ABS round-up: City firm buys non-legal businesses to create one-stop shop, plus much more

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15 November 2016


Hudson: integrated and robust solution

Hudson: integrated and robust solution

An alternative business structure specialising in alternative investments has acquired two non-legal businesses as part of its strategy to become “the pre-eminent advisory and infrastructure business in alternative assets”.

London firm MJ Hudson has acquired investment advisory firm Allenbridge, and outsourced fund management provider Tower Gate Capital.

The deals transform the firm, which opened in 2010 purely as a law firm, into one of more than 100 professionals across the European funds centres of London, Paris, Zurich and the Channel Islands.

It has already expanded beyond legal advice last year by forming international fiduciary and IR & marketing teams last year.

The acquisitions boost MJ Hudson’s client base to more than 300 asset managers, managing over £200bn, and more than 100 institutional investors, together investing in excess of £500bn.

CEO Matthew Hudson said the firm could now offer fund managers, advisers, institutional investors and others “a comprehensive asset management and investment infrastructure”.

He continued: “Our goal is to build the pre-eminent advisory and infrastructure business in alternative assets. This strategy is driven by three strong trends: the continuing growth in importance of alternative assets in investment portfolios, the increasing information requirements of fund investors and fund managers and the mounting pressure from investors, regulators and legislators for a more sophisticated and well-governed manager and fund infrastructure.

“Our fully regulated platform of outsourced front, mid and back office services, from legal, fiduciary, and regulatory cover to ratings, management, asset allocation and investor relations, offers clients an integrated and robust solution.”

In other ABS news, another multi-disciplinary business, insurance firm Triton Global, has opened a new law firm in the Republic of Ireland trading under the Triton banner. It has to be a separate firm because Ireland does not currently allow ABSs.

The Dublin-based firm specialises in defendant professional indemnity and liability/casualty work, has three partners. It will work closely with Triton Global’s established claims handling operation in Ireland.

The firm emphasised that the move was client driven, and had nothing to do with the recent trend of English solicitors looking to Ireland as a way to continue EU operations after Brexit.

Listed law firm Gateley issued a trading update today ahead of its interim results for the six months ended 31 October 2016.

“Trading for the first half of the year has been good with growth in revenue and operating profit supported by good cash generation in line with the board’s expectations.

“The board looks forward to the second half of the financial year, with further organic growth in the group’s core legal services, augmented by the contributions from our recently acquired complementary businesses of Gateley Capitus and Gateley Hamer combining to deliver on Gateley’s diversification strategy.”

The president of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx), Martin Callan, has established an ABS authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Callan Legal is not operating yet and so he declined to give further information at the moment about what it will do.

A statement from CILEx said: “CILEx Regulation is not currently approved to authorise ABSs, and therefore it was not an option for Martin to apply through CILEx Regulation at the current time.

“CILEx encourages and supports all its members in pursuing the range of career opportunities now available to them as chartered legal executives and this includes establishing their own businesses. We hope CILEx Regulation will also be able to offer this service to our members in the future.”

Leading personal injury and clinical negligence ABS Fletchers has opened office in Manchester employing up to 50 people.

Fletcher’s headquarters will remain in Southport, where 340 people are currently employed, nearly four times the number it had in 2012.

Swansea-based Dezrezlegal, an alternative business structure regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers, has joined forces with Compass Will Writers & Estate Planning to offer its services to home buyers.

Finally, fast-growing ABS Knights Professional Services has added Heineken, E-on, Sony and Talk Talk to its client list after hiring a 10-strong team from TLT that specialises in complex commercial litigation and debt recovery.

John Lord joins as a partner and is leading the transfer of three partners, an associate and six paralegals. He said: “Our team chose Knights because it is managed differently to a traditional law firm and it is able to adapt and grow much quicker whilst offering the security of a sustainable business.”



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