Leading legal business DWF is to acquire niche law firm Fox Hartley to strengthen its insurance, litigation and product liability capability, enhance its sector expertise and help secure new domestic and international insurer clients.
Fox Hartley, which has 16 people including three partners, has significant experience in delivering specialist litigation and alternative dispute resolution services for major insurer and manufacturer clients, including a number of shared clients with DWF. The firm acts for UK and global insurers, in relation to catastrophic injury, aviation claims, property damage, business interruption, policy wording disputes and the development of new products. The merger will support DWF’s growing focus on the Lloyd’s insurance market and enhance the firm’s delivery of high value commercial litigation work, while Fox Hartley will benefit from DWF’s scale, operational efficiency and international reach.
DWF’s 900-strong insurance team is already one of the top three insurance law firms in the UK, and the merger will allow DWF to develop its specialist insurance offerings to clients including QBE, Travelers and Zurich. DWF will also benefit from Fox Hartley’s close links to French, German, Japanese and Swedish insurance markets. The merger will strengthen DWF’s growing international litigation and arbitration practice, which has seen considerable investment following the launch of the firm’s Dubai office in early 2015. Fox Hartley also provides specialist product liability guidance to insurers and manufacturers and advises on serious incidents and health and safety prosecutions, which will augment DWF’s existing expertise in delivering domestic and international product liability guidance to clients across a wide range of industry sectors including retail and marine.
Andrew Leaitherland, DWF’s Managing Partner and CEO, comments: “Fox Hartley has excellent litigation and insurance specialists with niche expertise that will complement our existing teams and sector expertise and help us secure new clients. This merger presents significant advantages and opportunities for both firms, our people and our clients.”
Dr Trevor Fox, Managing Partner of Fox Hartley, comments: “This merger gives us the scale, geographic reach and resources to support our growing client base, and DWF’s innovative approach to client service makes the merger a strong cultural fit for our people and beneficial for our clients.”
The acquisition will happen on 1st May 2016. The firm is based in Bristol and it is anticipated that all of Fox Hartley’s people will join DWF, including its three partners Trevor Fox, Michael Hitchings and Peter Barnes.