Wragge & Co is entering what it claims is a “unique cooperative arrangement” with a firm of consultants to provide a one-stop shop offering advice on international trade finance.
Independent consultant Ian Crean, who runs consultancy firm ITC Trade Finance, is to work part-time at the Birmighnam-based firm, offering specialist advice on arranging finance for clients who are in the export trade.
Under the arrangement, Wragges' solicitors will give advice to their clients and then pass them on to Crean for advice on everything from gaining short-term export credits to specialised structured finance for major international projects.
The Wragge & Co partner in charge of the commercial group, Joanne Pittaway, says: “We believe we are the first firm to do this. We identified a need in the market for this and we had a lot of respect for Ian. It can be difficult to get financing from other countries and he has a lot of contacts and experience in this area.
“We have been considering this for more than a year and it is of particular interest to manufacturers exporting to the EC and beyond. We will be introducing clients to Ian if we think they will benefit.”
Crean worked for the Rover Group for more than 20 years, arranging and negotiating trade and project finance, and managing financial risk exposure on export contracts.
Crean says: “I will be advising clients on how to protect their risks, finance sales and use innovative techniques to be competitive.”
He adds: “It is possible that I may bring clients to Wragge & Co.”
However, he denies that he is targeting Rover as a potential client. Rover is also a former client of 74-partner firm Wragge & Co, which claims 20 per cent of its work is international.