LONDON, January 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Russell Jones & Walker and Australia's Slater & Gordon Lawyers, the world's first publicly listed law firm, are to join forces.
The move comes at a critical time of change in the UK legal industry as the Legal Services Act opens the market to outside investment and ahead of impending changes to the personal injury sector.
RJW Chief Executive Officer Neil Kinsella said the announcement would bring security and growth.
"We will continue to deliver first class legal services, but as a result of today's announcement we will have the resources and backing to develop and grow," Mr Kinsella said.
"We want to become the largest and most trusted provider of personal legal services in the UK."
"Our commitment to making justice and legal services accessible and affordable to all remains, but our ability to do this increases as a result; this development will bring real benefits to our clients and affiliated organisations."
Mr Kinsella said becoming part of Slater & Gordon will put RJW ahead of the competition and provide a wider pool of talent and knowledge.
"In Slater & Gordon we have found the perfect partner; a firm with a similar history and ethos to RJW. We are also joining a firm focussed on innovation and one which is ahead of the pack in terms of its corporate and business structure. Slater & Gordon publicly listed five years ago which gives us a five year head start on any UK firm considering this option."
"We have jointly identified the opportunities that will come as a result of the changes in the UK market and have already benefited from sharing our knowledge. The potential to share technology and have greater resources to retain and attract additional talented people will underpin our future success."
Slater & Gordon Managing Director Andrew Grech said while the UK had a similar legal jurisdiction to Australia, it had spent three years searching for the right opportunity in the UK. "In RJW we have found a great firm built on values which are very aligned with our own. The team at RJW gives us confidence that we have the right people on the ground with local knowledge to achieve our joint aspiration of being the first choice for personal legal services in the UK".
The RJW principals and senior management are highly committed to the long term strategy of the group and will remain in place for at least three years. All of the equity owners of RJW have taken a substantial proportion of the consideration as shares in the ASX listed Slater & Gordon demonstrating their confidence in and commitment to the group.
Subject to regulatory approval, the acquisition of Russell Jones & Walker should be completed by April. The full text of today's announcement can be found on the website of the Australian Securities Exchange (http://www.asx.com.au) under Slater & Gordon (SGH).
Slater & Gordon announced its intention to acquire RJW in an announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) this evening AEST. The full text of today's announcement can be found on the website of the Australian Securities Exchange (http://www.asx.com.au) under Slater & Gordon (SGH). Slater & Gordon was the first law firm in the world to list on a stock exchange in 2007.
SOURCE Russell Jones & Walker