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09 August 2013

US's Jacoby & Meyers plans global consumer offering

America's largest consumer law firm is to link up with a UK law firm in a bid to become the largest privately-owned, full service consumer legal group in the world.

By Charlotte Mullen

J&M Europe venture in UK could soon become an ABS QQ7

Jacoby & Meyers has formed a new venture with London-based private equity and corporate law firm MJ Hudson to create Jacoby & Meyers Europe Limited (J&M), Newsday reports. The firm plans to seek Alternative Business Structure (ABS) status in the UK leading to a global consumer offering and is looking to go on the acquisition trail within the UK and Europe to create a global consumer law powerhouse. 

Major disruption

MJ Hudson chair Matthew Hudson described the venture as ‘a major disruption to the US legal profession’s status quo, as Jacoby & Meyers takes the lead in the US, adapting to worldwide changes and innovations in the legal industry.’
The US firm has been seeking to press the US to follow the UK ABS model which allows law firms to have external non-lawyer equity ownership and funding. The firm has filed lawsuits in a number of states to challenge non-lawyer investment rules. ‘Without those changes the practice of law in the US is in danger of falling behind the rest of the world,’ said Mr Hudson. MJ Hudson was started by former SJ Berwin private equity partner Matthew Hudson three years ago with private equity backing whilst Jacoby & Meyers was set up in 1073 and have grown to 130 offices across 50 US states.


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