How to find a buyer for your law practice

how to find a buyer for your law practice

Deciding to sell your business could be one of the biggest decisions you ever make. Selling a law firm is more complex than typical business sales and purchases. Compliance with SRA regulations is crucial, requiring consideration of various factors. These include notifying clients about the firm sale and managing the completion of pending cases before closing the law firm. More information on selling your firm can be found on the Law Society’s website.

Whether you decide to sell your solicitors practice due to changes in the legal market, financial hardship, or due to the retirement of a sole practitioner, finding a buyer for your firm will be one of the most challenging factors you face.

Recovery First provide some useful advice on finding a buyer for your firm, and offer an alternative solution to finding a single purchaser using the Recovery First method.

Selling to multiple purchasers using the Recovery First method

If you are considering how to find a buyer for your law practice, you may not have to. Recovery First offer an alternative to selling your law firm to a single purchaser. We provide a method of running off your Work in Progress (WIP) files by selling them to our panel of solicitors.

The firms on our panel assist by taking on part-run cases and running them to conclusion. On the successful conclusion of each case, the solicitors then pass their obtained files onto an independent cost drafting firm to assess each case so that they can allocate a fair split of costs. The benefit of running off files in this manner is that we can ensure that you retain the value of your WIP in a fully outsourced, managed, and compliant manner.  

 

How to find a single buyer for your law practice

Finding a single buyer for a law practice in England can be a multi-step process. Listed below are some steps you can take to increase your chances of finding a suitable buyer:

  • Prepare for the sale: Law firm sales can be complex, so it is important to plan for the sale in advance. It may take 2-3 years to fully prepare for the sale, and you should always inform the SRA that you are planning to sell your law firm. 
  • Engage a specialist advisor as early as possible: Consider hiring a specialist advisor who has experience in selling law practices. They can provide guidance, assist with valuation, and help you navigate the process effectively.
  • Confidentiality and disclosure: Maintain confidentiality throughout the process to protect the interests of your clients and employees. However, potential buyers will need certain information to evaluate the practice, so be prepared to disclose relevant details under appropriate confidentiality and disclosure agreements.
  • Discreetly market your practice: Create a marketing plan to discreetly reach potential buyers, ensuring you highlight the unique selling points and value proposition of your law practice.
  • Engage with potential buyers: When enquiries regarding the sale start coming in, engage with potential buyers to assess their suitability. Consider factors such as their experience, expertise, financial stability, and cultural fit with your practice. Arrange meetings or discussions to explore their intentions and capabilities further.
  • Due diligence: When a potential buyer shows serious interest, engage in a due diligence process. Provide them with the necessary documentation, financial statements, client information, and any other relevant details they need to evaluate the practice thoroughly. Similarly, request information from the buyer to ensure they have the resources and qualifications to acquire your practice.
  • Negotiate and finalise the sale: When a suitable buyer is identified, negotiate the terms of the sale. Seek legal and financial advice to ensure the agreement protects your interests. Address key aspects such as the sale price, payment terms, transition plan for clients and staff, and any post-sale obligations or warranties.
  • Notify clients and manage the transition: As part of the sale process, inform your clients about the upcoming transition and introduce them to the new owners. Ensure a smooth handover of client files, active cases, and ongoing responsibilities. Maintain clear communication to minimise disruptions and build trust with clients during the transition period.

 

Why choose Recovery First?

The Recovery First model is the best choice for firms looking for a structured exit strategy. We offer many benefits to firms wishing to sell their practice, including a methodology which:

  • Is SRA compliant and ensures clients are protected
  • Provides compliant formal commercial contracts between all parties
  • Manages the transfer process of live matters from original firm to our panel firms
  • Provides financial management of the costs recovery process, including the allocation and distribution of funds
  • Gives you access to a dedicated, experienced management team to oversee the process from investigation to conclusion

Whatever the reason for selling your firm, Recovery First will ensure the most positive and profitable outcome is achieved. The unique scheme offered by Recovery First is suitable for both law firms and professional advisors. Our team manage the transfer of files from start to finish; placing case files with an approved law firm so as to protect the integrity of the client’s case.

We guarantee 100% confidentiality for all clients. If you have been considering how to find a buyer for your law practice and would like to find out more about the Recovery First process, feel free to get in touch today using the contact information or fill in the form on our “Contact Us” page, and we will be in touch.

 

    It's never too late to speak to Recovery First. Contact us now in the strictest confidence

    Sally Dunscombe:

    sally.dunscombe@recoveryfirst.co.uk

    David Johnstone:

    david.johnstone@recoveryfirst.co.uk

    Telephone:

    01357 440140

    Manchester Address

    106 Kennedy Building

    Murray Street

    Manchester

    M4 6HS

    Registered Address: 

    North Torfoot

    Drumclog

    Strathaven

    ML10 6QG