Market monitor

Government eyes £650m “legal services marketplace” for public sector advice

Airport sign

The government is planning to create a UK-wide £650m “legal services marketplace” from which the public sector will procure commercial legal services, it has emerged. It will cover central government departments and their associated bodies, including the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, along with the wider public sector.

October 20th, 2017

Asylum and detention specialist sets up BSB firm and law student project

Ousman Noor

A barrister whose charity, regulated as a law firm by the Bar Standards Board (BSB), was dissolved at the end of last year due to funding problems, has set up both a conventional BSB firm and a pioneering university law project to help immigration detainees.

October 17th, 2017

‘Social enterprise’ ABS set to merge with London councils’ joint legal team

Quentin Baker

LGSS Law, the ‘social enterprise’ alternative business structure owned by three local authorities, is set expand dramatically by merging with the shared legal team of Westminster City Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. The two councils envisaged costs savings through less use of external lawyers and bringing in additional income.

October 17th, 2017

PwC: New business structures and capital will allow big law firms to deliver “fundamental change”

AIM Awards 2015 Judging Panel

“Fundamental market change is on the horizon” for the largest law firms in the country, with the possibilities of technology the driving factor and new business structures and external capital needed to accommodate them, the annual law firm report by PwC has concluded.

October 16th, 2017

Second ABS for National Accident Helpline after deal with national law firm

Russell Atkinson

NAHL, the marketing business that owns National Accident Helpline, has created its second alternative business structure (ABS) licence in partnership with national law firm Lyons Davidson. The ABS will trade under the name National Law Partners and it is expected to begin operating in November 2017.

October 13th, 2017

ABS consolidator unveils fourth and largest deal of 2017

Legal Futures Conference Nov16: Innovation

Metamorph Law, the alternative business structure looking to consolidate small law firms, has made a south-west conveyancing law firm its fourth and biggest acquisition of the year so far. It has taken over BPL Solicitors, a firm with revenues in excess of £5m and staff of around 100, based in offices in Dorchester, Bristol and Bournemouth.

October 13th, 2017

LegalZoom ABS set to turn £2m loss into profit after major investment

Beaumont Legal

Beaumont ABS – the alternative business structure owned by US giant LegalZoom – has said it is heading towards a “sizeable” profit next year after its first accounts showed a £2.1m loss. This was due to a significant and planned-for investment after it bought Wakefield law firm Beaumont Legal in early 2016 for £6.4m.

October 12th, 2017

When the Shine wears off – listed law firm faces shareholder class action

Australia

Shine Lawyers, the personal injury law firm that followed Slater & Gordon into listing on the Australian Stock Exchange, now finds itself on the receiving end of a shareholder class action, just like Slater & Gordon. The A$250m (£149m) action alleges that Shine misled investors in a series of representations it made to the market.

October 6th, 2017

ABS round-up: Riverview breaks new ground by schooling trainees in technology, and much more

Karl Chapman

Riverview Law has become the first law firm to offer its trainee solicitors a six-month seat in technology services, having obtained approval from the Solicitors Regulation Authority. We also have news from ABSs Co-operative Legal Services, Express Solicitors, Keoghs, gunnercooke, Gateley and Astute Dynamic – with diversification a notable theme.

October 5th, 2017

Commercial lawyers decamp en masse from Slater & Gordon to BLM

Mike Brown BLM

A team of 11 partners and 22 other commercial lawyers has left troubled Slater & Gordon for BLM as it looks to expand further beyond its core insurance law specialism. Meanwhile, a group of internal shareholders at AIM-listed law firm Gateley have sold £10m worth of shares.

October 2nd, 2017