Publicly-traded Aussie firm acquires UK firm

Today's news carries the announcement that the world's first publicly traded firm, Australia's Slater & Gordon, has acquired the UK 144-lawyer plaintiff's personal injury firm Russell Jones & Walker for £53.8 million. Slater & Gordon's managing director remarks, "The goal is to be the leading direct consumer brand in the U.K." The story is here: http://bit.ly/ADy5xl

US ethics rules would create many impediments to such a deal: it involves non-lawyer owners, including among the firm's staff, and also a three-year lock-in of Russell Jones' senior management. But one has to wonder how such pressure will impact the US legal market, particularly when the publicly-traded firms are those that service global corporations -- and thus compete directly with US-based global firms.