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Andersons to join DAC Beachcroft network

27 March 2012

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

DAC Beachcroft plans to add Scottish firm Andersons Solicitors to its network from 3 September 2012. Subject to regulatory approval, the Scottish firm will be renamed DAC Beachcroft Scotland.

The union with Andersons, described as a joint venture by DAC Beachcroft, is expected to strengthen the market reach of both firms in the UK and to enable the provision of a more comprehensive service to large insurer clients.

DAC Beachcroft currently has formal best-friends relationships with firms in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland and Sweden. But, it deliberately chose to establish more formal ties with Andersons.

“In a best-friends arrangement you don’t share as fully, so you’d retain some of your independence and have a different name. We would have a common strategy and common clients,” said DAC Beachcroft’s senior partner, Simon Hodson.

When asked why the firm chose to describe the planned union as a joint venture, Hodson said: “A JV is a generic term like combination …There are no provisions in place to terminate the agreement as if it were a contract between A and B, the relationship will be more integrated than that”.

Declining to comment on the financial aspects of the agreement with Andersons, he said: “In part, the financial arrangement is what will need to be approved by the regulator”.

Hodson did however confirm that DAC Beachcroft is considering adopting an alternative business structure. “We are looking at it generally but we haven’t made an application to the SRA,” he said.

“We’ve already got alliances and joint ventures, we have a large UK trading company and use different structures already, but the distinction I make is not about your structure but about what it is you’re doing and who you’re doing it with.

“Lawyers could form companies, which would be alternative structures, but actually that doesn’t change much. What’s interesting is if they start involving themselves in other activities or try to bring into their arrangements non-lawyers, and we’re not doing that at the minute.”

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