DAC and Beachcroft moot £175m merger

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  • margins of 18 and 19% makes them very vulnerable to increases in costs....

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  • Not quite as risky as the Clyde BLG merger, but still there will be fallout. Both firms have seen profit margins squeezed, now they are looking for safety in numbers.

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  • So, last year was all about transatlantic mergers, this one's all about domestic insurance. And next year? Law firm IPOs. Beachcroft Plc?

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  • two average firms merging just makes a larger average firm

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  • I don't think they are average firms just victims of circumstance. In this insurance sector where profit margins are falling rapidly lawyers have to be innovative to stay ahead. Beachcroft has a steady management and so does DAC, together they will make a strong team and give some of those smaller firms in the same sector something to think about.

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  • This looks like a pretty sensible response to a consolidating market. It will be imperative for Clydes and BLG to pull their merger off now and even more of an imperative for Kennedys and Holman Fenwick to bulk up. In five years there will be four major insurance brands. Any firms currently turning over less than £50m will need to work fast to secure the best merger partners.

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  • What is going on with Kennedys? Has it not overstretched itself? Surely bolt ons and mergers is the way forward,

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  • So the new firm will have 210 Partners for £175m of turnover. That explains why they are not merging with Plexus which has 50 Partners for £70m of turnover. Next....

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  • It looks like the music has stopped and Kennedys do not have a chair to sit on. Perhaps the US is their only option. As for RPC, they look increasingly irrelevant.

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  • A quality firm like RPC will benefit from this - if these mergers go ahead two of its traditional competitors in BLG and DAC will have been taken out of the market, and the mergers will create conflict issues too.

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  • If Beachcroft are so keen to boost their insurance work, then why were they so desperate to champion Jackson's reforms? The abolition of the success fee now means fewer marginal claims will be run, which means fewer claims will be referred to the likes of Beachcroft to defend and thus less revenue from insurance work.

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  • @ Anonymous | 23-Jun-2011 11:58 am - Yes short-term RPC, and all other firms in the sector, will benefit from consolidation even if they aren't participants, as suppliers' pricing power increases and the firms engaging in mergers go through the process of integration.

    Medium- to long-term being sub-scale will pose an ever greater challenge to their business however. This doesn't just apply to RPC though - in 20 years time very few of the current City firms will still be in existence.

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  • Can someone point out where the conflicts are in the BLG Clydes merger: it's only marine that they have in common. This is good news for RPC in the same way that digital photography was good news for Kodak.

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  • Anonymous@ 4:48pm
    Your knowledge of what Clydes and BLG do is clearly lacking. Both are leading players in the non-marine insurance and reinsurance legal market. They are likely to be on opposite sides of a plethora of disputes - hence very substantial risk of conflicts. RPC (and others) may well prosper as a result.

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  • I think Anonymous @ 5.06 is being a little unfair to Anonymous @ 4.48. In the insurance world, Clydes are best known for their marine work, BLG for their non-marine. Reinsurance is irrelevant, as there is virtually no dispute work around any more and Clydes are unlikely to want whatever is left of BLG's reinsurance practice as it is a terrible drain. Having said that, by all accounts, the deal at BLG's end is being driven by Tim Taylor, BLG's head of marine, so maybe he is prepared to lose some conflicts for the greater good.

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  • The attempts by RPC to portray being outmanouvered as some sort of strategic acumen are frankly laughable. They can't decide whether they are a corporate or an insurance firm and are sub-scale in both. Not easy to see that they have a strategy. It is merge or become tomorrow's DAC for RPC.

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  • It would be an error for Clyde & Co to merge with BLG. Why not just move into Botolph House and pick off the BLG London names they want (and thereby avoid the cost of BLG's belated/costly forays into the regions).

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  • I wonder if RPC are going to grow by merger with another law firm? Why not merge with an entity that has a good corporate client list but no (present) ability to service their legal requirements?

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