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Published 21 March 2014
International law firm DAC Beachcroft has advised St James's Place (SJP), the FTSE 100 wealth manager headquartered in Cirencester, on the acquisition of an Asian advisory business, the Henley Group.
SJP, a long-standing client of the firm, has funds under management of £44 billion. The Henley Group has around £400 million ($665 million) under management and 4,000 expatriate clients serviced from its bases in Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai. Completion of the deal remains subject to the approval of regulators in Asia.
DAC Beachcroft fielded a team from its Bristol and Singapore offices, headed up in Bristol by corporate partner Jocelyn Ormond and associate Michael Pearce, and in Singapore by partner Steven Dewhurst. SJP was advised in Hong Kong and Shanghai by Deacons. Kirkland & Ellis acted for The Henly Group from its offices in Hong Kong.
This is the latest in a string of deals completed by the Bristol corporate team at DAC Beachcroft in the first quarter of 2014 for major corporate clients based in the South West. In February, the team advised the shareholders of long-standing client NewLaw, a Cardiff-based law firm with offices in Bristol and Glasgow, on its £40m sale to Helphire. Helphire was advised by Berwin Leighton Paisner. One month earlier, the team advised MITIE on the acquisition of complex care specialist Complete Care in a £9m deal.
In September 2013, DAC Beachcroft appointed corporate partner James Reed to support its international push. Reed joined from the London office of Baker & McKenzie, where he was one of three partners who established their Abu Dhabi office. Since joining the firm, James has led on several significant deals, including the acquisition of Manuplas for Gloucester-based client Advanced Insulation plc. DAC Beachcroft has advised Advanced Insulation, named International Company of the Year at Insider's South West International Trade Awards 2013, since its establishment, including on a series of international joint ventures.
John Williams, head of DAC Beachcroft's Bristol corporate commercial team who led on the NewLaw and MITIE transactions, commented: "Our deliberate strategy of leveraging international reach with major corporates has been perceived at a local professional services level as something either done out of London or as mutually exclusive with local deal-making. However, nothing could be further from the reality and we have always felt that this under-sells a significant portion of the local Bristol legal market, which is genuinely competing with London on premium international work."
He added: "DAC Beachcroft has one of the busiest local corporate commercial teams around and our offering is as relevant to regionally-based corporates with broader reach as it is to our London-based or international clients."
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