£117m Watson deal puts Thrings’ John Davies in line for coveted Lawyer Award

June 5, 2014

Law firm Thrings’ senior corporate partner John Davies has been shortlisted in the Client Partner of the Year category in the prestigious Lawyer Awards.

John, pictured, based at Thrings’ Swindon office, is one of six lawyers from across the country in the running for the title – a direct result of his work on the recent £117m sale of Wiltshire fuel wholesaler Watson Petroleum.

The deal with World Fuel Services Corporation, a Fortune 500 company and one of the world’s largest global fuel logistics businesses, was the latest chapter in the 57-year relationship between the two firms.

John has led Thrings’ relationship with Watson since 2001 and his excellence in client service was brought to the attention of the highly-respected Lawyer magazine, which stages the awards, by Watsons’ managing director Tony Watson.

He said: “Watson Petroleum is a family business which was set up by my father in 1957, and John has worked closely with the board of directors since becoming our client relationship partner.

“He is very much seen as our in-house lawyer and has acted as an independent sounding board on a range of corporate, commercial and, importantly, cultural issues ever since.

“Our relationship with Thrings during this year’s acquisition was pivotal to its eventual success. John and his team were thorough, meticulous, commercially astute, discrete and easy to deal with, and they remained entirely focused on protecting the best interests of Watson Petroleum at all times.”

He described John as a trusted advisor to the firm who understood its culture and what made it successful.

“He consistently makes the effort to understand our business and the people behind it, and for that reason he is viewed not only as a close professional colleague but also as a friend,” Mr Watson said. “We are all thrilled, but not surprised, that The Lawyer has chosen to acknowledge John’s efforts.”

John Davies said: “Thrings has enjoyed a close working relationship with Watson Petroleum for almost six decades, and during that time our focus has remained on consistently providing a first-class standard of legal advice to Tony and his team.

“As lawyers, our clients are at the heart of everything we do and being recognised for something you thoroughly enjoy is a bonus. Working with Watson Petroleum over the past 14 years has been an enormous privilege, and this nomination is testament to Thrings’ approach to always putting the client first. 

“The changing legal landscape has quite rightly led to a rise in the expectation levels among clients. But working hard, remaining close to our clients, learning about their businesses, and delivering pragmatic advice in a personal, straightforward and jargon-free manner is an approach which has served us well since our inception in 1720, and it has undoubtedly played its part in helping the firm enjoy long-term and successful relationships with its clients.”

The Lawyer Awards are the biggest and best-established in the UK legal sector. Now in their 20th year, they celebrate excellence in the legal profession across private practice, the public sector, commerce and industry, and the Bar.

The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on June 25.

Joining John on the shortlist are Azlinda Ariffin-Boromand from Olswang; Edward Barnett from Allen & Overy; Tamara Box from Reed Smith; Vaqas Farooq from Shoosmiths; and Lena Hodge from Brown Rudnick.



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