Australian-New Zealand Law Firm Wotton + Kearney has sold a stake in the law firm to private equity firm to fund its continued growth.
The firm has sold a 30 per cent interest in its practice to Straight Bat, a private equity firm with around $150 million under management.
Wotton + Kearney have offices in both Australia and New Zealand and specialises in insurance work. The balance of the firm will be held by partners.
It has shown some aggressive growth moves on both sides of the Tasman, recently swooping on an insurance team in New Zealand from DLA Piper.
W+K chief executive partner David Kearney said about the deal: “We’ve always been ambitious for our clients and ourselves, as evidenced by our evolution from a two-partner firm to a leader in the insurance legal services market in just 20 years.”
“This new partnership allows us to make a significant investment in accelerating the delivery of our strategy, which is squarely focussed on making Wotton + Kearney the best business it can be for our clients and our people,” he said.
He also said that the move was a response to the growing need to increase investment in data-driven solutions and legal tech innovation.
“Our investment in data solutions is critical as many insurers are looking to leverage our broad range of data to assist with risk selection, risk mitigation and appropriate pricing,” he said.
Steve Gledden, the managing partner of Straight Bat, said that his firmwere impressed with W+K’s market reputation and performance, and are excited to contribute to the firm’s evolving growth story, as a fund “that invests for the long-term in mature, robust and profitable Australian businesses”, rather than shorter-term investment periods.
“We see enormous upside in our partnership with Wotton + Kearney given the firm’s standing in a market, which is likely to grow as business risk becomes more varied and complex,” Mr Gledden said.
“In our discussions with Wotton + Kearney we were also impressed by the firm’s clear client and insurance focus. We saw that Wotton + Kearney’s clients enjoy multi-partner relationships and there is clear collaboration between teams, which is different to the siloed client relationship model that is prevalent in many other law firms.”