First ‘Tesco Law’ deal for venture capital firm Smedvig Capital

A £4 million investment from Smedvig Capital into Kings Court Trust marks the first time that an outside investor has made a commitment in the private client market since the deregulation of the UK legal services market in April 2012.

Smedvig Capital has closed its latest legal-related deal, but first since the Alternative Business Structures (ABS) scheme, which allows non-lawyers to own or invest in law firms, was brought in.

Being added to the venture capital firm’s portfolio is Kings Court Trust, a probate company which provides probate and estate administration services.

The investment by Smedvig Capital has been facilitated by the deregulation of the UK legal services market (in April 2012), which has been labelled ‘Tesco Law’ due to its freeing up of the legal sector for larger players such as Tesco.

Kings Court Trust will be using its £4 million of new capital to continue with the investment it has been making in its systems and processes.

Tom Curran, CEO of Kings Court Trust, comments, ‘We believe the probate market is going to change dramatically in the next few years and Smedvig’s experience in building innovative legal businesses should stand us in very good stead.’

The deal is the second investment in the legal services field that London-based Smedvig Capital has made. Back in 2005, the firm backed conveyancing provider myhomemove and then topped it up with £3.25 million of new funding in 2009. When that deal was completed, investment firms could back conveyancing businesses but not legal firms themselves. When the ABS structure was brought in, myhomemove became the first ABS in October 2011.

More on ‘Tesco Law’:

Smedvig Capital CEO, and GrowthBusiness columnist, Johnny Hewett says that the firm has been ‘actively’ working to identify specialist legal firms with growth potential.

He adds, ‘Our starting point is always to back strong teams who put customer service at the heart of what they do and when we started looking at the probate market, Kings Court Trust immediately stood out.

‘We are very pleased to be working with Tom and his team and making our second investment in this market.’

Alan Dobie

Alan Dobie

Alan Dobie was assistant editor at Vitesse Media Plc before moving on to a content producer role at Reed Business Information. He has over 17 years of experience in the publishing industry and has held...

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