Law firm DWF aims to raise £75m in pre-Brexit March float

James Booth
DWF targets March listing (Source: Getty)

Law firm DWF said it is targeting a March listing on the London Stock Exchange, with plans to raise £75m.

That would make its listing the largest undertaken by a law firm so far, outstripping Knights which raised £50m in June.

The firm said it expects to announce the final offer price following its marketing and book-building process.

Read more: Law firm DWF announces intention to float in UK’s largest legal listing

DWF said it expects the company to have a free float of at least 25 per cent of its issued share capital.

It said it intends to use the proceeds to repay a portion of members’ capital contributions, invest in its infrastructure, to provide working capital including funding for acquisitions and to pay expenses related to the listing.

DWF said it also expects partners, who have received shares in the company in exchange for the capital they have paid into the business, to sell shares as well in connection with the offer.

Partners of the firm will be subject to a lock-up post admission which will expire in April 2024.

Shares will be released from lock-up in tranches, 10 per cent each year following the firm’s financial results, and a further 10 per cent subject to performance.

Read more: London listings in slowest start since 2010 as Brexit worries dampen market

Locked up equity will also be released in the event an individual becomes a “good leaver”, with provisions to claw back locked up equity if an individual becomes a “bad leaver” or if performance requirements are not met.

DWF said it would target a dividend payout ratio of up to 70 per cent of its profit after tax.

The firm is targeting a March admission, despite the looming Brexit date on 29 March.

Speaking to City A.M. last month, chief executive Andrew Leaitherland said he was not worried about the effect of Brexit on the float or the business.

“We are counter-cyclical business, with 65 per cent of revenue from litigation which puts us in a great position which ever way Brexit goes,” he said.

Stifel and Jefferies are acting as joint global coordinators and Zeus Capital is acting as lead manager on the transaction.