Fox Williams LLP has advised the estate of the late Peter Mayer and his company, Gerald Duckworth & Company Ltd on the disposal of the majority of the company’s publishing assets to Prelude Books Ltd.

Duckworth, whose authors include Ray Kurzweil, Julia Child, John Bayley, Iris Murdoch and Max Brooks, was originally founded 120 years ago, and was bought by Mayer in 2003. Mayer, who was also a former CEO of Penguin, died in May at the age of 82.

Prelude was founded by publisher Pete Duncan in 2016 and combines leading-edge marketing for its fiction imprint Farrago with traditional trade representation for its non-fiction. As part of the acquisition, Prelude has acquired the Duckworth name, website and social media presence and it is intended that Duckworth will become an important and growing non-fiction imprint of Prelude.

Corporate partners Peter Faber and Mary Elliott advised the Mayer estate and Duckworth and Marriott Harrison LLP advised Prelude.


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