Legal Business Blogs

New Law leader UnitedLex targets rapid expansion after acquisition by PE heavyweight CVC

US legal services provider UnitedLex has landed a $500m war chest to capitalise on a ‘multi-billion dollar opportunity’ after private equity giant CVC Capital Partners acquired a majority stake in the business.

UnitedLex has grown to more than 2,700 lawyers, engineers and consultants since it launched in 2006, providing legal services to clients across 18 countries. It says it has signed contracts worth $1.8bn in the last 18 months, including high-profile deals with DXC Technologies and GE.

The company helps clients, which include a quarter of the global Fortune 500, assess their ‘legal ecosystem’ and provides digital solutions as to how companies can improve risk mitigation, efficiency, and cost. It works with companies, law firms and academic institutions.

Its deal with CVC, described as ‘one of the largest transactions to date with any legal services provider’, gives UnitedLex access to $500m for investment and acquisitions.

UnitedLex chief executive Daniel Reed commented: ‘As Europe’s largest private equity firm with current and past portfolio companies such as Breitling, AlixPartners, and Formula 1, CVC has the geographic reach, sector expertise, scale, and significant capital that will undoubtedly help us expand our technology development and provide clients with unique financial structuring as part of our industry-changing solutions.’

The New Law company recently talked up its UK ambitions after announcing in June it was launching a joint venture with US law firm LeClairRyan called ULX Partners. This saw more than 300 of the law firm’s staff move to the joint venture to work alongside 130 staff from UnitedLex to provide legal support services to law firms.

CVC senior managing director Siddharth Patel said it was the perfect time to provide UnitedLex with significant capital to enhance its growth and scale. He added: ‘UnitedLex has a multi-billion-dollar opportunity ahead of it, with legal services being one the few remaining verticals that is early in the penetration curve of technology, consulting, and solution delivery.’

UnitedLex’s deal follows a string of major recent investments in legal services. Earlier this month, highly-rated legal AI platform Kira Systems sealed $50m of private equity backing from New York-based Insight Venture Partner, while in May new law pioneer Lawyers on Demand secured private equity investment.