Days of debt

Remember when lawyers were debt averse? Not any more. Today’s news that Irwin Mitchell has taken out a £90m facility has the potential to reshape the market. That is serious money, a mountain of cash that is certain to be used to fund an acquisition strategy by the firm, possibly in the run up to an IPO.

The game is changing. Debt levels across the UK’s leading firms are rising. Don’t believe us? Then you need to read our ground-breaking analysis of the debt levels at 153 UK LLPs. Sample stat: 100 per cent of the UK’s four largest firms by turnover (Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Allen & Overy and Freshfields) have zero debt. But of all 153 firms in our sample just 28.1 per cent have zero debt. The stats suggest that the smaller a firm is, the more likely it is to have debt. For many firms, that’s not a good place to be. The debt issue will be published on 7 April.

Meanwhile as one part of the market rushes headling into the future by embracing debt, another jumps back more than a decade. Yes, MDPs look to be properly back, with PwC and now EY ramping up their push into the legal market. It’s another game changer, you have been warned.

Elsewhere in this issue of The Lawyer Management, Simon Stapleton of Applied Change will not only tell you why your CRM System is a waste of money, but also how to make it the best investment you ever made.

In addition HP Autonomy addresses the pithy problem of information governance and offers some handy solutions.