The latest law firm to list on the London Stock Exchange says it wants to be established in the top 100 by the end of this year. Gordon Dadds will become a plc after the listed Work Group conditionally offered to purchase the firm in a deal worth £18.8m.

The buying party has announced it has successfully raised £20m through a conditional placing which will primarily be used to fund further acquisitions. The acquisition represents a reverse takeover and the consolidated business is expected to be valued at £40m on admission to the AIM index.

Gordon Dadds directors say there is great scope for consolidation in the market and they will now seek to integrate larger, high-end professional services firms.

Adrian Biles, chief executive of the Gordon Dadds Group plc, said: 'There is significant opportunity to create a substantial legal practice in the UK and the proven Gordon Dadds business model is uniquely placed to be a major consolidator in this fragmented market.

'The group will provide an attractive platform for legal practices to gain the necessary scale to compete in the current market environment. The admission to AIM will provide the necessary capital for the group's next phase of development and will also serve to enhance the group's profile with clients and potential acquisition targets.'

Since 2013, Gordon Dadds has spent £3.2m building a new back-office platform and has integrated 10 firms into the business, all trading under the firm's brand.

In the financial year ending 31 March 2017, the firm recorded around £25m in turnover and adjusted profit before tax of around £2m.

Following mergers with the likes of Prolegal and Davenport Lyons, the firm now has more than 140 solicitors based in three offices.

* Meanwhile, troubled PLC Fairpoint, which owns the Simpson Millar brand, has announced it is seeking to sell its IVA business and end its lease arrangement on a property in Adlington, Lancashire. Trading in Fairpoint shares remains suspended pending the publication of annual accounts.