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Editor's blog | Catching the eye of the dragon

Firms eager to attract external capital will have to work harder at showing their potential as businesses

13 July 2012

Ears pricked up on the high street at the news a month ago that Dragons’ Den James Caan was looking to invest into law firms. For lawyers on the high street worried at the arrival of new entrants, this gave hope of a dignified way out. No more nightmares about empty waiting rooms and declining profits as clients queued up outside Co-op Legal Services down the road. Instead, smaller practices could dream once again of bustling offices and lush profit margins, with venture capitalists taking on the risk.

But roll back to the early days of the Legal Services Act and the take on external investment was very different. Australia’s Slater & Gordon, the only firm at the time to have gone down this route, was seen as an oddity, the exception confirming the rule. Now three independent surveys in different parts of the sector have returned comparable results, suggesting t...

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