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WFW advises Global Risk Partners on Marshall Wooldridge acquisition

30 September 2016

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised independent insurance intermediary Global Risk Partners Limited (”GRP”) on its acquisition of a majority stake in leading UK commercial insurance broker Marshall Wooldridge.

Established in 1973 to serve the business community in Leeds and its environs, Marshall Wooldridge controls £20 million+ in premiums and employs 50 staff in that city and in Rotherham. Managing Director James Hall and his team will continue to lead the firm following the transaction.

GRP is an investment vehicle aimed at brokers and managing general agents (MGAs) trading in the UK retail and global, specialty insurance markets. It is backed by Penta Capital LLP, which specialises in funding private equity opportunities in the UK mid-market sector.

The acquisition, GRP’s seventh in 2016, demonstrates the dynamism that has made the firm, which was founded only in 2013, one of the UK’s largest independent intermediary groups, managing gross written premium in excess of £420m+.

Mike Bruce, CEO Broking for GRP said: “I am delighted we have completed the acquisition of Marshall Wooldridge – it is a highly regarded broker with a strong reputation in both the local market and within its specialist areas. This is a key acquisition for GRP’s broking business as we continue to focus on our strategy of developing a national footprint of quality commercial brokers”.

The WFW corporate team advising GRP and working with their General Counsel Andrew Hunter, was led by London corporate  partner Nigel Taylor, assisted by associates Georgina Don and Simon Elliott. London tax partner Tom Jarvis advised on the tax aspects of the transaction.

Nigel commented: “It was a pleasure to work with GRP on another significant acquisition, following on from those of Ropner, Abbey Bond Lovis, Lonmar and Cavendish Munro on which I also had the privilege of advising them. I look forward to working them going forward as they continue their impressive strategic expansion”.