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DWF to push ahead with flotation in UK’s largest law firm listing

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An important step for future growth, says global outfit’s chief

📸 DWF’s London office

Global law firm DWF has today announced its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

In an update published on its website, the firm said it hoped to undertake an initial public offering (IPO). It also confirmed a registration document has been submitted for approval to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). If successful, the flotation will be the largest in legal history.

The Manchester-headquartered outfit revealed last summer it was considering “a number of strategic options”, including the “possibility” of an IPO, in a bid to achieve its “objectives more quickly”. According to media reports at the time, the move could see a small number of DWF’s senior staffers trouser millions of pounds each in shares.

The 2019 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

Commenting on today’s announcement, DWF’s chief executive, Andrew Leaitherland, said:

“This announcement is an important step for DWF and our future growth story, highlighting just how far we have come over the past decade. We have developed into a global legal business, providing an innovative and differentiated offering to meet the full spectrum of our clients’ legal needs.”

Kicking off a string of law firm flotations, Slater and Gordon was the first to go public when it listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2007. Other firms to make similar moves include Birmingham-based Gateley, national duo Keystone Law and Knights, as well as London-based outfits Gordon Dadds and Rosenblatt Solicitors.

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36 Comments

Anonymous

Moronic thing to do. Will be fun to see how many partners stick around when the value of the stock falls by 40% for no other reason than speculation or a natural downturn in the business cycle.

Anonymous

It has been revealed that they will have a 5-year capital lock-up, subject to which they will be able to withdraw capital only at 20% per each year of such period.

Not many will be leaving!

dwtf

This IPO is the last nail into the coffin of this shyte obscure firm

Anonymous

Interesting that they prioritise becoming listed over paying future trainees’ LPC fees / maintanance grant.

Anonymous

That’s crazy! Why on earth would they prioritise a growth plan worth hundreds of millions of pound, affecting over 3000 people in 14 different jurisdiction, over the maintenance grants of 40 UK-based students (for whom they actually pay LPC/GDL fees)?

Anonymous

lol

Anonymous

agreed: shyte pay, shyte work, morbidly obese northerner colleagues, this ferm is so bad

Anonymous

as bad as your spelling

Anonymous

Lmao good luck with your tc at dwf mate

Interested Bystander

A proposed 5 year lock-in for equity partners could see a number of swift exits from those at the lower end of the equity.

Anonymous

Why didn’t you mention the interesting point: lock in until 30 April 2024?

Anonymous

Because that wasn’t mentioned in the Gazette article?

1st year student

wait! what do you mean by locked by 2024?

Anonymous

More pressure for junior fee earners to enhance profits to increase profits for the big boys at the top to trouser dividends.

Anonymous

Sweating the assets, just like Andy Leatherpants likes

Anonymous

This is crazy! Anyone wanting to buy shares in DWF should check which clients it has lost in the period that Leatherland has been in charge and decide against.

The firm has trouble accurately billing customers, let alone operating as a global law firm.

All of the steps taken by DWF in the past few years have been targeted at, not making DWF an effective business or law firm with a focus on quality customer service/offering, but to get the equity partners a big pay day!

Perhaps the writer of this article should look to do some more digging on the inner workings and financials of DWF, rather than rehashing the details provided by the firm itself!

John

Don’t forget how leveraged with debt it is for a law firm! The accounting used for reporting its revenues and profits should be reviewed with a fine tooth comb, as there are questions within the legal market as to the way it calculates its figures.

Anonymous

None of the money raised by the float is being used for the 40-50 million overdraft as apparently that’s not considered to be over geared…

I have a feeling that this isn't going to end well. As alluded to by others, I am unsure what the upside in investing in DWF would be as an outsider.

Alain

Anonymous

Yank investors won’t care. They’ll probably invest anyway.

Anonymous

As a firm there are a number of good offices. The problem is a couple of offices (one North and one South) are the problems for the firm.

50pence

Lol which offices? This firm is a shet bucket shop, doing commoditised work, much of it RTA’s, slips and trips, where the work is barely profitable, and YOY Insurers squeeze these firms more and more. Their work is a race to the bottom.

Cue a string of partners and their teams from various deparments pissing off soon, and pity the poor Directors, and salaried partners who thought they would be made up next financial year. They won’t, and the fall out and depeartures will probably significant.

Anonymous

You copied this from the ROF discussion board earlier today you utter charlatan.

Anonymous

Haha he’s right. Copied word for word of part of a post by ebitda on the ROF board at 15:20 today in the DWF thread.

You got owned bro!

Anonymous

I AM EBITDA.

Anonymous

NO I AM EBITDA.

got pwned bro

Quit talking like a 14yr old scrawny poofta

Anonymous

Still laughing at that mug who was exposed for the ROF copy and paste.

Worst expose in the history of LC.

He took a massive L.

Anonymous

of course you are. How sad. Someone there just alerted me you copied and pasted it here.

Anonymous

I AM EBITDA, WHO ARE YOU?

Anonymous

People are missing the point here. There is no more available debt finance, so where do you turn but equity? They’ve been building the brand accordingly for a number of years. Cash in now to save the ship from sinking. Being tied in is better than being pursued by liquidators and the taxman

Anonymous

The Andy vehicle continues.

Disrupt to progress. Then disrupt your personal finances to hide them from the bank’s lawyers when they come after you.

Anonymous

Great. Look forward to the share price plummeting when the realisation dawns that their in house advocacy project has failed and clients want proper counsel.

That, and when PI inevitably goes down the toilet.

Anonymous

But don’t you want Yammer and linkedin self publicists as your counsel??!!!

Anonymous

Don’t knock it, the linkedin lad is my favourite comedy.

Ebitda der da

No I’m Ebitda

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