Outsourcing giant Capita plc has reached a conditional agreement to acquire Optima Legal Services pending the grant of an alternative business structure licence.
Optima delivers bulk debt recovery, litigation and property law services from offices in Bradford, Newcastle and Glasgow. The deal also includes its costs drafting subsidiary, Cost Advocates.
The deal will not come as a great surprise to the market given that in 2010 the Solicitors Regulation Authority decided that Capita and Optima were too closely involved with each other. Optima had to restructure itself as a result to distance itself from Capita.
Optima will now become part of Capita Legal Services, a new, wholly-owned subsidiary of Capita plc, to provide regulated and non-regulated legal services for lender, insurance, government, legal, and corporate markets.
James Cowan, head of Capita Legal Services, said: “Because of the way globalisation and the recession is driving the agenda towards efficient, effective and value-for-money services, clients require greater streamlined legal panels and more effective in-house legal teams.
“The proposed acquisition of Optima Legal will create a 600-strong legal services team, with 150 legally qualified personnel and 50 solicitors, adding scale, depth and range to the legal services we are able to offer law firms, insurers, financial services companies and the wider corporate sector.”
Philip Robinson, senior litigation partner at Optima, added: “Capita’s ownership will allow us to accelerate our growth plans and build a stronger business and service proposition.”