Private equity investors have injected at least £10m into a barristers’ chambers looking to turn the traditional model on its head.
LDC, part of the Lloyds Banking Group, has committed an ‘eight-figure’ minority investment into The Barrister Group in what is believed to be the first time private equity has turned to the barristers' profession.
TBG, which is the umbrella group for legal brands such as Clerksroom Chambers and Clerksroom Direct, will use the money to attract more barristers and instructions and enhance a tech-enabled remote chambers model.
Stephen Ward, co-founder of TBG, said: ‘Since we began back in 2001 as Clerksroom we’ve wanted to make a difference to the way the bar operates.
‘The traditional chambers model has its place, but might not be for all barristers. Our technology and our model offer many advantages that other chambers may not be able to match. We are building the bar of the 21st century and LDC’s experience of building tech-enabled services companies will help us take the next step in making that happen.’
Investors are believed to have been keen on the model of allowing barristers to choose the hours and locations they want. The management software Chambers365 has been developed to enable this to happen.
Christina Blacklaws, non-executive director of TBG, said: ‘Many may ask why LDC has chosen to invest in TBG. This isn’t only an investment in a barristers’ chambers. It’s an investment in legal technology, an investment in opening up the profession to a wider pool of talent and an investment in access to justice whereby instructing solicitors and members of the public can access counsel quickly and efficiently.
‘It’s also an investment in an alternative way of working at and with the bar which allows greater choice for a profession whose wellbeing is a common cause of concern.’
Ward said the group, which has around 240 barristers, wants to raise awareness that people and businesses can access legal services directly.
Oliver Schofield, investment director at LDC, added: ‘The team at TBG is bringing disruptive tech-enabled solutions to the legal market in a move that offers greater flexibility and alternative ways of working for the bar, whilst importantly improving access to justice for the public.
‘TBG has the potential to revolutionise the future of the Bar by offering a real alternative to the traditional chambers model and we’re excited to support the team as they continue to pursue their growth plans.’
This article is now closed for comment.