Legal Brief: Private equity set for revival
9 October 2009
15 October 2009
8 October 2009
05 October 2009
11 July 2007
19 December 2005
After more than a year in hibernation, could the sleeping giant of private equity finally be stirring?
Private equity lawyers appear to be preparing for their busiest period since the start of the credit crunch. According to market insiders, the industry is bracing itself for a glut of IPOs in the New Year as buyout houses look to clear out portfolios still swollen from the debt-fuelled boom of 2004 to 2007.
According to a report published in The Sunday Telegraph, 12 private equity-owned companies will be floated in 2010, with an estimated combined market value of more than £20bn. There are some household names among them, including Bird’s Eye, New Look and theme-park owner Merlin.
For the lawyers, it’ll be a welcome return. According to an Ernst & Young study last month, there wasn’t a single exit through flotation by a private equity owner in 2008, a statistic that speaks volumes about the state of the industry in recent months.
Most IPOs take around six months from start to finish, so it’s a fair bet that the likes of Ashurst, Clifford Chance, Linklaters and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett are already helping their clients prepare for the New Year.
And in the absence of any M&A activity, these roles are some of the best around. Each IPO is likely to fetch a seven-figure sum for the law firm acting for the company. The other main legal role is acting for the underwriting banks, which is less lucrative but still leads to fees in the region of £500,000.
Whatever the wider picture, private equity specialists will be queuing up to take part in the New Year bonanza. And an oft-criticised industry will be back in the spotlight once again. For more on private equity check out the Practice Area Focus prepared for us recently by US law firm Weil Gotshal & Manges (read article).
PS–it’s competition time again!
LexisNexis has launched new software to help law students to cite case law accurately. LexisCheck is essentially a “spell-check” for legal citations. The simple to use software scans through Word documents and automatically identifies citations and then displays, with a traffic light signal, whether the citation can be considered ‘reasonable’, to be used with ‘caution’ or ‘unreliable.’ Not only will it make your work more accurate it will save you lots of time too. I know that when I was a law student I would’ve loved to have something like this to help me.
To celebrate the launch LexisNexis are giving away the following prizes:
Top prize (1 person only) - One year’s free subscription to LexisCheck, one day’s ‘work experience’ with LexisNexis’s court reporting team in London (including £50 towards the cost of travel). This would involve a day in court listening to substantive judgments with a legal expert who can explain the ins and outs of the process. The winner will also receive a guided tour of the Royal Courts of Justice and lunch at Middle Temple Hall. And to take advantage of all the spare time that LexisCheck frees up we’ll also throw £20 of Odeon cinema vouchers.
Second prizes (3 in total) - One year’s free subscription to LexisCheck and £20 of Odeon cinema vouchers.
Third prizes (20 in total) - £10 Odeon cinema vouchers.
To enter the competition email the answer to the following question to me at firstname.lastname@example.org:
What is the correct citation for the famous negligence case Donoghue v Stevenson?
A) Donoghue v Stevenson  AC 562
B) Donoghue v Stevenson  AC 562
C) Donoghue v Stevenson  AC 562
Please include your full name, university and course and a mobile phone number for us to contact you. The deadline for entering is 31 October 2009. Good luck!