DWF confirmation that it has started the IPO process

oh ducking dear , this will not end well 

is a law firm IPO ever not an admission that the current partnership will never promote anyone and is just flogging the value to line their own pockets? 

And so we start the PFO process in response.

Who’s first?

Oh. Yes, that means you 

Interesting highlights:


If DWF decides to proceed with an IPO, the following offer structure is intended:

·    Premium listing on the Official List of the FCA and admission to trading on the Main Market of the LSE. 

·    The Company intends that it would have a free float of at least 25% and expects that it would be eligible for inclusion in FTSE UK indices. 



Selling Shareholders will be subject to a phased lock up which will expire on the announcement of the Group's financial results for the financial year ending 30 April 2024. 

·     Approximately 10% of the Shares are expected to be allocated to the trustee of DWF's discretionary trusts. This is expected to materially pre-fund the Group's future equity needs in relation to partner recruitment and promotion from existing rather than new, dilutive share issues. 

·    With respect to partner remuneration, the Group will remunerate partners on a fixed basis in the event of Admission, with the remainder of partners' remuneration primarily coming from dividend income derived from holding Shares, and, in some cases where performance warrants additional remuneration, participation in the annual bonus pool and Share Incentive Plans.

It certainly won't end well for some people, the question is who exactly.  

Do those numbers seem a bit week:


H1, 27 offices, 3100 staff, £133m revenue

law firms

meet stock market reporting requirements and insider trading rules

.....you're welcome

3 bikes, let's be honest it is bucket shop, doing commoditised work, much of it RTA's, slips and trips, where the work is barely profitable, and YOY Insurers squeeze these firms more and more. Their work is a race to the bottom.

Cue a string of partners and their teams from various deparments pissing off soon, and pity the poor Directors, and salaried partners who thought they would be made up next financial year. They won't , and the fall out and depeartures will probably significant.

There is a reason why law firms of this size haven't floated to date, mainly because law firm partnerships don't like the scrutiny that being listed brings. And , oh law firm management is generally piss poor by all accounts.

That's only 6 months numbers Fluffy, but the previous full year was £258m...

the public has never heard of any law firms, it's like telling people that you work for a childs imaginary friend

I have met Leatherland a couple of times, and he is an absoloute, ...T. So full of himself.

Lets look at the attraction from partners point of view who mostly had no say I suspect.

1) oNLY 68 of the 300 plus partners are full equity

2) All equity and FSP's will have to take a haircut of 60% of their previous annual draw/profit share with the balance being made up in divident payments. Leatherland says they will earn " about the same as before " once dividend payments are made.

3) Leatherland claims he couldn't reveal /doesn't know forecast EBITDA figures, because of the ongoing IPO, process, ummmm.

Wouldn't be for me if i was an EP there, or FSP, Lawyers are cautious risk averse in the main, I don't think many will buy it.

What happens when loads fuck off as they almost certainly will?

Very weak turnover (and probably profit) figures compared to other similarly sized firms. Cash in while you can I guess.

Have you seen the proposed "valuation" on admission being touted? Yeah right oh.

A really odd time to launch an IPO, got to be truthful here.  It's a bloody stupid time to launch one, even if the business in question was a little gem.  Which DWF isn't.

p.s. When I first read this I saw it as DWP.  Which would have been pretty punchy...

When one of the partners we used at Lawrence Graham jumped over to DWF our business guy insisted on referring to them as DFS whenever they took us out to lunch to try and get work...

So, go on then, why is now a really stupid time for them to do an IPO....

Because markets build on confidence and the chances of that increasing in the next month or two are utterly nonexistent so whichever brave broker took them on is going to have some serious work ahead of them to get anywhere near what they are looking for.

followed of course by the complete crash which will occur when we lemming off a financial cliff as a country.  Just not a good time to be changing structures in general.  Let alone a sweatshop of low value PI work.

Alternatively, get it away before it all goes to shyte and you've got no chance of getting what you are looking for by way of valuation. 

I guess it depends, as ever. But there have been a string of IPO's pulled of late, mostly I suspect to do with the Brexit debacle.


Buzz, isn'tthis your area acting on behalf of small AIM clients? I guess any client of yours who wants to be admitted to AIM, you as legal advisor are hardly going to say " don't do it" The decsion to list isn't that of the lawyers, hardly surprising that the lawyers would want to do as many as they can, regardless of the fundamentals.

Pretty tight timetable if that's the plan.  Have they even circulated the prospectus yet?


And yeah, pretty sure this is what buzz does and he's just trying to either give me enough rope to hang myself by or generally be a fascetious git!

so nurr.

Ebitda, in much the same way as you completely missed the point about Ince Gordon Dadds cash call earlier in the week, you seem to have missed the point with the references to AIM and the nomad.  They are going for an admission to the Official List 

Buzz, yes you are correct they are going for a main listing. Nonetheless, there is a reason why a string of IPO's have been pulled, and that is in respect of companies who have way better fundamentals than the dogs dinner that is DWF. This is the fir that reneged on LPC fees for his trainees. If you work from home, or want to, you have to buy their work from home "kit" at £5 to 7k a pop. 

1) Shit business

2) Shit commoditised work

3)  shit Tiny profit

4) Shit management 

5) Shit and unstable political landscape

This is a vanity exersise for AL

What do you reckon under or oversubscribed....

Buzz did you pitch for this mandate can I ask, or was it a bit too big as it were. Serious question BTW

Not my bag at all. A bit of oil and gas E&P and mining in the dirtier depths of AIM yes but not Official List stuff.

Fair does. Just before Christmas they had a slew of equity partners, and their teams doing high end profitable construction litigation piss off. Guess they didn't like the cut of Leatherlands gib

"If you work from home, or want to, you have to buy their work from home "kit" at £5 to 7k a pop. "


Come again?? 

3 bikes, you heard that correct. They provide a home working kit, to enable you to WFH. Compuer, desk, chair,modem, fax, copier, phone, and various hardware and software. Bit it must be bought from DWF, if you want toWFH, that's the deal buy their "home office kit"

And as reported they made offers to future trainees, where they contracted to pay a living grant, and LPC fees. Then after the poor sods accepted, they withdrew the offer of a grant and payment ofLPC fees. Absoloutley shocking behaviour and firm by all accounts.

They’re obviously a bag of cvnts, let the market decide eh.

@ buzz and again, indeed they are. When you return the home office kit, they buy it back off you at less than you paid, and resell the kit at full initial price to the next victim. If I worked there, I would want to WFH as much as possible, I guess for some it is worth it not having to go in to the office.

Insofar as the trainee contracts debacle they cited" a re0rginisation of costs associated with the recruitment and the firm more widely" Shortly thereafter Leatherland is swanning about in a chauffer driven Bentley for his exclusive use. Appaling.

Wiki says they were going for a valuation more of than a £billion, For what? No recognised brand name, clients will move, any good lawyers will leave as soon as they can. Then it will collapse.

If landlords and banks had any sense they would take personal guarantees from partners if there was a danger of collapse 

Particularly if their has been any suggestion of 'financial engineering ' such as 'reverse premium 'bollocks 

Ebidta - that is b*ll*cks - you absolutely do not need to buy a wfh kit to wfh - agile working is positively encouraged and fee earners are given laptops to enable them to do so. Great work life balance, very much in favour of the 'life' element