Markets

Private equity-backed law firm and City law firm explore London listings

Two further major law firms are exploring London initial public offerings (IPOs) as interest in raising funds from the capital markets grows in the sector.

Private equity-backed firm Keoghs and City firm Fieldfisher are both understood to be exploring potential London IPOs.

Read more: Watch out Burford: Listed law firm could launch its own litigation fund

Keoghs is understood to have interviewed advisers about a potential float, with one source saying that investment bank Investec has been appointed by the Bolton-headquartered firm.

Keoghs, which is backed by Lloyds Banking Groups private equity arm LDC, focuses on acting for insurance clients on claims work.

LDC invested in Keoghs in 2012, taking a minority 22.5 per cent shareholding in the firm.

The firm has used its backing from LDC to act as a consolidator in the insurance defendant market; earlier this year it acquired a £23m insurance law business from Liverpool-headquartered firm Hill Dickinson.

Read more: Law firm Knights gunning for largest-ever law firm flotation

Fieldfisher, which posted revenue of £207m last year, has also been scoping out a float, with trade magazine The Lawyer reporting that the firm has been speaking to City investors about a potential listing.

In a statement Fieldfisher said: “As a fast-growing and innovative firm, we are constantly considering a range of options and opportunities, among them a potential listing, to help realise our strategic objectives and to stay ahead of the competition."

However, a spokesperson added that there were currently no “plans to list the firm”.

A Keoghs spokesperson said: “As a firm we have a policy of not commenting on market or press speculation.”

There has been a recent upsurge of interest among both investors and law firms about the listed-law firm model.

Read more: DWF latest law firm to catch flotation bug with £1bn IPO

Regional firm Knights is set to list later this month, and last week it emerged that £200m revenue firm DWF was exploring a float with a potential valuation of up to £1bn.

Last month City firm Rosenblatt went public raising more than £30m.

Gateley was the first firm to float in 2015, followed by Gordon Dadds and Keystone in 2017.

Investec declined to comment.

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