Since early June there have been protests in Hong Kong in response to a proposed bill which would allow extradition to China for crimes such as murder and rape. Extradition is the act of sending an individual back to the country or state in which a crime was committed. This is especially controversial due to the “special status” of Hong Kong which is a result of the “One Country, Two Systems” framework; a framework which gives Hong Kong an element of autonomy from China. Whilst the bill has now been formally withdrawn, it is unlikely to quell the anger of the protesters.
The legal services industry is undergoing significant disruption in a variety of areas. As pressure builds on firms to cut fees on low-value work, mergers between mid-market firms have shaken up the traditional City hierarchy. The boom in legal technology has irreversibly altered the legal landscape and it continues to demand unprecedented volumes of investment. Clients increasingly expect firms to automate lower-level work and focus their fee-earners on higher-value services. All of these developments necessitate significant up-front capital. Some firms, in their experiments with different business models, are choosing to go public.