Large law firms should consider structures that allow them “to trade in the substantial value of their businesses”, a corporate advisory firm claimed yesterday. Europa Partners said that six of the top ten by value large enough to be included in the FTSE 100 if they were listed.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority is unlikely to start licensing alternative business structures (ABSs) until 2012, it has confirmed. The news comes as the authority spelt out the detailed level of information about investors in prospective ABSs that it will expect to see.
I don’t know much about the financial markets – that’s one of the many reasons I became a solicitor donkey’s years ago. So I don’t quite get how a company like online conveyancing business In-Deed, that with the best will in the world is currently little more than an idea, can float on AIM, have a market capitalisation of £8.6m and within a couple of days see its share price rise a third, from 42p to 56p.
The magic circle firms could be worth £6.7bn if they went public – equivalent to £3.9m for each partner – the first stockbroker assessment of the viability of law firm listing has estimated. An analyst note from Peel Hunt LLP said there is “a real economic case” to be made for public market listing.
The latest in our series of extracts from Climate Change, a report on the impact of the Legal Services Act published by accountants Baker Tilly, considers what kinds of law firms might float and the impact it could have on the practice and staff
In the third part of his look at external investment in law firms, Jeremy Black of Deloitte looks at the kind of funding for you and what lessons there are from other professional services firms.
Our weekly round-up of other relevant news from elsewhere finds alternative business structures on the minds of virtually everyone, whether in England, Scotland, Canada or the USA. If one theme emerges, it is that everyone is waking up to the threats and possibilities inherent in them.