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City firm Warner Cranston has won a major debt recovery client after meeting the company's head of legal services at The Lawyer's in-house forum, Legal Monte Carlo 99.
The firm has picked up work advising Anchor Trust, the top not-for-profit provider of housing and care for the elderly in the UK, after being invited to enter a beauty parade following Monte Carlo.
The firm pitched against some of the top names in debt recovery to win the work - and the company will be one of the practice's biggest clients.
Head of debt recovery Larry Coltman says: "The debt recovery department collects £25m a year and we would expect Anchor Trust to match the top five clients we have got in the department.
"Our top five clients must be 50 per cent of our business, so this will probably add about 10 per cent to our turnover. It is a big win."
He says the department, which currently numbers one partner and seven other fee earners, will have to recruit to cope with the contract.
Anchor Trust has so far handled all debt recovery work in-house, and Warner Cranston is the first outside law firm to be appointed to act for the company in that capacity.
The firm's business development partner Peter Alf-andary met Anchor Trust's head of legal Geoffrey Cotterill at Monte Carlo and told him about Warner Cranston's growing debt recovery practice, based in Coventry.
Cotterill says: "I was just sitting next to Peter at lunch and we were chatting about it.
"I got back and contacted four or five firms but in the end Warner Cranston won it because of its client base - it had a client in a very similar line of work to ours so I was confident it would understand the special needs of our elderly clients."