Thursday, May 06, 2010

Getting Ready to Invest in Law Firms

(With thanks to Daniel Martini)

The majority of managing partners think [law] firms will float on a stock market when external investment is allowed, but that none will admit to an interest.
A survey by Vantis in association with the Managing Partners’ Forum (MPF) revealed that 88 per cent of managing partners and senior partners think firms will take advantage of the new opportunities for external investment when the Legal Services Board begins to issue licences in October 2011.

But when asked directly, none said that their firms were considering floating.
 The Managing Partners' Forum has an interesting website with a number of publications on this issue and I recommend reading some of them. A comment from Neasa MacErlean's "Investing in a Professional Firm" includes the statement by an accountant:
This will be a very exciting time. The investment community should be licking its lips and seeing who is going to come to market first.
It is no surprise to see Nigel Knowles of DLAPiper as MPF chairman. His law firm looks as though it has been designed to become an investment opportunity. While there is much on efficiency and extracting profit, I saw nothing on values or ethics. Whilst in name we are talking about professional service firms, I fear that the professional aspect of them is being stripped out.
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