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DWF completes acquisition of majority of Cobbetts

DWF has completed its acquisition of the bulk of Cobbetts following the appointment yesterday of KPMG as administrators.

Cobbetts blamed poorer than expected trading in November and December 2012 for its decision to obtain an interim statutory moratorium and seek a sale of its business.

Two teams are not part of the deal. A finance litigation team led by Andrew Bennett will join Walker Morris because of potential commercial conficts arising out of DWF’s recent merger with professional indemnity firm Fishburns.

Cobbetts' debt recovery team, Incasso, is also not being acquired. DWF said it was “supporting those involved including assisting in the day to day management of client affairs for the immediate future, whilst the long term direction of the business can be determined”.

Staff at Cobbetts, which has 491 people including 72 partners, will move to DWF’s office space over the coming weeks.

DWF said it would honour all training contracts, including those with trainees yet to start at Cobbetts.

Andrew Leaitherland, managing partner and CEO of DWF, said: “Both firms agreed that this was the best route forward and so the process was a smooth one, with the two parties working towards the same outcome.”