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Slater & Gordon eyes Aussie invasion

It set up shop in the UK barely a year ago and, already, law firm Slater & Gordon is planning an Aussie invasion.

The 78-year-old Melbourne company says it intends to expand aggressively into the British market after its early foray proved very profitable.

Slater & Gordon on Wednesday lifted its first half net profit to $19.1 million, up 61 per cent from the previous corresponding period.

Total revenue also jumped 46.5 per cent to $145.7 million.

Nearly a quarter of that, or $34.3 million, came from its British arm.

The company now boasts more than 400 staff in 10 locations across the UK after it acquired local firm Russell Jones & Walker last April.

"It's a market which is undergoing quite a lot of regulatory change at present and we see that change as auguring in some real opportunities," managing director Andrew Grech told AAP.

"We have positioned ourselves to be at the forefront of those changes and certainly intend our growth and expansion there to be quite aggressive over the next few years to take advantage of those opportunities."

The changes relate to legislation introduced in October 2012 allowing law firms to be owned by non-legal practitioners.

Australia and the UK are the only two jurisdictions in the world that have such laws, which is how Slater & Gordon became the globe's first publicly listed law firm.

Also working in their favour, Mr Grech added, were recent changes to conditions around personal injuries litigation.

"This year, the UK business will grow organically by about eight to 10 per cent," he said.

And with plans for more acquisitions, Mr Grech is very optimistic about the company's overseas venture.

"Given the size and scale of the UK market, our expectation is that within the next few years the UK business will be 50 per cent of (our total) revenues," he said.

Locally, the law firm's strong growth was boosted by its `Not A Problem' advertising campaign, which delivered a double-digit increase in new client inquiries.

The company also successfully settled class actions against Australian-based crop protection company Nufarm and Sigma Pharmaceuticals in the first half.

At 1540 AEDT, shares in Slater & Gordon were up four cents, or 1.69 per cent, at $2.40 after announcing it would maintain its full year revenue guidance of $290 million.

Shareholders will be paid a fully-franked interim dividend of 2.75 cents per share.