Legal Business Blogs

45% from the UK: Slater and Gordon acquires two firms as it builds British offering

Slater and Gordon has acquired a further two UK law firms, adding a projected £18.7m to annual revenue, and revealed plans to build its UK business to 45% of total financial year 2014/15 revenues.

The Australian-listed firm is set to acquire north-west personal injury firm Walker Smith Way for £10.3m. The deal is set to complete in April 2015 with four offices being added to the firm’s network. The other firm, Leo Abse & Cohen a specialist personal injury firm in Cardiff, will add forecast annual revenues of £8.4m when it joins in May 2015.

Funding the acquisitions is £10.4m in cash plus £3.7m in equity and a further £4.6m deferred over two years. However, the two firms will not contribute to its target of A$225m (£121.5m) in revenue from UK operations for the current financial year.

Managing director of the Slater and Gordon group, Andrew Grech, said: ‘The integration of firms acquired last year is progressing well and only this week we achieved two key integration milestones, the move to our new premises in Manchester and the completion of phase one of the implementation of a single practice and case management system in the UK. We remain on track to complete these two important projects by the end of March this year.’

Macfarlanes advised Slater and Gordon on the two acquisitions with a team led by corporate M&A partner John Dodsworth and included partner Mark Baldwin.

The additions come as the firm announced its half year results which revealed revenues of A$117.6m (£64.3m) in H1 2014/15 from UK operations, up 91.5% from A$61.4 in H1 2013/14. Firm-wide turnover increased 37.6% in the half year, from A$178.3m to A$245.3m.

Last month, Slater and Gordon confirmed it was in talks with alternative business structure Quindell over acquiring its legal services arm. The division, which operates through several brands, generated £179.6m at the end of the first half of 2014 – 139% up on H1 2013.