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🔒 Squarespace is going private


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If you take just one thing from this email…

Private equity firms prefer leveraged buyouts because they can get higher returns by borrowing most of the purchase money. Instead of using bank loans, firms like Permira are now borrowing from private credit funds, which are quicker but more expensive.


You might have seen a new sponsor at the top of this email — here’s the story that led to it.

I’m always speaking to new people about LittleLaw, to try and find organisations to support the newsletter and keep it free.

Some people don’t “get it” — which I understand.

But, once in a while, you meet someone who just “gets it” — they completely understand what LittleLaw’s all about (helping aspiring lawyers by making business news easier to read).

Last year, I met Carla Hoppe.

Carla’s the founder of Wealthbrite (and an ex-lawyer too).

Carla immediately believed in what LittleLaw is trying to do.

So, I’m *really* excited to announce that Wealthbrite is now a LittleLaw partner for this coming year! 🎉

Keep an eye out for more stuff we’ll be doing together in the coming months.

- Idin 

P.S. If you’re interested in hearing the story behind LittleLaw and my plans for its future, I sat down with Max from the LegalTea podcast to talk about it.

🔒 Squarespace is going private

David Harbour Snl GIF by Saturday Night Live

Credit: Giphy

What's going on here?

Squarespace, a no-code online website builder, is being taken private in a $6.9 billion deal with private equity firm Permira.

Here’s the official deal announcement if you’re interested.

How do private equity deals work?

Private equity (PE) firms borrow money to fund their deals using a structure called a leveraged buyout.

Let’s walk through how it works.

Gizmo Ltd (Gizmo) is a tech company — here are some financial details about it:

  • Annual revenue: £15 million

  • Annual tax (at 33%): £5 million

  • So this gives you an annual net revenue (annual revenue - tax) of £10 million

The sale price of Gizmo is £100 million.

A PE firm wants to buy Gizmo as it thinks there’s a lot of potential for it to expand into new markets.

Option 1 — Cash acquisition: The PE firm could give £100 million of its own money to buy Gizmo, and take 100% of the shares of the company.

That way, the PE firm would receive the £10 million per year (its annual net revenue), which represents 10% of the amount of money it put in.

So, it would take 10 years for it to be repaid in full.

Option 2 — Leveraged buyout: Gizmo has a lot of valuable assets (mainly the intellectual property of its tech, but also things like data centres and office equipment).

So, the PE firm puts in only £10 million of its own money to buy 10% of the shares of Gizmo. And for the other 90%, it raises the additional £90 million using a loan from a bank. This loan is secured against the assets of Gizmo itself — so if the PE firm can’t repay the bank at any stage, the bank can take sell those assets to get its money back.

The bank charges an interest rate of 10%, which is £9m a year, which the PE firm will pay from Gizmo’s revenue. So, if we go down this route, the companies financial information looks like this:

  • Annual revenue: £15 million - £9 million (interest payments) = £6 million

  • Annual tax (at 33%): £2 million

  • Now, this gives you an annual net revenue (annual revenue - tax) of £4 million

Yes, you do have this big interest payment to pay now. But because of the borrowing covering 90% of the sale price, the PE firm is receiving £4 million on the £10 million it input.

So, it’s now making a 40% return — it’ll take only 2.5 years for it to be repaid in full.

The higher rate of return why PE firms opt for the leveraged buyout approach instead of a cash acquisition.

(p.s. if that explanation didn’t make sense to you, watch this 5-minute video explainer)

What makes this deal different?

Well, Permira’s still going down the leveraged buyout route.

But it’s not borrowing money from a bank — which is what makes it different. Instead, Permira’s borrowing from private credit funds, which are non-bank lenders usually managed by investment firms.

In this deal, Blue Owl and Ares Capital (both being credit arms of the investment firm Blackstone) are providing $2.65 billion in financing for the deal.

Private credit funds have become *a lot* more popular in PE deals in recent years as PE funds are choosing to raise from them instead of traditional banks.

This is because these funds are less regulated than banks, which means they can lend on riskier deals that banks aren’t able to. They’re also generally able to move faster than banks, which always helps when trying to get a deal over the line.

The downside is that they’re more expensive.

But, judging by the rise in their popularity in recent years, it’s a price the borrowers are willing to pay.

Which law firms are involved in this deal?

  • 🏢 Permira is being advised by Latham & Watkins

  • 🏢 Squarespace's legal adviser is Skadden​


Trainees and paralegals — get paid while becoming more commercially aware

Big Brother Catch GIF by Big Brother Australia

There isn’t a catch.

Wealthbrite (founded by Carla, an ex-lawyer) is looking for people to receive early access to their new commercial awareness programme.

So, if you’re a trainee or paralegal (either at a law firm or in-house) and want to improve your commercial awareness, this is pretty much made for you.

What’s even better, if you share your thoughts on a video call, you can claim a £20 Amazon voucher.

* This is sponsored content


i swear i'm more worried about the citations than the actual coursework 😵


  • 🧘‍♀️ It’s Mental Health Awareness Week. LawCare, the legal charity, is encouraging the legal community to take small steps towards better mental health by incorporating movement into their daily routines. They’ve also got an event called “Let's talk about the billable hour” on Thursday (tomorrow) where they discuss the mental health impacts of the way lawyers work — check that out if you’re interested.

  • 💻️ Microsoft is still facing competition scrutiny from the European Union, with new charges expected soon. Despite Microsoft's recent move to unbundle Teams from Office 365, the European Commission believes this still isn't enough to ensure fair market competition. This follows a formal investigation sparked by a complaint from Slack in 2020. Microsoft might still offer additional changes to try to avoid further legal action.

  • 📉 The Bank of England held interest rates at 5.25% for the sixth consecutive time. But as inflation is predicted to drop to 2.5% this year, a rate cut might be coming up soon. Experts are optimistic, anticipating a potential rate cut by this summer.

  • 🧠 Goodwin Procter is supporting its neurodiverse lawyers by introducing coaching programs for lawyers with ADHD. With 12.5% of lawyers reportedly having ADHD, the firm partnered with coaches to run virtual workshops and co-working sessions. This initiative has helped lawyers become more productive and feel more connected.


  • 🤓 Nerdy: If you love maths, this pi clock displays the time using digits of pi (though, I’m guessing not too many maths lovers on a law newsletter)

  • 🏘️ Rent: This site shows the room rent prices in every area of London (or pint prices, if that’s your thing)

  • 🎥 Movies: If you’re a film buff, you’ll appreciate seeing these movies more closely by seeing them in random frame order


  • 📹️ Free application help: If you're applying to commercial law firms, check out my YouTube channel for actionable tips and an insight into the lifestyle of a commercial lawyer in London.

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