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DWF has confirmed that it is considering an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange, in what would be the largest UK law firm listing to date.

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Rose Walker

Rose is News Editor at Legal Week and Law.com International.

Law Firms Mentioned

DWF is planning to float on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), Legal Week can reveal. Sources close to DWF have said that the firm is��gearing up for a London listing, in a move that could make it��the third UK law firm to list in London. It is unclear whether the listing would be for the entire firm or just part of its business. News of the plans, which have yet to be communicated to the entire partnership, comes just weeks after DWF hired former DLA Piper chairman Sir Nigel Knowles as its new chairman - a rare high profile example of a former law firm leader joining another firm in a management capacity. If it goes ahead with the plans,�� the insurance focused outfit will follow the lead of Gateley, which became the first UK law firm to list in 2015,�� and Gordon Dadds, which joined the public markets in the summer via a reverse takeover of AIM-listed marketing company Work Group. DWF posted revenue of ��201.3m for the 2016-17 financial year,��up from ��187.1m the preceding year. However, PEP fell to ��305,000 from ��338,000. Equity partner numbers grew 5.8% to an average across the year of 68.9 and total partner numbers grew 9.4% to an average of 275.8. The expansive firm has grown rapidly in recent years, with managing partner Andrew Leaitherland open about his ambitions for DWF. While initial focus was on UK growth it is now focusing on international development. In December it merged with 20-partner Belfast firm C & H Jefferson, acquired��claims manager Triton��out of administration in January and took on teams for launches in��Paris��and��Berlin��in January and April, respectively. it goes ahead, the insurance focused outfit will be the��third UK law firm to float on the LSE after Gordan Dadds' listing this summer and Gateley's listing in 2015. It��would also be the��fourth globally since Australia's Slater & Gordon became the first law firm to float in 2007. The news comes just weeks after the firm   Previously, Gordon Dadds��joined London���s AIM market in August.��The company raised ��20m through a reverse takeover by AIM-listed Work Group. Two years ago, Gateley raised ��30m in its pioneering London float in June 2015. Earlier this year, Gateley posted double-digit increases in revenue and profit for the 2016-17 financial year, in its second set of annual results since��the listing. In comparison, Slater & Gordon has been beset��by difficulties, and last month (31 August) confirmed its UK operations would be separated from the wider review following a strategic review. After Slaters��� share price tanked and losses exploded in the wake of its disastrous��2015 acquisition of the professional services arm of Quindell in the UK, New York hedge fund Anchorage Capital and other senior lenders are set to control the firm���s future in the UK.   <

  • DLA Piper
  • DWF

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