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  • Writer's pictureKirk Hartley

The Ultimate Litigation Funding – Private Equity Buying Law Firms – Now AmLaw Really Se

Everyone is starting to see the obvious. The cover story of the current issue of American Lawyer dramatizes a private equity firm making a 2020 purchase of a major law firm. The issue also includes this article which notes that outside investment in law firms takes hold next year in the UK.

The article includes predictions that American law firms will be the subject of outside investment by non-lawyers within 15-20 years. It may well take that long because some of our states are mired in the past, and are driven by parochial local interests. If it takes that long, US lawyers will have ceded much to the rest of the world. The move to a fully entrepreneurial model for law has been obvious since Slater & Gordon went public back in 2007, and as contingent fees have taken off around the world.

When private equity will soon be able to buy law firms, one wonders why the US Chamber of Commerce keeps fussing about litigation funding. After all, buying law firms is the ultimate form of litigation funding. But, delaying the inevitable no doubt suits the short-term goals of too many.

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