Deals: Davies Buys Keoghs Law Firm

Davies, the leading specialist professional services and technology firm, today
announces a significant move in to the insurance legal services sector, with Keoghs, the insurance-focused, top-50 law firm, set to join the group. Davies delivers operations, consulting and technology solutions across the risk and insurance value chain, including
excellence in claims, underwriting, distribution, regulation, customer experience, human capital, transformation & change management.

Keoghs is a leading provider of dispute resolution and risk services for the UK insurance industry across: motor, casualty, complex and specialty classes. The firm manages more than £1bn worth of insurer claims and resolves in excess of 100,000 claims per annum. Keoghs operates a defendant-only model, and works in partnership with leading insurers, MGAs, brokers, corporates and the public sector.

Keoghs will form a new legal solutions arm within Davies, as the business continues to deepen its capability and domain expertise across its global insurance and highly regulated market segments. Keoghs Chief Executive, John Whittle, will continue to lead the business and will join Davies’ Group Executive Committee, reporting to Davies
Group Chief Executive, Dan Saulter. Whittle and the wider Keoghs management team will join Davies and become shareholders in the enlarged business. The deal is subject to customary regulatory approvals, and is expected to close during the first quarter of 2020.

The addition of Keoghs will see Davies’ global team grow to more than 3,700 colleagues, with operating centres across the UK, Ireland, Bermuda, the US and Canada. The combined business serves more than 500 insurance, highly regulated and global clients.

Since 2015, Davies has increased its annual investments in innovation and digital transformation more than fourfold, including in its CQ claims processing platform, its video and drone claims handling solutions, as well as investing in automation, speech analytics and virtual reality training solutions.
In 2019, Davies delivered revenue growth of 49%, including double-digit organic growth, as it launched new claims and insurance operations in the US, as well as doubling the size of its Ireland operations via the acquisition of Thornton Group and significant new business wins. In the UK the firm added a new Learning Solutions segment to its Consulting & Technology offering, through the acquisition of FWD, and added new claims capability through the acquisitions of TMS, GBB and Banwells.

The transaction marks an exit for mid-market private equity firm LDC, which has supported Keoghs with a minority shareholding since 2012. Dan Saulter, Group Chief Executive of Davies said:

“Keoghs and Davies were both founded in 1968 and have proudly served the insurance market and our clients for more than 50 years. Both firms have a big focus on values, culture and employee success. At Davies we place considerable value on disruptive thinking and new ideas. Keoghs has made investments in R&D and innovation in the past five years, not least in its core case management system and client-facing solutions, particularly ‘Lauri’, the legal-AI platform, and ‘ADA’, the fraud detection solution.”

He added: “To compete and win in an increasingly integrated global insurance market, it is essential that we can offer our clients valuable solutions right across the insurance, claims and risk value chain. The addition of Keoghs to our growing Davies platform provides an exciting opportunity for us to take a new message to our clients, and to
provide new opportunities for our teams across the world.”

 

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