Leading law firms are against ceding control to external stakeholders, preferring to use debt to fund expansion, according to new research.

Just one in six finance directors from the UK's top 100 firms by revenue said they considered private equity investment as a suitable source of external funding, while just 8 per cent thought a stock market listing was appropriate for their business.

All 26 respondents to the Thomson Reuters survey approved of bank lending, despite regulatory constraints on lending levels and higher margins on loans since the financial crisis.

Some 60 per cent believe alternative financing, such as ...

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