Archive: August, 2007
Back in May, Australian personal injury law firm Slater & Gordon (ASX:SGH) captured attention as the first law firm to float on a public exchange. Listed at a dollar per share, S&G popped on day 1, up about 40% and since then has risen more than 80% above its listing price (A$1.80+ by the end of August).
This month, another Australian firm, Integrated Legal Holdings (ASX:IAW), also listed, no doubt hoping for similar results. But for reasons not yet clear, ILH has so far proved to be a fizzer. Despite being oversubscribed, ILH has suffered a steady slide, down from its original issue price of 50 cents, closing around 35 cents by the end of August (a fall of about 30%).
What’s the difference?
ILH did float on a jittery day for the Australian markets. But since that day the overall market index is up, and ILH is well and truly down.
If you think document assembly is the ant’s pants and you’re keen to roll it out to your business, be prepared. There’s one question that always comes up, and you’ll need a good answer.
“What’s the business case?”
This question is the corporate equivalent of “show me the money” and your answer will need to be a little bit more elaborate than simply declaring that “it’s hot”. That line only works for Paris Hilton.
In our experience, there are three scenarios where the document assembly business case is particularly strong. If your business fits any of these, you should have a good shot at making things happen. If not, try to find a part of the business that does.
This might well be the quote of the year:
Alternative fees are like teenage sex. There are more people talking about it than doing it. And those that are doing it don’t know what they’re doing.
Jeffrey Carr, general counsel at FMC Technologies
For the latest on the the much-talked-about death of the billable hour, check out this Law.com article: Are Big Firms Warming Up to Alternative Fee Deals?