Boutique private equity firm, Root Capital, has invested £3.15 million in Keystone Law in a move that will accelerate Keystone’s already stellar growth.
The investment will be used to develop and expand the firm’s infrastructure and to acquire an equity interest from founding partner, Charles Stringer. Root will hold 35% of Keystone shares whilst its managing partner, Simon Philips, will hold a seat on the board and become actively involved in the firm’s growth.
Mr. Stringer, who occupied the roles of IT and Finance Director, will become a non-executive director but leaves his full-time role to enjoy retirement. He will also retain a small equity interest in the firm. New IT Director, Maurice Tunney, joined Keystone from FieldFisher earlier this month whilst a new Finance Director has been selected and will be joining before the end of this calendar year.
James Knight, Managing Partner of Keystone, says:
“This move signifies one of the most significant strategic developments in Keystone’s 12 year history. We have always experienced strong organic growth and this additional capital injection will help us to realise our more ambitious growth plans. Root’s investment really will enable us to rapidly improve the facilities Keystone provides to its lawyers and the service it delivers to its clients. And just as importantly, we are excited to have Root as a partner in a true sense of the word. We know them well and understand how their expertise, connections and growth skills will complement those of Keystone’s existing management.”
Root provides operational private equity to the UK Technology, Business Services, Education and Media sectors. It invests in entrepreneurial situations where there is potential to grow both revenues and profits. Simon Philips, Managing Partner of Root, says:
“We were drawn to Keystone because it stands out from the crowd as a forward thinking law firm with innovative leadership and a clear vision. It is not weighed down by a partnership and it has the infrastructure, people and processes to make huge waves in the legal market. We understand the firm’s unique culture and personality and the driving factors that make it so successful and look forward to nurturing these in the future.”
Over the past eighteen months Keystone has increased its headcount by over fifty per cent having attracted numerous partner-level solicitors from leading law firms. Keystone successfully converted to an ABS in October last year which allows the firm to structure its management team in a more effective way, as well as offer clients additional services. The firm has increased its turnover from £12.2m in 2013 to £14.1m this year and has also taken its first steps to international expansion with the successful opening of Keypoint Law in Australia.