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Bell Pottinger North - Client News
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Beachcroft Develops New Corporate Family Tree

Commercial law firm Beachcroft LLP is launching a unique service to help North West organisations investigate their corporate history, assess ongoing liability and protect themselves against potential claims.

The Manchester-based firm is using the expertise of specialist partners to research and develop 'corporate family trees' for organisations, including the history of any acquisitions, mergers and disposals along the way. The aim is to identify any past issues or liabilities that could result in unexpected claims against the business further down the line.

"When an organisation acquires another business, it may also inherit its history - which in some cases could involve potential unidentified liabilities," explains regional senior partner Iain Moore. "Companies can be completely unaware of these risks and, more worryingly, be unaware that there may be a hidden liability. Manchester-based T&N, which went into administration after huge asbestos claims, is just one example of a company who suffered as result of this issue.

"By using the expertise of our integrated teams, including litigation, corporate finance, and health and safety specialists, we can delve deep into the history of any company and develop a very extensive 'corporate family tree'. This unique research will pinpoint any potential claim that a business needs to be aware of, ensuring it is in the best position to prepare itself against it and identify the correct paymaster."

The new service which, to date, has been offered primarily to large financial institutions and insurance companies could be a vital resource for any company embarking on the acquisition trail.

"With globalisation and consolidation likely to continue in all industry sectors," adds Iain, "we are likely to see more legacy claims coming to light. To avoid unpleasant surprises, it is essential that firms establish what is happening in their own Group structures and invest in appropriate document management systems so that they can address their own potential liabilities when claims are made against them.

"We believe that this is an added value service we can offer to clients, reinforcing our role as long-term business partners and custodians of their legal and financial legacy."


For more information, please contact:
Deborah Garritty/Emily Goehler, Bell Pottinger North
dgarritty@bellpottingernorth.co.uk / egoehler@bellpottingernorth.co.uk
Tel: 01625 506444

Notes to Editor
Beachcroft LLP (formerly Beachcroft Wansbroughs) is one of the largest national commercial law firms in the UK. With over 1,400 employees, it provides legal advice and litigation services from seven locations in the UK (two in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Winchester) and also in Brussels. From routine insurance claims management to 'trusted adviser' work for major national and international organisations, the firm delivers integrated legal services to clients in six main industry groups: health and public sector; real estate and construction; financial institutions (including the insurance industry); consumer and industrial goods and services and technology and telecommunications.

The firm has received a number of industry accolades in the last year. Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession 2007, recognised 65 Beachcroft partners as leading lawyers, ranking the firm at number 16 in the UK, up from 19 last year. In Legal 500, a guide to the top 500 lawyers in the UK, the firm received a Tier 1 ranking for 17 of its practice areas across the UK. In Legal Week's client satisfaction survey, the firm came second amongst all law firms in the UK. Beachcroft is one of the largest law firms in the country to obtain the 'Investors in People' award across all of its offices.

The Manchester team currently includes 19 partners and 198 staff. Its partners have particular expertise and experience in commercial litigation, commercial property, injury/risk, professional indemnity, corporate/commercial and employment law.

For further information, please visit: www.beachcroft.co.uk


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