Private equity investor Duke Street today confirmed an investment of up to £200m in personal injury umbrella firm Parabis Group in the latest City move into the legal sector.
The legal and claims management company, which trades under the names of Plexus Law (defendant firm) and Cogent Law (claimant firm), has already applied for alternative business structure status in advance of the deal.
In an announcement, Duke Street confirmed it had bought a ‘significant stake’ in the group and valued the deal at between £150m and £200m. The investor has been expected to move into the legal market since 2007 when the Legal Services Act was passed.
It expects revenues of around £160m in the first full financial year from a group that has grown revenues by 25% in the past four years.
Parabis chief executive Tim Oliver and commercial director Tim Roberts will remain with the business, with Duke Street operating partner Paul Lester becoming chairman on completion of the deal. His fellow operating partner, former chief executive of insurance firm Aviva, will also join the Parabis board.
Duke Street partner Iain Kennedy said: ‘The attractions of Parabis are clear: a market leader with an unrivalled track record of revenue and profit growth, a differentiated business model, and the best management team in the industry.
‘The intention is to support management with Duke Street’s operational expertise in transforming the business from a professional services firm to a business process outsourcer, and to drive the continued consolidation of the legal services industry via Duke Street’s successful buy-and-build model.’
The Parabis Group, formed in 2002, handles 200,000 cases a year, covering areas including claims management outsourcing, rehabilitation, loss adjusting and health and safety assessment.
The deal will need the approval of the Solicitors Regulation Authority, which is expected by the end of next month.
Duke Street, based in London and Paris, was founded in 1988 as Hambro European Ventures and bought out from Hambros in 1998.