Fleming set to pounce as law firms open up

FLEMING Family & Partners, the private wealth manager, has joined the growing pool of firms interested in investing into the legal sector once the market opens up next autumn.

The family arm, which manages personal wealth for high net-worth families, has recently been in discussion with a number of law firms in the City about becoming a potential third party investor, say sources close to the talks.

It can only do so after October next year once the government brings the Legal Services Act (LSA) into force.

Flemings joins a growing number of bodies, including a raft of private equity firms, which could inject capital into law firms in the future.

Other potential parties include Lyceum Capital, Phoenix Equity Partners, Lloyds Development Capital and Investec.

A growing number of family offices, similar to Flemings, are becoming increasingly interested in investing in the legal sector with hopes that their returns will be substantial.

Flemings declined to comment on any potential investment into law firms.

The LSA, which received Royal Assent three years ago, is likely to radically change the landscape of the legal sector. The act is expected to open the traditionally closed partnership model to external investors and will enable law firms to have the ability to raise additional finance through an initial public offering.

A number of legal bodies are already considering their options and whether or not to float on the stock market once the act comes into force.

It will also open the door to non-legal entities, including banks, real estate agents and insurers to join forces with legal outfits to create an alternative and broader business structure.