Pioneering ABS sold to major firm in pre-pack deal

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25 January 2017


Leaitherland: clear synergies

Pioneering alternative business structure (ABS) Triton Global has been acquired by national law firm DWF in a pre-pack administration deal that saves all 215 jobs.

Triton is a multi-disciplinary insurance business combining legal advice, claims administration and loss adjusting – professional indemnity specialist Robin Simon was the constituent law firm – that became one of the first ABSs to introduce employee ownership.

Administrators FRP Advisory were appointed yesterday to conclude the deal with DWF.

Legal Futures understands that the underlying Triton business is strong – and indeed has grown rapidly in recent years – as evidenced by the fact that the whole firm has been sold as a going concern. Financial management, such as lock-up, caused the problems.

Its most recent annual accounts – for the year to 31 July 2015 – showed revenues up nearly 27% to £14.8m, and a return to a small profit of £42,000, having recorded a loss of £832,000 the year before. Staff numbers have increased by a quarter since 31 July 2015.

Triton was forecasting turnover of £17.6m and profit of £1.2m for the 2015/16 financial year and as at January 2016 the firm said it was on track to meet these targets.

 

It has four overseas offices – Chicago, Sydney and Toronto, having closed in Singapore last year – and DWF said the acquisition would give it “greater reach into key commercial insurance markets globally”. Triton’s network of offices – Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, London, Manchester and Dublin – “complements DWF’s existing UK and Irish footprint”, it added.

DWF has also acquired Triton’s technology business, 3Sixty, a specialist software consultancy which delivers a range of technical services and support to the insurance, legal, logistics and public sectors.

It will merge with DWF’s legal innovation subsidiary, 15squared, which has a complementary focus on developing tech-driven products for volume claims, asset management and incident notification to clients in the insurance and health & safety sectors.

Andrew Leaitherland, managing partner and CEO of DWF, said: “There are clear synergies between our two businesses in terms of our client bases and industry sector knowledge.

“DWF has always had an ambitious growth agenda and as our clients continue to operate on a more global scale, so have our growth plans increasingly targeted international opportunities, and this acquisition will allow us to diversify our international network while also strengthening some of our key locations in the UK.”

John Coleman, CEO of Triton, said: “We have been actively looking at several different options for the succession of our business and are pleased to be joining up with a bigger and better resourced business.”



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