David Higham Associates (DHA) has bought Laura Cecil's agency as she prepares to retire.
Cecil plans to retire at the end of 2017 after 45 years as a literary agent. She started her agency for children’s books in the 1970s and one of her first big breaks was to be invited by Edward Ardizzone to represent him. She also had early success with children’s fiction when she became Diana Wynne Jones’ agent soon after starting her company. Cecil has continued to represent both authors and artists and had bestsellers with books such as Jonathan Stroud's Bartimaeus Trilogy and the Blue Kangaroo series by Emma Chichester Clark.
Anthony Goff, m.d. of DHA, said Cecil is "universally admired for her taste and judgement" and that DHA is "very proud" to be taking on the agency. The amount paid for the agency was not disclosed.
“Laura Cecil was the first specialist children’s agent in this country and is universally admired for her taste and judgement," said Goff. "We are very proud that Laura has entrusted us with the care of her enviable backlist and current roster of outstanding clients. DHA already represents many leading children’s authors and illustrators and we look forward to uniting the two lists and consolidating our reputation as the foremost agency for children’s books in the UK.”
Cecil added: “I’ve loved being an agent for children’s books, but now seems the right time to retire and I’m delighted David Higham Associates will be looking after my clients. Anthony Goff and his colleagues share my attitude to nurturing and developing talent, and my clients will receive the personal service that I think so important. I know my writers and illustrators will be happy to be part of such a distinguished list with a long heritage.”
Earlier this year, DHA acquired Gregory & Company, the agency founded by Jane Gregory in 1987.