A seven-partner high street firm has become the 15th alternative business structure to be licensed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority since March 2012.
Andrew Moston, equity partner of Gloucestershire-based Langley Wellington, said: ‘We like to lead, which is why we were one of the first firms to apply for ABS status. It will allow us to bring new ideas to the front.’
An ABS is a business providing regulated reserved legal activities, but which has either non-lawyer owners and managers, or both. The non-lawyer ownership and management of legal services providers – under the Legal Services Act 2007 – was one of a raft of reforms designed to liberalise the regulation and provision of legal services in England and Wales. The reforms were designed to increase competition and provide consumers with greater choice and access to legal and related services.
Fareeda Jaleel, founder of FRJ Business and Marketing Solutions, said established firms needed to embrace the potential provided by ABS’s, rather than be afraid of them.
‘Traditional firms need to realise that there are great benefits of corporate management structures,’ she said.
‘They will allow them greater flexibility and to create efficiencies in their business model. The potential days of equity based partnerships will be replaced with shareholding structures. ‘