A niche London legal practice styled as the only UK firm focusing on public service delivery is seeking external investment after becoming an alternative business structure (ABS).

TPP Law Limited, based in Bankside, central London, was founded over a decade ago by current managing director Mark Johnson, a former Devonshires partner. It focused on public-private partnership and government projects, targeting smaller schemes for which large firms’ fees were prohibitive. It also works with charities and social enterprises.

One of Johnson's co-directors is solicitor Owen Willcox, formerly of Lawrence Graham and previously head of legal and democratic services at Harlow District Council.

Johnson said: 'TPP Law was established as a limited company in 2001, which offered a modern and progressive business format for a law firm. Because we have a non-lawyer among our management team, we are now required to convert to ABS status. Although we remain the same legal entity, adopting this format will provide us maximum flexibility for the future development of our successful public services practice in a very challenging market.

'In particular, it will help in addressing the twin challenges of raising additional working capital for expansion through attracting outside investment and in securing market share through collaboration.’

Johnson told the Gazette that entities interested in investing are likely to comprise multidisciplinary consultancies, perhaps including professional services firms working mainly in the accountancy field or property services. 'Exploratory conversations’ have already taken place, he said.

He added: 'The five-month process of obtaining approval has been rigorous and demanding and has involved extensive checks by the Solicitors Regulation Authority on the capabilities of our management team, our business plan and governance structure. It is a seal of approval and a further guarantee for our public sector, corporate and charities clients that we are well-positioned for the future.’