Law firm consolidators have made significant acquisition moves.
Listed firm Knights plc revealed it had agreed to buy Sheffield practice Keebles LLP for £11.5m, taking on 138 fee-earners when the deal is completed on 11 June. The 10 Keebles equity partners will share £5m in cash upfront and receive 800,000 shares worth £3.5m. Further cash payments amounting to £3.13m will be paid in instalments over the next two years.
Knights has now bought 13 firms in the past three years, committing more than £40m in upfront payments.
National firm Metamorph Group, which promotes itself as a legal practice consolidator, acquired Southampton-based Beeton Edwards, having already integrated three other businesses in the last year.
Beeton Edwards, which has a team of 12, is now one of 11 law firms in the Metamorph network.
Metamorph executive chairman Tony Stockdale said: ‘2021 will see us outperform our targets and continue towards our objective to become one of the leading law groups focused on the private client market.’
Meanwhile, international network ETL Global has bought a 51% share in top-200 London firm Laytons LLP to complement existing investment in the Manchester practice Glaisyers Solicitors. Both firms will rebrand to incorporate the ETL name, with Glaisyers providing business support to Laytons and a ‘major investment’ in technology infrastructure.
The ETL Global network covers 17,000 people in 50 countries and has previously focused on the accountancy sector.