Private Equity Eyes Law Firms As Next Target

  • 3 months ago
Law firms are a lucrative $400 billion market that has long been shielded from outside ownership. In search of fresh turf, buyout firms may soon be hunting among the gray flannel suits.

It's rough being a lawyer. And no, that’s not the set-up for a joke.
Landing a job at a top-notch white-shoe law firm offers a mix of glamor, prestige, and a hefty paycheck. But that money often comes with a high cost to personal happiness.

On the flip side, going solo promises more control over your life and might even lead to actually enjoying your work. But there’s an under-discussed challenge with going it alone: figuring out an exit strategy when you’re ready to retire.

Several factors play into this, but one is unmistakable: the legal sector might just be the only field where private equity has yet to stake a claim. Lacking access to the deep pockets, operational expertise (and to some extent, a cutthroat, profit-first mentality), the industry lags. Unlike say medicine or dentists practices, law firms tend to be stubbornly set in their ways and, at the big firms at least, operated mostly for the benefit of partners whose concerns for the future may wane once they retire—if they ever do.

Brandon Kochkodin, a reporter for Forbes, joins “Forbes Talks” to discuss why law firms could be private equity’s next conquest.

0:00 Introduction
0:18 Who Are Three Big Names Practicing Law Right Now
2:43 The Challenges Of Selling A Law Firm As A Private Equity Gain
5:00 The Key Factors That Hinder Growth In The Law Field
6:19 About Lee Minkoff, Renovus Capital- Managing Director
7:26 Why Private Equity In Law Firms May Not Be Favorable
11:41 Colleges Interested In External Investments At Key Law Firms

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