Wragges scoops Inter-Alliance merger

Wragges scoops Inter-Alliance merger” />Wragge & Co has completed its first deal for new client Inter-Alliance Group, the AIM-listed independent financial adviser (IFA).

The Birmingham-based firm advised Inter-Alliance on the group’s merger with Millfield Group to create the largest IFA network, with more than 1,850 advisers and a combined annual turnover of around £105.5m.

Wragges was instructed to act for Inter-Alliance on the deal after the firm was picked as one of the group’s principal advisers alongside Eversheds.

In August 2003, Inter-Alliance invited a number of firms to participate in a beauty parade for a full-service law firm. Prior to the review Inter-Alliance had relationships with a number of firms, including Addleshaw Goddard, Blake Lapthorn, Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw, McGrigors and Ernst & Young-tied law firm Tite & Lewis.
Inter-Alliance also had a relationship with Lawrence Graham, which advised Millfield, but the firm was ditched in favour of Tite & Lewis at the start of 2003 following Burne’s appointment.

The IFA’s legal director Michael Burne chose only Eversheds and Wragges, neither of which had a prior relationship with the company.

Wragges financial services associate William Brewis, who led the deal for Inter-Alliance, argued that the merger is not likely to impact on the firm’s relationship with the group as Burne has managed to hold on to his current position with the merged entity. However, Brewis conceded that an ongoing relationship with the combined group was not guaranteed because the merger has created a much larger organisation with different needs.

“The size and organisation of the company post-merger is different. So I would expect the legal director to take a different approach to how work is outsourced,” he said.

The Lawrence Graham team was led by corporate partner Michael Storar.

The merger was completed on 6 August. The combined company will be called Millfield Group.