find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Newly listed Xenith sets sights on acquisitions

Newly listed Xenith sets sights on acquisitions

Stuart Smith

Following the mould of competitor IPH, Australia’s newest publicly listed law firm group intends to pursue an aggressive expansion strategy.

Xenith IP, the holding company for Shelston IP and Shelston IP Lawyers, went public on the ASX last Friday.

Xenith managing director Stuart Smith told Lawyers Weekly the firm would seek opportunities to buy out smaller IP practices.

The approach mirrors that of IPH Holdings, another IP specialist which listed last year and has completed four acquisitions in that period.

Referencing IPH’s strategy, Mr Smith confirmed the firm’s leadership “envisage proceeding along similar lines”.

“We see scope for consolidation in the Australian market,” he said. “We have as one of our growth objectives achieving a level of quantum growth through acquisition of compatible practices to build our market share more quickly.”

While Mr Smith acknowledged IPH as a competitor, he suggested both firms had room to grow in the IP space.

“It's a fairly big market, it's quite fragmented and the market is certainly big enough to accommodate two listed players,” he said.

He confirmed the group was also looking at expansion opportunities within south-east Asia, but could not discuss specifics.

The firm also intends to continue targeting the IP market in China, in particular IP generated in China and filed in Australia.

“We've managed to achieve a pre-eminent position in Australia in relation to that market and that has a lot of growth potential in the medium to longer term,” Mr Smith said.

Reflecting on the firm’s IPO, Mr Smith suggested he was “very happy” with its performance to date.

The initial share price was $2.72 but the firm opened strongly at $3.45, before closing out Friday on $3.24.

“That's only one day of course – we're taking a long-term strategic view of this – but it's encouraging to have a strong performance at the opening,” Mr Smith said.

In his view, going public will give the group the “scale, the capability and the financial flexibility” to take advantage of growth opportunities and expand the firm’s market share.

“There is an inherent driver towards scale in the business model [of IP firms],” he said.

“Yet under the traditional partnership dynamics, mergers and acquisitions can be notoriously difficult to execute.”

However, he suggested public listing would only work for law firms in limited circumstances.

Smaller firms may lack the critical mass necessary to support a float while larger firms may not have sufficient room for growth, he suggested. Moreover, partnership dynamics have to be just right to allow a firm to undertake dramatic change.

“It's not realistically a path that all law firms could follow,” he said.

“On a number of fronts, it's necessary to have the planets aligning across a number of factors before this is an option.”

Xenith IP chair Sibylle Krieger and managing director Stuart Smith

 

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Newly listed Xenith sets sights on acquisitions
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
protest
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Blocked
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
Warning
Oct 20 2017
Lawyers warn against mandatory sentencing measures amid political jeers
Mandatory sentencing has become a topic for politicians on both sides of Federal Parliament to jostl...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...