Millions of pounds have been wiped off the value of stockmarket-listed law firms in recent days as a market rout triggered by the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus intensifies.

The hitherto buoyant commercial pioneer Gateley has lost nearly 16% of its value in the last week alone. This morning the shares were off 2% at 170p, down from 202p a week ago. A multimillion-pound sell off by partners and staff on 18 February, when the shares stood at 206p, now looks very well timed.



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All of the shares monitored by the Gazette have dipped sharply in the last seven days. At just 40.1p Ince Group is trading at barely a third of its value in early January, when the shares stood at 115p. Ince is down 12% in value on last Friday.

DWF has suffered a more modest fall of 5% since last Friday, while RBG (Rosenblatt) is down 14%. The highly acquisitive Knights was trading at 430p this morning, down 2% on the day and 12% on the week.

The worst affected stock today however was litigation funder Burford, which issued a profit warnng earlier this month. Burford shares were down 10% in early trading at 495.6p though they staged a partial recovery by lunchtime. A week ago they stood at 616.5p.

Equity markets worldwide have tumbled in the last week in what the Financial Times has described as a ‘flight to safety’. The FTSE 100 this morning dipped to its lowest level for four years.