Friday, February 3, 2012

RJW sold for £53.8m - the floodgates are opening and barristers chambers may be the next to fall...

The Law Gazette has reported that Russel Jones and Walker solicitors along with the Claims Direct claims management brand have been sold to an Australian firm for £53.8m. This comes just a few days after the Financial Times reported that Quindell Portfolio agreed to pay £19.3m for Silverbeck Rymer solicitors. With the move towards alternative business structures now under way this can only be the start of what promises to be a massive consolidation within the legal market, particularly for solicitors firms. What will be interesting to watch is if any firms decide to make any approaches for barristers chambers in the same way. In just the same way that the partners in Goldman Sachs had a one-off windfall when that company was sold so some chambers might be tempted to start hawking themselves around in the hope of a similar type of windfall (albeit on a much small scale). Once that happens, maybe the Inns might start to investigate lease-back arrangements and the like again raising the possibility of windfalls for barristers. Watch this space!

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3 comments:

Justin Patten said...

I agree with you. This is now an era of consolidation within the legal market. Is there any reason why barristers should be immune to this?

Tim Kevan said...

No reason at all and cash is cash when it comes to valuing a business.

jezhop said...

Interesting thoughts, Tim. My big question though is how is a return on any investment going to be funded ? Will barristers be prepared to give up more of their earnings than they do for their current chambers expenses ? This seems unlikely to me. But we shall see ...