Law firm secures investment for next phase of growth

Legal services company The Barrister Group (TBG) has secured a minority investment from LDC to drive its next phase of growth.

LDC, the private equity investor which is part of Lloyds Banking Group, has made a minority investment in TBG.

Founded in 2001, Taunton headquartered TBG is the umbrella group for well-known legal brands including Clerksroom Chambers and Clerksroom Direct. It uses its Chambers365 management software to give barristers choice over their working patterns, offering the flexibility to operate on a remote basis without the need for a physical chambers.

LDC’s investment will enable TBG to attract more barristers and instructions with its alternative chambers model, while supporting existing members and investing further in its proprietary technology to support the growth of the business.

PKF Francis Clark advised TBG’s founders throughout the process, including reviewing their options, identifying and approaching potential investors, negotiation support, deal and tax structuring.

Stephen Ward, co-founder of TBG, said: “Since we began back in 2001 as Clerksroom, we’ve wanted to make a difference to the way the Bar operates. The traditional chambers model has its place, but might not be for all barristers. Our technology and our model offer many advantages that other chambers may not be able to match. We are building the Bar of the 21st century and LDC’s experience of building tech-enabled services companies will help us take the next step in making that happen.”

PKF Francis Clark’s team comprised Paul Crocker, Tom Hicks, Isaac Moore and Damian Lannon.

Hicks said: “This investment will enable The Barrister Group to maximise the growth opportunity it has created through its innovative approach to using technology to transform the legal services market. Over the past 18 months, we have worked closely with Stephen and Harry, initially exploring their options, then creating and structuring the right transaction to achieve their ambitions. We approached potential investors, supported with negotiations and helped to select the right investment partner to help take TBG to the next level. We’re excited to see what LDC and TBG will achieve together.”

The transaction was led by investment directors Oliver Schofield and Stefan Gunn and investment manager Alex Knox at LDC in Bristol. Oliver and Stefan will join the board, with Steve Weller joining as non-executive chairman and Christina Blacklaws joining as non-executive director. Steve brings chief executive and board-level experience of working with other private equity-backed businesses and Christina brings more than 28 years’ experience of leadership in the legal sector, having held numerous non-executive positions and as a former president of the Law Society.

Oliver added: “The team at TBG is bringing disruptive tech-enabled solutions to the legal market in a move that offers greater flexibility and alternative ways of working for the Bar, whilst importantly improving access to justice for the public. TBG has the potential to revolutionise the future of the Bar by offering a real alternative to the traditional chambers model and we’re excited to support the team as they continue to pursue their growth plans.”

The transaction marks the second investment LDC’s team in the South West and Wales has completed already this year. It follows its investment in Cardiff-based Idwal, a leading provider of tech-enabled inspection services for the global commercial shipping sector.

 TBG was advised by PKF Francis Clark (corporate finance) and Harry Trick and Chris Smedley at Michelmores provided legal advice.

 LDC was advised by GT (corporate finance and tax structuring), WBD (legals), BDO (financial & tax due diligence) and Armstrong (commercial due diligence).


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