Slater & Gordon Australia’s Best Performing Stock In 2013

Here’s the story below .. thanks to Law Fuel NZ

It does amaze us here at ALE that more Aus law firms didn’t go down this route when they had the chance.

Whilst Slaters forge ahead all we can imagine is that partners greed, hubris and conservatism at other law firms in Australia has now come back to haunt them.  Australian law firms are being re colonised by the Brits and the American are now moving in… It won’t be long befor the King & Wood Mallesons model becomes the norm and all the major Australian law firms are controlled by the Chinese… now that is a scary prospect.

Anyway.. all we can do is congratulate Slater & Gordon for being way ahead of the pack and instead of reacting to the market decided to take the bull by the horns and build their firm into an international player.

Here’s what Law Fuel have to say

 

Name Australia’s Best Performing Stock – Hint: It’s a Law Firm
posted by lawfueleditors, on Jan 03
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You got it in one.  Slater & Gordon, the ground-breaking law firm that was the first in the world to obtain stock exchange listing was also Australia’s top-performing stock, rising 128 per cent on the S&P/ASX during 2013.  And while New Zealand legislative and Law Society thinking is that the addition of new forms of law firm ownership are unnecessary, the new-look Australian and UK firms are enjoying unprecedented growth opportunities.

The firm’s access to capital through the stock market has permitted it to buy into the UK market, such as the $55 million purchase of major Manchester law firm Pannone in November, which created major opportunities in the much bigger UK market.

LawFuel has recently reported the desire by some legal professionals in New Zealand to permit greater spread of ownership of law firms as well as access to capital to permit local firms to grow both nationally and internationally, rather than being compromised by what they see as archaic rules relating to the currently lawyer-only ownership structures.

Law firm ownership and the provision of legal services is changiing rapidly internationally with the onset of new law firm structures, including virtual law firms, public-owned law firms and others in the UK and Australia in particular.

The UK Law Gazette reported that the merger activity among UK law firms was the highest ever.

Key merger trends in 2013 included:

National firms such as Slater & Gordon and DWF acquiring firms affected by changes to the personal injury market.
The need to build UK-wide coverage forcing firms to seek mergers with Scottish practices.
Desire for greater critical mass leading to deals such as the Wragge & Co/Lawrence Graham merger.
International firms making tactical acquisitions around the world, such as Hogan Lovells’ merger with South Africa’s Routledge Modise and the Norton Rose Fulbright takeover of Canada’s Armstrong Mitchell.
Jomati principal Tony Williams, a former managing partner at magic circle firm Clifford Chance, said 2014 is likely to see merger activity increase further.

‘The personal injury and insurance sectors will see several more years of consolidation. In addition, many of the UK’s most ambitious commercial firms will see that they do not have time to grow solely organically when so much is changing around them and will seek to merge with regional, and also City, peers.

‘Quite simply, larger firms have the capacity and visibility to grow their client base and invest in new premises, new practices and new locations, especially internationally.’

Williams predicted more international acquisitions across Africa, Canada and Australia, as well as within Europe, especially as the UK economy grows.

But he said the prospect of mergers between US and UK firms is less certain due to the ‘disparity in profitability’ between the two jurisdictions, with US firms being more profitable.

‘There is still a strong level of interest if the right merger candidate can be found,’ he added. ‘In any case, 2014 will see further consolidation of law firms right across the UK top 100 and beyond.’

Source: Lawfuel / LawGazette