ABS to relinquish licence after acquisition

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16 July 2013


Johnson: greater strength in depth

A specialist public sector law firm is set to relinquish its alternative business structure (ABS) licence after being acquired.

London-based TPP Law has been bought by Geldards as part of the regional law firm’s bid to grow a national public services practice.

TPP became an ABS nearly a year ago as it had a non-lawyer director, but managing director Mark Johnson said he was also looking to the future and the twin challenges facing his and many firms of working capital for expansion and securing market share, an issue particularly acute in the public sector given government spending cuts. He said at the time that external investment was an option.

Geldards chief executive Jeff Pearson said: “The acquisition of TPP Law is part of our strategic plan to build on our existing strengths in public sector work and to expand this into a wider public services offering for both public authorities and the growing number of companies and charities active in public services markets.”

Mr Johnson, who becomes a partner at Geldards, said: “The government’s programme of public service reform is generating strong demand for legal services to create partnerships and new service models in education, local government and offender management services.

“Joining the Geldards team, with their national reach and substantial public sector expertise, will enable us to offer greater strength in depth to our public, private and third sector clients across England. We are very excited at the prospect of growing a new national powerhouse to serve the growing public services market.”

Under the deal, Geldards will retain the trading name of TPP Law for an interim period.

David Williams, Geldards’ chairman, added: “TPP Law’s specialist focus and London presence will help us to develop our client base in the south-east and further build on our innovative partnership with Kent Legal Services under our Law:Public brand.”

Law:Public is a collaboration providing local authorities with access to legal advice from a wide pool of experienced public sector lawyers from as little as £90 an hour to an average headline rate of £150 per hour.

Last year, Geoff Wild, the head of Kent Legal Services, indicated that the pair were looking to form an ABS joint venture to expand on the work undertaken by Law:Public.

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