Niche City practice Memery Crystal is emerging as the leading firm working in the lucrative Alternative Investment Market (AIM).
In preliminary research conducted by The Lawyer, Memery Crystal has acted on 26 initial public offerings (IPOs) on AIM, despite being one of the smaller City firms, with only nine partners.
Between January 1999 and June 2000, AIM was home to nearly 170 IPOs.
The market, which was launched five years ago, is aimed specifically at small-cap companies, and has more flexible flotation rules than the London Stock Exchange (LSE) main list.
The work is the domain of both the smaller investment houses and the mid-tier and smaller practices.
Other firms that have been cashing in on the market, which has witnessed the same bumper year as the LSE main list and techMARK, include Lawrence Graham, Nabarro Nathanson, Taylor Joynson Garrett and SJ Berwin.
One of the perceived bonuses of the market is that firms can forge a relationship with fledgling companies at an early stage and then maintain it as the company grows.
Relationships with corporate finance houses are also as important on AIM as they are on the main list. Memery Crystal, for example, has a long-standing relationship with Seymour Pierce.
Simon Walker, corporate finance partner at Taylor Joynson Garrett, says that partly due to investor demand for technology stocks, AIM underwent a resurgence during the last 18 months. “A lot of the companies that went to AIM were going there rather than doing second or third round funding,” he says.