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Private equity investment to go ahead as Parabis wins ABS status

A law firm that handles defendant insurance litigation for the public sector has been given an alternative business structure licence.

The move will allow Parabis Law to receive investment from private equity group Duke Street.

The firm has two brands – Plexus Law and Cogent Law – and acts for both claimants and defendants. It has a turnover of £108m and employs 1,184 people.

Last month Plexus Law was one of five firms to be named to a panel set up by London boroughs for defendant insurance work. 

When Duke Street acquired a stake in Parabis in February this year, the deal valued the business at between £150m and £200m. The private equity group said it would drive consolidation in the legal market by employing its ‘buy-and-build’ model.

Parabis CEO, Tim Oliver, said: "We are excited about the possibilities that being granted an ABS licence now opens up to us. This is a great day for all connected with Parabis.”

Oliver acknowledged a sense of frustration at the time it took to secure a licence but claimed to be “very pleased with the robustness of the application process”.

He said: "We look to the SRA as our regulator to ensure legal services are delivered in a safe way by good quality professional organisations and for the protection of the public. The ABS licensing process has given us great confidence that the SRA is fully committed to discharging that obligation.”

Earlier this month, Irwin Mitchell became the largest firm so far to have achieved ABS status.