Last month my firm Russell Jones & Walker joined forces with Australia’s Slater & Gordon Lawyers, the world’s first publicly listed law firm. The move comes at a critical time of change in the UK legal industry; the Legal Services Act has opened the market to outside investment, ahead of impending changes to the personal injury sector.
I believe this development will bring security and growth for RJW, as we continue to deliver first class legal services, but now with additional resources and backing to achieve a significant change in development and growth. We intend to become the largest and most trusted provider of personal legal services within the UK.
Both firms have a similar history and ethos and we are both focused on innovation and brand development. Slater & Gordon leads the world in terms of its corporate and business structure, having publicly listed five years ago. This gives us a five year head start on any UK firm considering this option; we’re considerably ahead of the competition and with a wider pool of talent and knowledge to draw upon than before.
Our commitment to making justice and legal services accessible and affordable to all remains, but our ability to do so increases as a result of this move; this development will bring real benefits to our clients and affiliated organisations.
We’ve jointly identified the opportunities that will come as a result of the changes in the UK market and have already benefited from sharing our knowledge.
Slater & Gordon spent three years searching for the right opportunity in the UK. Similarly we announced in 2007 our intention to use external capital to create a UK legal brand and looked at all of the alternatives. This merger represents a perfect synergy as not only have we gained the depth of resource to achieve our ambition but we have done this through another independent law firm which shares very similar history as well as ongoing values.
The RJW principals and senior management are highly committed to the long term strategy of the group but it will be the growth of the firm and its people which is core to the development of a sustaining growth strategy. The new developments means a great step forward for us and we continue to attract the highest calibre candidates who would like to join us on our journey to becoming the leading law firm for personal legal services within the UK.
The emphasis will be on accelerated organic growth over the next few years. We believe that an extended platform which enables great people to do great work will attract the best talent in the UK legal market to join us on what we hope will be a very exciting journey.
Subject to regulatory approval this will all be completed by April.