DWF bulks up new Birmingham base with insurance litigation firm merger

DWF is to merge with Birmingham insurance boutique Buller Jeffries, adding 20 fee-earners to the firm’s recently launched base in the Midlands.

The tie-up will go live under the DWF banner on 1 May, taking total lawyer count at the firm to almost 750.

Buller Jeffries, which has eight partners, is known for its work in insurance litigation and major specialist cases, and recently helped client Zurich to victory in a high-profile employers’ liability case heard in the Supreme Court.

The firm has annual turnover of around £3m and also advises clients on real estate and product liability. As well as Birmingham it has an additional base in Coventry, which will also join DWF as part of the tie-up.

The deal comes after DWF launched in Birmingham in July last year with the hire of former Shoosmiths’ asset finance head, Joanne Davis.

Managing partner Andrew Leaitherland (pictured) commented: “This merger with Buller Jeffries represents our latest commitment to our Birmingham offering. The synergy between the two companies is clear. As such, the union will certainly serve to further strengthen our offering.”

DWF recently called off merger talks with northwest firm Cobbetts, blaming “uncertain market conditions”. Leaitherland confirmed to Legal Week last year that the firm had held informal merger talks with a number of firms, including Cobbetts.

Turnover at the 104-partner firm rose by more than £10m in the 2010-11 financial year to £82m, according to accounts filed at Companies House, with operating profit climbing almost £4m to £21m.