strong>Claims-related legal services firm Keoghs has plans to expand and develop following the support of private equity investor LDC.
The deal comes following the implementation of the Alternative Business Structure (ABS) which allows legal services firms to accept outside shareholders.
Keoghs has previously submitted an application to the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA) to become an ABS.
LDC’s investment sees the firm take a 22.5 per cent shareholding in Keoghs, a 44 year-old business which exclusively focuses on defendant insurance work.
The cash received from LDC will now allow the Bolton and Coventry-based firm to continue to invest in its people, processes and technology infrastructure whilst also providing capital for potential ‘strategic’ acquisitions to add scale.
John Whittle, chief executive of Keoghs, comments, ‘This is an important stage in our development. Securing support of a long-term investor like LDC enables us to accelerate our growth strategy and invest significantly for the benefit of our clients, ensuring we’re able to meet the sector’s complex, evolving requirements and improve outcomes.’
LDC has beaten off competition from private equity firm Bowmark Capital to close the deal. John Garner, director at LDC, adds, ‘Keoghs occupies a position of real strength in the defendant insurance sector, with a well-earned reputation for quality and cost effective service.
‘We’re excited about the opportunity to support the firm’s continued expansion and development as an ABS in an evolving and growing market.’
The ABS structure, which has been dubbed Tesco Law as it theoretically allows supermarkets to offer legal services alongside normal products, came into effect in October 2011 and has so far seen the likes of Co-operative submit applications.
Other equity investments have come in the form of DLA Piper’s backing of LawVest in October 2011 when it became a minority shareholder.