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Pinsent Masons sells off Cerico operation

19 March 2018

Pinsent Masons has sold its Glasgow-based online compliance solutions business Cerico to business and financial information firm Dow Jones for an undisclosed sum.

The international law firm launched Cerico in 2013 as a joint venture with IT consultancy Campbell Nash, subsequently taking a majority stake in 2015. The operation has since grown to deliver comprehensive online Know Your Business Partner programmes and digital compliance tools for international businesses including FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies. 

Under the deal Pinsent Masons will retain a strategic relationship with Dow Jones through which it will continue to provide the legal content for compliance solutions and deliver supplementary legal compliance support and consultancy to Dow Jones clients where required.

Cerico Chief Executive Jim Armstrong will move to Dow Jones with fellow director Julia Salmond, alongside the organisation's 15 staff. Richard Masters, former executive chairman of Cerico, will remain a partner at Pinsent Masons and head of the firm's Scotland and Northern Ireland offices. Tom Stocker, co-founder of Cerico, will continue as a Pinsent Masons partner and lead the firms' legal and compliance support of the combined Cerico and Dow Jones offering.

Cerico was amongst of the first of a series of investments by the legal firm in alternative delivery models and services. Within the last five years the firm has also launched an international legal resourcing hub Vario, acquired a minority stake in "new law" startup business Yuzu, and acquired diversity and inclusion consultant, Brook Graham.

Richard Foley, senior partner at Pinsent Masons, commented: "We are proud with what we have achieved with Cerico. It has proven an immense success with our clients, and further highlighted our ability to combine people, process and technology to create innovative solutions in the world of new law.

"As the business has moved toward its next phase of growth, it has been clear that it will need to integrate with a wider range of business and financial data to support the full range of client need. In that respect Dow Jones is the perfect partner to ensure that Cerico achieves its full potential. We very much look forward to working with the Dow Jones team in future to the benefit of our mutual clients." 

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