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UK law firms to go IPO?

Update: Rees Morrison posted on 3.24 that there is another GC group forming in the UK.

Carolyn Elefant isn't completely sold on the alleged consumer benefits of a new British initiative to allow outside investors to own law firms and even take them public -- she even goes so far as to invoke the E-word [Enron].

According to this report on Law.com Newswire, the government's goal with this radical proposal is better service:

"'These new measures will help [consumers] to receive better service from the legal sector while at the same time enabling providers to develop better, more competitive, consumer-focused businesses,' Lord Falconer said." [Falconer is the lord chancellor and secretary of state for constitutional affairs, according to the report.]

Elefant, however, has a number of questions about who really wins when attorneys work with non-attorneys such as financial advisors and accountants. As Elefant writes on My Shingle:

"I'm all for proposals that open up competition in the legal profession and reduce costs.  But when I read about this idea, all I could think was Enron.  And surprisingly, even though the Tesco multidisciplinary proposal is being debated overseas, I wasn't the only one who thought of the Enron analogy either ..."

Don't miss the comments -- David Giacalone disagrees.

Posted by Laurel Newby on March 23, 2005 at 02:09 PM | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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