Rapidly growing specialist insurance law firm Wotton + Kearney (W + K) has entered a strategic partnership with investment firm Straight Bat.
Straight Bat is an income-oriented private equity fund that invests for the long term in mature, robust, and profitable Australian businesses and assists them in delivering their strategic plans.
As part of the deal, Straight Bat will take a minority stake in W + K and help it deliver on its client solutions and growth objectives, including strengthening its position as the insurance market's law firm partner. Moreover, Straight Bat managing partner Steve Gledden and partner Rob Nicholls will join the law firm's board as non-executive directors.
A former consultant, Gledden has 25 years of experience in private equity and venture capital in Australia, the UK, and the US. Throughout his career, he has been an owner, operator, investor, advisor, chairman, and board director.
Meanwhile, Nicholls has diverse strategy, governance, and business growth experience, including five years as a CEO, growing the national footprint of an industrial services business, as well as 20 years of experience in debt and equity transactions. Throughout his career, he has been an operator, investor, and banker and has a proven track record of business growth in his roles.
Read more: Wotton + Kearney enters Adelaide market
W + K chief executive partner David Kearney said the partnership with Straight Bat will enable the law firm to accelerate the delivery of its strategy that focuses on becoming the “best business it can be for our clients and our people.”
“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,” Kearney said.
“The partnership with Straight Bat allows W + K to tap into expertise both complementary and different to the legal expertise and insurance industry knowledge possessed by the W+K team. We look forward to working closely with the Straight Bat team, including newly appointed non-executive Directors Rob Nicholls and Steve Gledden, to challenge our traditional thinking drawing on their deep knowledge of business more broadly.”
The agreement with Straight Bat follows the insurance law firm's entrance to the Adelaide market as part of its expansion plan in Australia and New Zealand.