One in 10 of the 100 biggest law firms have indicated they could seek a stock market flotation in the wake of planned rules allowing outside investment in the legal sector.
A survey of managing partners at the largest commercial practices has revealed a significant appetite for raising extra capital should ministers carry through the pledge to liberalise the tight restrictions governing law firm ownership.
Many of the biggest corporate firms have insisted they would not contemplate selling a stake in their business to outside investors.
But the survey of the leaders of the top 100 found that 10 per cent said they would be likely to seek a flotation, while one in five expected their firms to seek outside investment.
Current rules mean that only solicitors – not even barristers or tax practitioners – can be partners in law firms. But following a review by Sir David Clementi, former Bank of England deputy governor, the government plans to end the restrictions so that other professionals could become partners or investors could buy stakes in the practices.