AF Legal founder steps aside from MD role to focus on client acquisition tech

AF Legal founder steps aside from MD role to focus on client acquisition tech

On the same day AF Legal (ASX: AFL) has announced sales and profit growth as it expands its family law practices nationwide, the company's founder is stepping away from management to focus on a strategic project for generating future growth.

The Sydney-based company has today reported a 39 per cent increase in revenue to $6.9 million for FY20, along with a 41 per cent jump in underlying EBITDA to $1.7 million.

Since completing a backdoor listing in May last year, the group has opened additional offices in Brisbane, Canberra, the Sunshine Coast and Adelaide, and it has tailored its services to the new reality with COVID-19.

The pandemic prompted AF Legal to launch its 'AFL Assist' offering to appeal to a broader demographic, and in the last two months of the financial year it notched record monthly revenue and file openings.

An international agreement was also signed in FY20 with the UK's largest family law firm Stowe Family Law.

With this momentum underway, the board has made the call to immediately put executive chairman Grant Dearlove in the managing director's role, while outgoing MD Edward Finn (pictured) - the company's founder and largest shareholder - will now chair a market advisory board focused on further development of client acquisition engine AFL 2.0.

Finn says the new management structure reflects the next step in the growth, maturity and evolution of the business.

"As the founder and largest shareholder my primary focus is the enduring success of the business and I can best contribute to this by focusing my skills on the continued refinement and improvement of our client acquisition engine, AFL 2.0," he says.

"Since listing, it has become apparent that our exceptional management team of Grant Dearlove, Stace Boardman (COO) and Glen Dobbie (executive director) are best placed to manage the day to day operations through the next phase of growth. I continue to strongly support their efforts."

Dearlove says the management structure update best utilises the individual skillsets of the team.

"Collectively, we have an outstanding legal, management, finance and marketing team and this enables us to focus on our respective strengths to maximise value for shareholders," he says.

"Personally, I am looking forward to assuming greater managerial responsibility at a time when we are incredibly optimistic about executing on the various growth and pipeline opportunities available to the business over the short and long term. 

"For example, by the end of FY21 we expect to be in all major cities and territories as well as continuing the growth trajectory in our existing offices."

The board has also appointed Matt Seakins as chief marketing officer, who will also work closely with the marketing advisory board and Finn.

Formerly of Google and online education provider Open Colleges Australia, most recently Seakins was chief marketing officer for Drover, a successful UK online subscription marketplace disrupting the automobile industry.

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