Leeds-headquartered Plexus Law has secured private equity investment to fuel its growth and innovation plans.
Private equity firm Origin Equity has taken a minority shareholding in the firm in exchange for a £15 million investment.
The insurer law firm has obtained an alternative business structure licence from the Solicitors Regulation Authority to facilitate the investment.
Gavin Loughrey and Olivia Roberts from Origin will join the Plexus board. The existing management team will continue to run the firm, led by recent appointee Fiona Scott.
Scott joined Plexus in December from Kennedys, where she worked for four years as finance director.
As Plexus chief executive officer, she works alongside Andrew McDougall, who stepped into the role of senior partner following her appointment, as well as commercial director Tim Roberts and the senior management team.
Commenting on the investment, Scott said: “We operate in a highly competitive market and in order to thrive, we need to grow. Origin’s investment will accelerate our organic growth across the UK and Ireland, support our efforts to secure talent through lateral hires and enable us to further explore how we utilise and invest in technology.”
Explaining the decision to accept private equity investment, Scott continued: “We are in a really strong position to take on this investment. Plexus is cash rich, overdraft free and has an impressive client roster. The decision to opt for private equity investment rather than looking at a merger, IPO or becoming highly leveraged with debt, was influenced by a number of factors, notably that this approach doesn’t compromise management control.”
“In addition, the fact that it is a cash equity purchase ensures that it does not expose the business and its partners to the risk that a highly leveraged, debt funded buy in or IPO might–particularly in the current economic and political climate. It’s also important for us to ensure that we don’t preclude future talent from taking a stake in the business.”
“We believe that Origin are a fantastic match for our business. They are highly experienced and focused investors who limit their investments to one or two a year. Everyone in the team is excited about this next stage and clients have been hugely supportive.”
A statement from Origin said: “We are delighted to be supporting Plexus in their strategic growth and believe we can help the firm’s senior management team consolidate Plexus’ position as the go-to independent defendant law firm. We can also help the team further exploit advances around data management, analytics and next generation case management processing, three areas in which they have already made great strides.”
“Central to our approach is the idea of working closely with ambitious managers and with Plexus we see a huge opportunity for the firm to continue to evolve and innovate. In the current market, where transparency and client ROI is so important for professional services providers, Plexus has developed a reputation for taking an innovative approach to pricing and claims management.”