Morning Briefing: Former law exec secures PE millions for legal comparison site

by Steve Randall09 Oct 2015
Former law exec secures PE millions for legal comparison site
An entrepreneur who previously headed two UK law firms has secured millions of dollars in private equity funding for a new venture. Matthew Briggs, formerly of Minster Law and Brilliant Law, plans to launch The Law Superstore in 2016. The site taps into the success of insurance comparison websites and sharing apps such as Airbnb and Uber and aims to disrupt how legal services are bought. Law Firms will be able to sign up for free and those searching for advice will be matched with firms using a sophisticated algorithm. The website has a dot com registration along with a UK one, suggesting that there could be a wider footprint planned, but there is no registration for the Australian or New Zealand domains.
Jury clears law execs on some charges, deliberates on others
A jury in the US which is currently more than two weeks into deliberation on the trial of three former executives of failed law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf has found the defendants not guilty of some of the charges. Yahoo reports that the judge ordered jurors to render a partial trail verdict which cleared the former chairman, executive director and CFO of the bankrupt firm of a number of counts of falsifying business records. However there is still no consensus on around 100 other charges including the most serious, grand larceny.
The lack of agreement from the jury had led to the lengthy deliberation which according to the Wall Street Journal is taking a physical toll on jurors. One went to hospital with vertigo, another fainted on the New York subway, another fell over. The 7 women and 5 men have spent more than 80 hours deliberating and have frequently asked for clarification on some of the charges from the judge.
Australian IPO market remains strong says Minter Ellison
Law firm Minter Ellison says that the Australian IPO market remains robust in 2016 and that despite volatility in the equity markets, the low interest rates and low growth environment fuelled investor interest. Partner Daniel Scotti says that for 2016 the strong activity will continue with ASX-listed firms emboldened to undertake capital raisings to fund acquisitions given the expected healthy M&A levels.