A competitively well-placed legal service provider
DWF is a global provider of integrated legal and business services, with multi-jurisdictional expertise and an experienced management team. The business provides a model designed to perform through the cycle and a differentiated platform, with an established programme, to become a leader in ESG. The business offers a diverse, recurring and predictable revenue stream, with a quality M&A track record. DWF went public in 2019, being the first legal services firm to list on the London Stock Exchange Main Market.
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- Strategy: DWF’s principal strategic objective is to become the leading global provider of integrated legal and business services. Management believes that its differentiated competitive position enhances its ability to combine any number of its offerings to deliver bespoke solutions for its clients.
- Finance: The early months of trading for 2021/22 have been strong, showing continued organic revenue growth and gross margin development, with the group’s new operating model already leading to a greater sharing of clients across practice areas and countries.
- Valuation: We believe the shares’ trading multiples compare favourably with sector peers, and that they appear undemanding for a quality growth stock. Furthermore, and conservatively assuming a maintained dividend, the prospective yield of over 4% appears appealing in the current low interest rate environment.
- Risks: The group’s business depends on maintaining its existing client relationships and establishing new client relationships. Although DWF has longstanding relationships with many of its clients, these clients usually do not usually enter into long-term contracts. The group relies on retention of its partners and senior management in the locations in which it operates
- Investment summary: In our opinion, DWF offers an appealing investment, with a well-defined strategic development path and a long-term programme for creating a mid-tier growth stock with sound finances and a favourable valuation.