Macfarlanes elbows out Dechert for Brit Insurance deal

Macfarlanes has snared its first deal for Brit Insurance Holdings after the Lloyd's underwriter raised £204.2m through a secondary placing and open offer of shares.
The funds, which were secured through a two for three offering of shares priced at 64p each, will be used to help underwrite gross premium income of £1bn next year in both the UK and the US.
Macfarlanes was appointed to the deal due to a prior relationship with Peter Goddard, company secretary at Brit Insurance, through his previous incarnation at the Eastgate Group.
Corporate partner John Dodsworth led the Macfarlanes team, which included partner Charles Martin. The firm also acted for joint underwriter Numis Securities, which received advice from partner Robert Boyle.
Brit Insurance has historically been a strong client of Dechert, the firm previously known as Titmuss Sainer Dechert, and had a strong connection with partner Michael Smith who has since opted for semi-retirement.
Dechert advised Brit Insurance on its floatation in the mid-1990s and subsequently acted for the company on a number of major mergers and acquisitions, including the £300m offer for Wren which created one of the largest insurance groups at Lloyd's.
In December last year, Dechert acted for Brit Insurance on its first share placing, which raised £160.8m for the company. Goddard said that the company has a panel of firms it uses, which also includes Clyde & Co.
Collins Stewart, joint underwriter on the deal, was represented by Gouldens, where a team was led by corporate partner John Phillips. This is the second time the firm has acted for the finance house after it was involved in Brit's first equity placing late last year.
Accountancy firm Mazars Neville Russell, led by Andrew Goldsworthy, also advised Brit.