Law Practice Management

Non-Attorney Ownership Will Mean More Competition for UK Law Firms

Within the next four years or so, the United Kingdom market for legal services will become one of the most lightly regulated in the world. And, as literally hundreds of well-funded businesses line up to invest in law firms there by 2012, when the Legal Services Act will allow non-attorneys to own law firms, existing law firms operated by attorneys that are not well-run can expect to suffer, a leading private investor says.

In a videotaped interview with David Morley, a senior partner of Allen & Overy, investor Jeremy Hand, who serves as chairman of the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, says law firms should be thinking now about the potential for selling shares to non-attorney owners, and how that could affect their practices, reports Legal Week.

“Whether people like it or not, the Legal Services Act is going to create significant external pressure. If you are not well-run, well-capitalized and strategically well-positioned, you may be a loser. And you probably will be a loser,” Hand says.

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