Private equity firms have had their sights set on the personal injury solicitor sector ever since the Government announced it was planning to transform the legal marketplace, experts say.
Yet even though buyout executives and personal injury lawyers have been holding countless meetings for years over potential investments or acquisitions, there has yet to have been much in the way of any true noteworthy accomplishments. Now, with the Legal Services Act going into effect in 2012, legal partnerships will be able to re-position themselves into ‘alternative business structures,’ which will permit them to raise capital through the public markets or third parties, or even through a merger with an organisation not from the legal sector.
This has led to a frenzy of interest from the UK’s private equity community in regards to the 50 largest personal injury compensation firms, as these make up one out of every three of the nation’s 130,000 legal professionals. These firms are some of the most successful and profitable legal practices, industry experts say.
Lyceum Capital was the first buyout firm that had expressed interest in the legal sector in a public manner. Lyceum appointed a committee back in the early months of 2008 comprised of senior legal industry figures in order to provide advice on which mid-tier law firms and their investment opportunities.
Industry insiders also say that there are many other mid-market firms looking at the sector, such as Duke Street, Palamon Capital Partners, and LDC.