Palamon Capital invests in Quality Solicitors in 2011

A private equity firm bought a majority stake in Quality Solicitors, a network of high street law firms, in what is thought to be the first investment following the deregulation of the legal profession – dubbed Tesco law – which will allow external investment and flotations by law firms for the first time.

Palamon Capital Partners, which owns stakes in Towry, the financial adviser, and Cambridge Education Group, is thought to have invested upwards of £10m ($16m) into Quality Solicitors although exact details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Quality Solicitors was co-founded by London Business School alumnus Saleem Arif in 2008 when it pitched for its first round of funding from Enterprise 100.

Today, it is a network of 150 small law firms marketing themselves under the umbrella brand, which is aiming to be instantly recognisable to consumers following the introduction of the Legal Services Act. The broad aim of the legal reforms is to simplify the provision of legal work, such as will writing or conveyancing, making it more akin to everyday shopping – hence the “Tesco law” label. The reforms will allow non-law firms to offer legal services and even allow law firms to float on the stock exchange. Palamon’s investment will come from its €670m European Equity II fund to help Quality Solicitors to build up its operations and marketing and enable it to become a household name.

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