DWF makes high-profile insurance sector specialist appointment in London

Posted on 05 Oct 2017

International legal business DWF has announced a significant investment in its London corporate team with the appointment of insurance sector heavy-weight Mel Sims, a former corporate partner at DLA Piper based in London and latterly in Qatar.

The senior partner appointment reflects a step change in the development of DWF's corporate offering, an area that has seen steady growth in the past few years, and he has a strong focus on the insurance sector.

Mel has advised on a wide range of high profile deals, including the take private of Cox Insurance and its subsequent sale to Insurance Australia Group (IAG), sales by IAG of its broking retail business to Swinton Insurance and Hastings Direct to Management (subsequently partially sold to Goldman Sachs and now a listed company), the purchase of Folgate Insurance and its merger by way of a scheme of arrangement with the Towergate Group and the sale by Zurich Insurance of its Eagle Star legacy asbestos.

Matthew Doughty, Head of the London Corporate team at DWF, said: "Continuing to grow and invest in our London corporate practice, particularly in our insurance sector capabilities, is a real focus for us and is essential as we increasingly extend our geographical footprint. I'm delighted to be reunited with Mel – we know each other well from our time working together at DLA Piper – and his appointment underlines the strength and confidence we have in the direction of our team."

Mel Sims said: "DWF has a clear vision for the corporate practice and has the technical capability, international network and client-focused mindset necessary to deliver it. What we're looking at now is taking a strategic move forward in the evolution of the teams, to really consolidate what's in place and start to scale it out in order to take advantage of what are very clear opportunities in the market."

Mel joins the DWF corporate team alongside private equity specialist Andrew Carpenter, previously of Addleshaw Goddard. Andrew's focus is on high-profile domestic and international M&A transactions, acting primarily for private equity investors in the mid-market.