Shares in international firm DWF, the only legal practice to list in its own right on the main market of the London Stock Exchange, slumped to a record low this morning as markets reacted to the latest news on the coronavirus crisis. At one stage shares were trading at 69.6p before recovering to 87p.
In an update to the market today, DWF Group plc said: 'Whilst the group has, to date, shown strong revenue growth year on year, the final quarter of each financial year is typically the most important to the group's financial performance, and has coincided with the COVID-19 outbreak in the group's key markets.
'As a consequence, the board now estimates that group revenue for the financial year ending 30 April 2020... will show high single-digit organic growth and total growth of between 15% and 20%, which is below management's previous expectations.'
The payment of any final dividend for will be determined later in the year, the announcement stated.
It is just a year since DWF floated on the main market with an initial public offering at 122p. In January this year the business capped a year of growth by announcing the acquisition of legal outsourcing business Mindcrest for £14.2m.
On the junior AIM market, shares in Knights Group Holdings have also taken a hit, slumping to 342.9p today before recovering to 360. The movement followed the announcement that Knights had issued 680,911 new ordinary shares of 0.2 pence each in connection with the completion of the acquisition of Fraser Brown Solicitors.
Meanwhile challenger firm Keystone, whose lawyers keep a share of the revenue they generate, working remotely or through shared office space, issued a trading update stressing its resilience and strong cash position. However, the firm will not be recommending a dividend when it announces results for the year ended 31 January 2020 as it is too early to estimate the impact of Covid-19 on trading in the current year.