The unshocking response from Xenith to the shock IPH proposal

On 12 March 2019, IPH Limited made a shock takeover offer for Xenith IP Group Limited. You can read about it here. The Xenith Board has finally responded with its recommendation to shareholders. You only need to read the title of its response to know which way the Board went: “Xenith Board responds to IPH’s unsolicited proposal”. The Xenith Board says no to IPH’s offer. It says that Xenith shareholders will only have a fraction of the board representation that they would have with the alternative proposal which is a meger with QANTM Intellectual Property Limited. What that effectively means […]

Don’t blame the laterals

Laterals have been getting a lot of bad press lately. A US study was released recently [Risky Business: Rethinking Lateral Hiring] in which it came out that 62% of lateral partners underperform in delivering their stated book of business. There may not be an agreed technical definition of the term ‘lateral hire’  but in a law firm it usually involves hiring a lawyer who will bring their clients and revenue to the new firm.  Back to the bad press. The research study found that 10% of laterals generated less than 50% of the expected revenue. Only 38% generated revenue to expectations […]

Securexchange launches to safeguard property deposits from cybercriminals

Tech company InfoTrack today launched Securexchange to protect real estate agents, conveyancers and buyers from the real threat of large financial loss during property exchanges. The property industry is a prime target for cybercriminals who have developed sophisticated schemes to intercept emails and redirect deposit funds into fraudulent accounts. Last year, a group of Victorian property buyers collectively lost more than $200,000 to a hacking scam targeting the email accounts of real estate agents.  Consumer Affairs Victoria said agents’ email addresses had been hacked, and home buyers were sent instructions to deposit money into the hacker’s bank account instead of the estate agent’s trust account. Similar scams […]

How the partners fared in the largest ever law firm float

The world’s largest public float of a law firm has taken place with the listing of DWF on the London Stock Exchange. Although there have been some changes in partner numbers since October 2018, at that time the firm was trending towards annual revenue (after recoverables) of £267m. The firm then comprised of 2,706 full time equivalent staff plus 312 full time equivalent equity and non-equity partners. The 69 full time equivalent equity partners (using the number as at October 2018) have given up a large degree of income certainty in exchange for shares and expected dividends. The equity partners will […]

Shock offer from IPH to acquire Xenith

By Peter Frankl. In case you are not up to date with the story so far, IPH Limited is Australia’s largest intellectual property firm. It is listed on the ASX. In terms of revenue, it is roughly double the size of its two rivals, Xenith IP Group Limited and QANTM Intellectual Property Limited, both of which are also listed on the ASX. Xenith has been successful at growing its revenue by acquiring other IP firms but it has not been as successful in terms of profitability. As a result, its share price has performed poorly and the market value of […]

Positive signposts at last for conveyancing market

Declining property prices may be good for home buyers but they have a devastating effect on sales volumes. Residential property prices on a national basis have backtracked to levels of 2.5 years ago but national conveyancing volumes have sunk to levels of six years ago.  The following commentary relates mainly to Sydney and Melbourne which have suffered the greatest recent falls in dwelling values and sales volumes.  The continuing downturn in dwelling values has been exacerbated by tighter credit availability and a reduction in overseas buyers. Stunning figures have been released by FIRB showing that foreign investment real estate approvals […]

Small Law empowering women to have it all

A recent roundtable of successful female lawyers has confirmed that women in law are very attracted to the idea of beginning their own practice when they start a family. It was agreed unanimously by the rounbdtable participants that rather than waiting for significant sectoral or cultural change, the best way to empower women was for them to do it themselves. A high proportion of sole practitioners and small law firms are run by women to allow themselves the flexibility to manage a career and home life successfully. Given the difficulties in accessing the partnership pipeline, it was easier and more […]

The IPH investment in its rival may not be as crazy as it seems

The half year results for the three ASX-listed IP firms continued the pattern of previous financial results with IPH’s profitability well ahead of its rivals. IPH Limited is the largest of the three firms and was the first to list on the ASX. For the first half of 2018/19, IPH achieved revenue (less agent fees) of $89.2m. Staff costs represented 39% of this revenue and profit before tax was a very healthy $33.3m or 37% of revenue after agent fees. QANTM Intellectual Property achieved revenue less recoverable expenses of $46.6m. Staff costs represented around 55% of this revenue. Profit before […]

WARD Lawyers has joined and become part of international legal business, DWF

DWF has announced a significant expansion of its business in Australia. A team of seven principal lawyers* will join the global legal business from the Melbourne law firm, WARD Lawyers. In total, a team of 23 lawyers and support staff will move across to DWF, significantly increasing its presence in Melbourne.   Led by Managing Director Philip Gleed, WARD Lawyers is a boutique corporate advisory, financial services and real estate law firm. Philip Gleed will become the Executive Head for DWF’s Melbourne office, while Scott Stewart, currently Director at WARD Lawyers, will lead the Australian Planning & Environment team.  Mark […]

Investors sink Shine Lawyers share price but why?

By Peter Frankl. Both Shine Lawyers and Slater & Gordon reported a headline decline in revenue for the first half of 2018/19 compared to the equivalent period of last year. Slater & Gordon  ASX-listed Slater & Gordon now represents the Australian business without the UK division which was split off into a separate UK entity.  Slater & Gordon (S&G) has been emerging out of survival mode over the past few years and its share price has been scraping along the bottom. For the first half of 2018/19 fee revenue (excluding WIP movement) declined by 8%.  S&G made a loss in […]