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Norton Rose has acted for long-term client Budget Financial Services on its acquisition of a group of major brokers in the motorcycle insurance sector.
The firm advised insurance broker Budget on the purchase of a group of insurance intermediaries, including big-name motorcycle insurance brokers Bennetts and Dial Direct. Budget acquired the brokers by purchasing their holding company, NIG Insurance Intermediary Group, from the National Insurance and Guarantee Corporation (NIG). NIG was advised by Ashurst Morris Crisp, with corporate partner James Perry leading the team. According to Perry, NIG sold the motorcycle brokers in order to maintain relationships with a number of other brokers in the motor insurance market. Corporate insurance partner James Bateson led the Norton Rose team on the acquisition. Lawyers from Norton Rose's tax, intellectual property, property, planning, environmental, employment and pension departments also worked on the deal. The acquisitions will give Budget more than 275,000 new insurance policies and nearly 750 extra staff. The acquisition brings Budget's number of employees to 1,900 and gives it a major foothold in the motorcycle markets, which Dial Direct and Bennetts specialise in. Norton Rose has a unique relationship as sole City adviser to Budget. According to Neville Wright, general counsel at Budget, the company also uses a small firm in Peterborough for property work, but otherwise turns to Norton Rose. Budget has no plans to set up a legal panel, and the motorcycle broker comes without incumbent legal advisers, meaning that no firms will be riding pillion to Norton Rose's lead on Budget, which should now become a much larger client.