Market monitor

ABSs top the 1,000 mark as research highlights changing face of legal market


New competition since the introduction of alternative business structures, along with client demands is changing the face of the legal market, research has suggested, with the number of ABSs now topping 1,000. It also showed that 44% of law firms are now incorporated companies, while the number of traditional partnerships shrinking to only 17%.

February 20th, 2018

Gordon Dadds keeps the acquisitions coming with third deal in a month

Innovation Conference, Nov 2017

Listed law firm Gordon Dadds has made its third acquisition in a month in buying Cardiff firm Thomas Simon. The acquisition vehicle is paying £1.875m plus an amount related to net tangible assets. If all the turnover targets are met for the four firms it has bought since listing, Gordon Dadds will have paid around £20m.

February 19th, 2018

ABS update: Clifford Chance buys would-be ABS, private client firm enters regulation, PE-backed firms expand

Angus Houston

The plan by Carillion Advice Services to become an alternative business structure looks to be at an end after the business was bought by magic circle firm Clifford Chance. We also report on two private equity backed ABSs that have used their financial muscle to expand, and a private client firm that has decided to enter regulation with the CLC.

February 15th, 2018

Conveyancers see workloads fall for first time since 2011

Andrew Lloyd 2017

Conveyancers saw their first annual drop in workload since 2011 last year, with volumes down 12% to under a million transactions, according to new research. It also found that the number of conveyancing firms has dropped by 28% over the past decade.

February 15th, 2018

The countdown begins: Whiplash reforms to be introduced in April 2019

MASS conference and 25th anniversary dinner

The government plans to introduce its whiplash reforms in April 2019, it emerged today. The Motor Accident Solicitors Society said it has today been told that ministers have agreed for the personal injury reforms to be implemented from that date, with an initial focus on RTA.

February 12th, 2018

The time is now for law firms to invest in new tech and delivery methods, says bank boss

James Tsolakis

The time for just talking about new ways of doing things in the law is over as clients “turn their backs on the pricing and delivery models that law firms have traditionally sold them”, a leading banker has warned. He said a “palpable shift” in thinking and serious investment in new technologies and delivery methods were now strategic priorities.

February 2nd, 2018

Exclusive: ABS starts to build portfolio of “local hero” law firm acquisitions

David Sedgwick Echelon

An alternative business structure launched at the end of last year to invest in profitable “local hero” law firms, has already taken over one practice this year and is on the verge of taking a share in another. London-based Echelon Law offers back-office support and has a particular focus on firms of one to three partners.

February 1st, 2018

Canada-style Brexit deal is equivalent of ‘no deal’ for legal services, says Law Society

EU flag

A Brexit deal that mirrors the free trade agreement Canada has with the EU would be equivalent to a ‘no deal’ outcome for legal services, the Law Society warned today. It would also exclude issues such as co-operation in civil and criminal justice matters, and the recognition and enforcement of judgments.

January 30th, 2018

Bristol fashion – Gordon Dadds makes second acquisition in two weeks


Listed law firm consolidator Gordon Dadds Group has made its second acquisition in as many weeks with a deal to buy Bristol firm Metcalfes Solicitors for an initial £2m, rising to a possible £6m. It also comes just days after Metcalfes acquired fellow generalist Bristol firm Burroughs Day from administration.

January 25th, 2018

Green light for digital conveyancing as CLC aims to be property regulator of choice

Janet Paraskeva, Council for Licensed Conveyancers, 27Apr2017, ©Bronac McNeill

The government has approved rule changes opening the way for fully digital conveyancing. The changes will allow digital documents with e-signatures to be used both for land transfers and land registration. Meanwhile, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers has stated its ambition to become “regulator of choice for all property lawyers”.

January 24th, 2018