The Manchester-headquartered law firm is gearing up to float on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in a move expected to make up to £1 billion.
If given the go-ahead by the firm’s partnership, the flotation will be the largest in legal history and could see a small number of DWF’s top brass trouser £10 million each in shares.
In a statement , the firm says an initial public offering would enable it to invest further in information technology and connected services. ’As a business which is committed to “doings things differently” it is also important to consider alternative structures which can set us apart from other legal businesses. To that end, we have been considering a number of strategic options for our business, including the possibility of an IPO on the London Stock Exchange.
’If we were to proceed with an IPO, we believe that it would enable us to achieve our strategic objectives more quickly, while also enhancing our ability to attract and retain the best talent and to incentivise our people by aligning them through offering ownership within the business.
’We are focused on an IPO, however, a number of options are available to us, and we can still continue to build on our success to date, with the support of our clients, under our current structure. For the time being, it is very much business as usual for us, our clients and our business partners as we continue to focus on delivering the excellent service which our clients have come to expect of us.’
In the past 12 years DWF has grown from a small Manchester firm with a £34 million turnover to an international law practice with 30 offices, including 11 in the UK. Last year its revenues were £201 million.
Its has expanded rapidly in the past 18 months, opening offices in Istanbul, Qatar and Newcastle in southeast Australia so far this year. Last year it opened six offices in Berlin, Brisbane, Melbourne, Milan, Paris and Singapore.