Firm leaders predict legal listings rush, survey finds

The majority of managing partners think firms will float on a stock market when external investment is allowed, but that none will admit to an interest.

A survey by Vantis in association with the Managing Partners’ Forum (MPF) revealed that 88 per cent of managing partners and senior partners think firms will take advantage of the new opportunities for external investment when the Legal Services Board begins to issue licences in October 2011.

But when asked directly, none said that their firms were considering floating.

Sir Nigel Knowles, MPF chair and joint CEO at DLA Piper, said: “The core message from our members seems to be ’watch and wait’ – everyone’s sure that other law firms will bring in external equity and/or list on a stock exchange, but ­maintain that it’s not for them.

In other words, expect business as usual.”