and Edinburgh operations from July, while simultaneously launching a Northern Ireland practice through the lateral hire of banking litigation partner Katharine Kimber from Belfast firm Wilson Nesbitt Solicitors.

Legal Business

Two’s company


After getting Beachcroft fit for the modern age, senior partner Simon Hodson and managing partner Paul Murray will run the firm for five more years. Time for a progress report

Beachcroft senior partner Simon Hodson (see left) often has his tongue firmly in his cheek when commenting on the industry, but this time he’s deadly serious. ‘These pissing contests over how many hundreds of thousands people get paid are obscene and, frankly, not good for the profession.’ You might expect this from a buyer of legal services, but not from the senior partner of the 23rd largest firm by revenue in the UK. To his left, managing partner Paul Murray (see right) nods in agreement.