LDC has agreed to sell its minority stake in insurance law firm Keoghs to specialist professional services and technology business Davies. During a successful seven-year partnership with LDC, Keoghs increased its revenues by 70% from £55m in FY12 to £93m in FY19, and grew employee numbers from 1,200 to 1,700. The value of the exit is undisclosed.
The top 50 law firm is headquartered in Bolton and has a network of 10 geographical locations across the UK, including a presence in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Keoghs is a provider of dispute resolution and risk services to the UK insurance industry. It specialises in motor, casualty, complex and speciality classes and at any one time, manages more than £1bn of insurer claims and over 100,000 claims every year.
Following LDC’s backing in 2012, Keoghs has invested heavily in its proprietary technology to improve its services. The firm has also grown significantly through acquisition, acquiring a 300-strong insurance team from Hill Dickinson in Liverpool, the defendant insurance business of Newcastle-based Sintons and Caldwell Warner in Belfast. The acquisitions have bolstered the firm’s capacity and capabilities, and expanded its national footprint.
Keoghs will form a new legal solutions arm within the Davies Group. Chief Executive John Whittle and his management team will continue to lead the business.
John Whittle, Chief Executive of Keoghs, said: “The Keoghs strategy has always been to place our business, our clients and our people at the heart of the ever-changing insurance market, driving forwards to create the preeminent law firm in the insurance legal sector. LDC has been a supportive investor and our seven year partnership with John Garner and the team has helped us expand our reach through both acquisitive and organic growth.
“The insurance market is undergoing exciting change with the wide-scale adoption of technology offering new innovative opportunities to provide services to the market on an industrial scale. By joining forces with Davies we have a fantastic platform to capitalise on this opportunity.”
John Garner, Head of LDC in Yorkshire and the North East, added: “This is a brilliant result for Keoghs that recognises the strength of the business and the benefits of a long-term private equity partnership. Having also partnered with Davies Group in the past, we know this is a good home for Keoghs and wish John and his team the best of luck in this exciting new chapter.”
Davies Group’s acquisition of Keoghs will see its global team grow to more than 3,700 colleagues, with operating centres across the UK, Ireland, Bermuda, the US and Canada.
The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals, and is expected to close during the first quarter of 2020.