US legal business Elevate acquires UK new law company Halebury as it targets London float

 
James Booth
The co-founder of Halebury Denise Nurse (pictured) will co-lead Elevate's flexible lawyering business

US legal business Elevate has today announced it has acquired UK new law business Halebury as it continues expansion ahead of a possible London float.


Elevate, which has been backed by Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital, brands itself as a “law company” and provides services to in-house legal departments at companies such as Oracle and Facebook.

The acquisition of Halebury is its third deal in as many months after it acquired legal artificial intelligence company Lexpredict and contract management company Sumati Group in the last quarter of 2018.

Halebury, co-founded by solicitors Denise Nurse and Janvi Patel, provides so-called flexible lawyering services to in-house teams.

Flexible lawyering is the provision of lawyers on a short term basis to in-house legal teams or law firms.


Speaking to City A.M. Elevate’s president John Croft said: “We are a law company – we do consulting services and technology for lawyers – a big part of that is flexible lawyering – the sort of business Halebury does. We are building a business that is scaled and global and has a range of capability for big law department customers like BT, Morgan Stanley or HSBC.”

Nurse, who will co-lead Elevate’s flexible lawyering offering with Patel, said they had decided to join Elevate to broaden the range of services they could offer to clients.

“We see it as a 360 offering for clients, we can offer technical solutions, people, process and systems, it will be really powerful for our clients," she said.

The deal takes Elevate to around $70m (£54.8m) in revenue and also gives it a UK alternative business structure (ABS) licence, meaning it can practice law in the UK and acquire traditional law firms.

Croft said the company had talked about the possibilities of a future initial public offering (IPO).

“An IPO might be a sensible step at some point in the future, it would most likely be on AIM,” he said.