Employee ownership trusts can significantly influence a firm’s culture and ethos, explain Howard Hackney and Mark Briegal

“Not as much as you think”, is the often-heard answer to the question: “What is my law firm worth?” – even before the issues caused by covid-19. Partners wishing to realise value have often been faced with this issue, along with the unpalatable prospect of a buyer significantly changing the ethos and culture of ‘their’ firm.

Merger activity has fallen of a cliff as a result of the uncertainties caused by the pandemic; and with declining revenues there are bound to be casualties and ‘bottom fishers’ seeking to take advantage. It is against this background that employee ownership trusts (EOTs) are being seen as a genuine alternative exit route for viable firms.

It is not a s...

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