Gallagher has appointed Dan O’Connell to further strengthen its mergers & acquisition (M&A) team in the North of England. A qualified lawyer, Dan joins from Walker Morris where he was a Corporate Associate.

Dan has over ten years’ experience in the legal sector and has worked at a number of leading law firms including Walker Morris, Irwin Mitchell and DWF. He has experience advising on a range of corporate transactions including corporate M&A, PLC activity - such as floats, regulatory work and fundraises, and advising private equity clients on acquisitions, investments and disposals.

Working closely with Gallagher’s M&A practice in London, Dan is responsible for developing relationships and delivering solutions to law firms, private equity houses and businesses involved in M&A in the North of England. Outside of London, Leeds is one of the leading locations for professional advisors in this space and there is significant deal activity involving advisors and investors in the region.

Warranty & indemnity (W&I) insurance is a core part of Gallagher’s M&A offering, which is designed to cover the insured (typically a buyer) for any unknown or unforeseen loss they may suffer due to a breach of warranty or a call against a tax covenant under a sale agreement. The product is typically utilised by seller(s) to achieve a “clean” exit but is also used by buyers to mitigate their own position by providing a second form of recourse in respect of a variety of risks which may emanate from a M&A transaction. Gallagher also advises on tax and other contingent risks.

Additionally Dan and the team can assist investors by providing insurance due diligence on the target being acquired, and so help protect value in their portfolio. As a risk advisor and insurance broker, Gallagher will focus on the adequacy of insurance cover, total cost of risk, and risk management solutions. The review will be driven by the target’s sector and range from traditional property insurance to cyber security, through to people related risks.

Dan will operate from Gallagher’s northern centre of excellence for corporate clients based on East Parade, Leeds in the heart of the City’s business district. Gallagher is a major insurance employer in Yorkshire, employing over 300 risk, insurance, claims and employee benefits specialists across offices in Leeds, Wakefield and Sheffield. Dan will report to James Murray, Branch Director of the Leeds office and will partner with Gallagher’s London M&A practice working closely with George Minoprio, M&A Practice Co-Head, and Mark Ettershank, Head of W&I and Transactional Insurance.

James said: “We are delighted to welcome Dan to our growing team. M&A activity is thriving in the North and particularly in Leeds. Our experience tells us that clients really value local expertise and local relationships and Dan’s appointment will maximise our local impact and bring the best of our London and Leeds experience to clients in the North.”

George added: “Dan is an impressive individual with an extensive network and with him on board there is a huge opportunity for us to further expand existing relationships and develop new partnerships in the North of England. We are seeing significant activity outside of London so the timing couldn’t be better.”

Daniel, added: “The opportunities for Gallagher to expand its established M&A practice are considerable. W&I Insurance has become an integral part of many deals but solutions we offer businesses undertaking M&A go far beyond W&I. It’s a great time to be joining a team which offers clients such a high level of experience and technical expertise.”