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Chambers and Partners sold again

Chambers and Partners has been sold again. This time to Abry Partners. What does this deal mean for law firms?

Chambers and Partners has been sold for £400mn to US investment group Abry Partners, reports the Financial Times. The former owners of UK private equity firm Inflexion are netting about four and half times its initial investment.

Founded in 1990, Chambers is a distinguished legal research company that specializes in providing comprehensive rankings of legal professionals and firms operating in more than 200 countries across the globe.  Chambers has earned a reputation for being a trusted provider of authoritative legal rankings widely used by businesses, academic institutions, and legal professionals worldwide.  

Interestingly, the new owners also hold Chambers competitors’ Best Lawyers. The latter do not research law firm matters but build their rankings on pure references. That is a lesser-quality method, as explained in the Law Firm Rankings Report.

What does this deal mean to law firms and the legal industry?

1. Confirming the value of rankings.

The 30-year-old debate if rankings are worth it can now be answered with a large number. Only that kind of money can be made if all participants in the legal industry are using the rankings.

And since the new owners want to increase the value even further, there surely must be an even higher market value available.

2. Costs for law firms

I would not be surprised if the costs for commercial products like ads and the insight report increase. Or Chambers will create new services that can add a specific value.

3. Extensive matter research validated

After WWL started switching from a purely referential research approach, like Best Lawyers, to an extensive matter-research approach, like Chambers, it seems like the owners of Best Lawyers are also moving towards the comprehensive research approach.

That is a clear validation of the more solid research approach.

4. Will the new owners merge Best Lawyers with Chambers?

That would be counterproductive. We believe that the owners will keep both brands but maybe enhance the research process of Best Lawyers. That would make sense since there are now many researchers available.

Also, we will surely see combination sales offers from Chambers and Best Lawyers. 

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