Publicly listed law firms – this was never supposed to happen again

Commentary by Peter Frankl Partners in a 100-partner UK-based commercial law firm, Ince & Co have agreed to sell their equity to a publicly listed law firm. Gordon Dadds will acquire Ince & Co International LLP and its affiliated entities to create the UK’s largest listed law firm by revenue. This ‘experiment’ has had its run in Australia and ended with the slow crumbling and eventual dissolution of listed law firm business, Integrated Legal Holdings (ILH). To oversimplify what went wrong at ILH, the partners who had sold their equity gradually left the listed firm. ILH’s investments not only walked out […]

Fundamentals of professional services businesses won’t go away with an ASX listing

By Peter Frankl. We’ve had two recent reminders that for all the benefits it has to offer, an ASX listing for professional services firm can’t seem to change their fundamental nature. The main benefit of an ASX listing is arguably access to capital. The typical state of affairs of professional services firms and law firms in particular is being cash starved. Funds have a natural gravitation towards partners’ personal bank accounts rather than long term strategic investments in the business. When a firm has the sudden pleasant shock of having a lot of funds at its disposal, thanks to shareholder investors, it […]

IPH Acquires AJ Park for NZ$66.1m

Publicly-listed Intellectual Property firm IPH Limited (IPH) has announced an agreement to acquire AJ Park’s patent attorney business, the benefit of its trade mark and legal businesses, and its associated Australian operations. From official announcement: Established in 1891, AJ Park is the premier New Zealand IP firm employing 205 people and operating from offices in Auckland, Wellington and Sydney. AJ Park is a full service IP firm with a substantial local client base servicing clients ranging from large multinational corporations and universities to start-up companies and entrepreneurs. AJ Park will become the first New Zealand IP firm to join a publicly […]