A MAJOR deal has been announced which should see a Bolton insurance law giant become part of an international professional services empire.

Top 50 legal firm Keoghs, based at Parklands, has been snapped up by Davies, which has operations across the UK, Ireland, Bermuda, the US and Canada.

Around 1,200 of Keoghs' 1,700 workforce are based at their Middlebrook offices, which handles more than 100,000 claims annually and £1billion worth of business.

Under the proposed arrangement, which still requires regulatory clearance, Keoghs would become a distinct legal solutions arm within Davies.

The former’s chief executive, John Whittle, will remain in charge, and become part of Davies’ group executive committee.

John Whittle, Keoghs’ chief executive, said: “The insurance market is undergoing exciting change with the widescale adoption of technology offering new innovative opportunities to provide services to the market on an industrial scale.

“The Keoghs strategy has always been to place our business, our clients and our people at the heart of this change, driving forwards to create the pre-eminent law firm in the insurance legal sector.

“The opportunity to join forces with Davies was too good an opportunity to miss to deliver on this, and we are delighted to be a part of an organisation that has a single, shared and unified vision for the future.”

Dan Saulter, Davies Group chief executive, added: “Keoghs and Davies were both founded in 1968 and have proudly served the insurance market and our clients for more than 50 years.

“Both firms have a big focus on values, culture and employee success. At Davies we place considerable value on disruptive thinking and new ideas. Keoghs has made investments in R&D and innovation in the past five years, not least in its core case management system and client-facing solutions, particularly ‘Lauri’, the legal-AI platform, and ‘ADA’, the fraud detection solution.”

He said the deal would enable them to offer a complete service across the insurance and claims sector.