Mishcon de Reya has announced plans to float after the firm’s partnership voted in favour of a move that promises to make it the most valuable London-listed law firm at around £750m.
The top-40 UK firm said an IPO on the London stock market would enable it to 'accelerate its expansion in the provision of legal and advisory services' and to 'invest in high-growth potential opportunities'.
As part of the IPO, the firm said, every member of staff would become a shareholder in the listed business. The firm has brought in JP Morgan to advise on the possible listing, which might take place 'as early as the fourth quarter of 2021'.
This year, Mishcon is expecting to report revenues of £188m, and is currently five years into a long-term expansion strategy that aims to double its current revenue figures to £400m over the next five years.
The Financial Times reported that all the firm’s employees were set to receive shares and the aim was to float about 28% of the firm, with two people familiar with the plans estimating its potential value at about £750m.
Mishcon flagged the capital injection as a ‘key part’ of its rationale for going public, citing its intentions to raise funds to invest in attracting and retaining domestic talent as well as building out its presence in Asia following its launch in Singapore in 2020.
The potential IPO would also allow the firm to expand its non-legal branches, which include its venture capital work offering funding to tech startups, as well as its allied services, including its brand management business and its private family advisory arm, MDR Mayfair.
Kevin Gold, Mishcon’s executive chairperson, said: “I am delighted that the leadership team is mandated to explore a public listing as we look to further develop our offering to clients.
“It will enable us to invest in talent, our core areas, our allied services, as well as technology and Asia. I am also proud that my partners have decided to award shares to all staff. It means every single one of our people will have a meaningful stake in our business."
Mishcon would become one of the few UK law firms to go public on the London Stock Exchange, joining the likes of Manchester-based DWF, which became the UK’s largest listed law firm with a £366m valuation following its record £95m IPO in March 2019. The firm’s current market value is around £275m.
Shares in the UK’s listed law firms took a pummeling at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, but have since rebounded, reflecting a far better performance by most leading business law firms than was initially anticipated at the outset of the pandemic.