Private equity firm Bowmark Capital buys £35m contract lawyer business LOD

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Innovative alternative legal business LOD sold to private equity firm Bowmark (Source: Getty)

UK private equity firm Bowmark Capital has bought out law firm BCLP’s controlling stake in innovative contract lawyer business LOD.

LOD provides self-employed lawyers on a contract basis to more than 500 clients including major banks, corporates and law firms.

Its clients include sportswear company Adidas, tech giant Google, bank Barclays, credit card company American Express, investment bank Kleinwort Benson and mobile company EE.

In the 2016-17 financial year its revenue was around £35m. It has ten offices worldwide stretching across Europe, the Middle East and Asia and more than 650 lawyers and consultants on its books.

LOD, formerly lawyers on demand, was founded in 2007 by Simon Harper who was then a partner in legacy BCLP.

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Speaking to City A.M. Harper said: "LOD is currently at the front of what is happening in alternative legal services, as the market grows we need to make sure that is where we stay and keep investing to do that."

He said that LOD, having opened in Germany and Dubai over the last year, was now targeting the US for expansion.

In 2016 it merged with Asia Pacific contract lawyer business AdventBalance giving it bases in Hong Kong, Sydney, Singapore, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

In 2015 it partnered with international legal giant DLA Piper to provide contract lawyer services to DLA's clients.

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According to its latest set of accounts BCLP owned a 62.36 per cent stake in LOD, having previously owned an 80 per cent stake when the business was spun-off in 2012.

Bowmark managing partner Charles Ind said: “We have been tracking the alternative legal services sector for a number of years and are delighted to have the opportunity to become the principal shareholder in LOD and support the whole LOD team as they build on the impressive growth they have achieved to date.”

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In recent years the contract lawyer market has become increasingly crowded with businesses such as big four accountancy firm PwC, magic circle firm Allen & Overy and transatlantic law firms Eversheds Sutherland and Hogan Lovells setting up their own offerings.

Bowmark's investments include bar and restaurant chain Drake & Morgan and insurance broker Aston Scott.

Previous investments include legal publishing company Law Business Research and restaurant chain Las Iguanas.

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