A&O, Herbert Smith and Weil act on CoL sale

Allen & Overy (A&O), Herbert Smith and Weil Gotshal & Manges have landed roles on the potential sale of The College of Law (CoL).

The school, which has a turnover of around £75m, was put up for sale in September 2011 following a full-scale strategic review (2 September 2011), attracting interest from private equity firms.

Buyers linked to the deal include buyout firm Providence Equity Partners, educational publishing and technology company Pearson, KKR-owned Laureate International Universities as well as Palamon Capital Partners and a joint bid from Exponent Private Equity and Sovereign Capital.

It is understood that longstanding counsel A&O is advising the CoL on the sale process, while Herbert Smith and Weil are advising Pearson and Providence Equity Partners respectively.

All three firms declined to comment on their involvement.

According to bankers, the sale, expected to be agreed by the end of February, could fetch around £150m to £200m. Any sale of the CoL would mean the Legal Practice Course provider losing its charity status, which it acquired in 1975.

The CoL’s main rival BPP Law School is already owned by a private equity-backed joint venture, US-based Apollo Global, which is made up of Apollo Group and private equity house The Carlyle Group.