Alternative business structures
An American law firm that claims to have wealthy individuals and institutions lined up to inject money into its practice has lost its latest effort to challenge the ban on non-lawyer investment, this time in New York.
Fairpoint Group plc – the AIM-listed business that has bought four law firms – today told investors that they would not see the benefits of its restructuring until 2018 as it warned that performance this year will drop. Its revenue from legal services revenues jumped 32% to £41.8m in 2016, but are likely to dip 15% this year.
Slater & Gordon announced another sliver of good news, with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission deciding to take no further action following an investigation into whether the firm’s accounts had been falsified. We also round up other ABS news, including a law firm created by a London corporate services business.
The expansion of consolidator Metamorph Law has continued after it took on the private client practice of a firm in Hampshire, its first venture in the south of England. Some 17 fee-earners and six support staff have set up new offices in Southampton, Lymington and Basingstoke.
National Accident Helpline is set to invest in personal injury cases for the first time through alternative business structures, it revealed today. It said the government’s PI reforms would catch “less than” 30% of the enquiries it generated for firms but still meant major changes were needed.
A high street law firm has obtained an alternative business structure licence as part of a strategy to build up its Refund You website-based consumer brand, which covers 14 areas of claims, from personal injury and financial mis-selling to timeshares and cavity wall insulation.
Alternative business structure and consolidator Metamorph Law has completed its second deal by taking over niche practice SLC Solicitors. SLC, based in Shrewsbury, is an award-winning 50-person firm that acts for commercial and residential landlords and managing agents.
Pioneering law firm NewLaw is set to create more alternative business structure (ABS) joint ventures this year, it has emerged. The firm – which was itself just the fourth ABS to be licensed – already has seven joint ventures, with partners including the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing and insurer Ageas.
Stowe Family Law – which claims to be the largest specialist family law firm in the country – has become the latest legal practice to accept private equity investment after signing a deal with mid-market backer Livingbridge. The plan is to build a “larger national footprint”, opening up to 30 additional offices over the next five years – it currently has 10.
Most listed UK businesses with a strong legal element did not prove good investments in 2016, although litigation finance business Burford Capital and national law firm Gateley both bucked the trend in eye-catching fashion, a Legal Futures analysis has found.