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DWF announces strategic business acquisition

International legal business DWF has announced the acquisition of NeoLaw, the costs division of Keelys LLP, as part of its continued strategic growth and development. NeoLaw's team will merge with DWF's 36-strong in-house costs department, making the new business division one of the largest legal costs practices in the UK.

London and Lichfield based NeoLaw brings 25 years' experience in delivering specialist legal costs and private client services, including the drafting of bills of costs, costs budgets and points of dispute, through to advocacy at costs management and assessment hearings. The business's sector-focused approach mirrors DWF's, with particular experience in acting for clients across the financial services, insurance, public sector, real estate, technology and transport industries. NeoLaw and DWF also have a number of shared clients, including Aviva and Direct Line Group.

The newly expanded costs department will benefit from the businesses' mutual focus on using technology-driven solutions and technical excellence to enhance the client experience, by streamlining administrative processes, reducing fees and increasing efficiencies.

All of NeoLaw's 21 people will join DWF's London and Birmingham offices, with its CEO Simon Murray joining as a partner and becoming the Head of DWF’s costs business. Steven Dawson will continue in his role of Senior Technical Director working alongside Simon in the combined Costs practice.

Andrew Leaitherland, Managing Partner and CEO of DWF, said: "We aim to offer our clients a comprehensive approach to costs management, with expertise in supporting across all of our core sectors. Our team has been growing organically over the past few years, and with this acquisition we will take a significant step forward in expanding our capability."

Simon Murray, CEO of NeoLaw, said: “Myself and the whole NeoLaw team are incredibly excited about joining DWF. As independent legal costs advisers we have experience working with a number of law firms, and from our previous collaborations with DWF we have seen first-hand not only their legal expertise, but their dedicated approach to service delivery that complements our own focus on providing flexible and commercially-focused services to clients. This excellence is matched by their pragmatic, innovative management team and I am looking forward to cementing the DWF costs business as the leading supplier of legal costs services in the UK.”

Simon Murray

Partner - Head of Costs

I have over 25 years' experience in the legal industry and specialise in very large contentious costs disputes. I deal with costs matters involving appeals and fraud where there are technical disputes and indemnity issues.

Andrew Leaitherland

Partner - Managing Partner & CEO

I am the person responsible for bringing the great ideas of our people to life.