London-listed legal services group Gateley has acquired the Paul Tweed law firm for £2m.
A high-profile lawyer who specialises in defamation, media and arbitration, Paul Tweed has in the past defended a raft of major international celebrities including Britney Spears, Liam Neeson, Nicholas Cage and Jennifer Lopez libel cases.
His firm has offices in Belfast, Dublin and London.
Gateley said the purchase gives the group a platform for growth across the island of Ireland.
“We have considered expanding into the Irish market for some time and Tweed strengthens our presence in the Irish professional services market,” said ‘Gateley chief executive Michael Ward.
“We see this as a springboard for developing a strong legal services offering in Ireland as well as supporting our growth plans for Gateley Capitus,” he added.
Gateley Capitus has offices in Belfast and Dublin. It specialises in providing advice to clients on tax incentives available for investment in commercial property and research and development activities.
Mr Tweed left Johnsons Solicitors in 2017 to establish his own law firm.
He has had a diverse client list that in 2016 included Ismail Inmar Guelleh, the president of Djibouti in a case taken against Facebook in Dublin.
Gateley said the acquisition of Paul Tweed LLP expands the groups presence in media law, reputation management privacy, commercial litigation and brand protection. It said it also presents “cross-selling opportunities in Tweed’s existing and future client base”.
It added: “The acquisition of Tweed is consistent with Gateley’s growth strategy to acquire legal and professional services businesses which offer complementary specialist services.”
The consideration being paid by Gateley is being settled by means of £1m in cash and £1m in Gateley shares. The firm has a £208.7m (€240.6m) market capitalisation. Its shares jumped 4.8pc this morning.