Fitting in with this trend is the UK 2007 Legal Services Act which permits investment in law firms. Private equity funds, knowing a good "business" when they see one (as opposed to a "professional" deal), are already considering investing in BigLaw starting 2011, something which is already permissible in Australia.
Lindsay Fortado at Bloomberg.com in Private Equity Considers Investing in U.K. Law Firms (Update1) reports:
"Slater & Gordon Ltd., based in Melbourne, became the world’s first law firm to sell shares on a stock exchange two years ago after a similar bill was passed in Australia. The personal-injury firm raised A$35 million ($29 million) from the listing and acquired two law firms....'Read the details about the UK here.
Some law firms are understandably resisting this development, but the march of time is against them.
Hat tip to Martha Neil at the ABA Journal and
Private Equity Funds Ponder Purchase of Up to 20% Interest in UK Law Firms