ABS is coming, ABS is coming!

Published: 25/11/2011

Some people don’t consider it Christmas until they see the famous Coca Cola ‘truck’ advert, the one that goes Holidays are coming, holidays are coming! With December speedily approaching, it is only a matter of time.

After Christmas comes New Year but this New Year brings more than the typical resolutions of eating better, drinking less and exercising more; 2012 is not only the Year of the Dragon, it will be the year of the Alternative Business Structure (ABS).

The finishing line is finally in sight for the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to be able to grant Alternative Business Structure licences after the last hurdle of this ABS marathon was cleared last Tuesday.

The SRA was waiting for a decision surrounding the disclosure of criminal convictions for non-lawyers owners and managers of ABSs, wanting a mandatory disclosure of any spent convictions for all non-lawyer owners and managers. The House of Lords however ruled that only owners with at least a 10 per cent share will be required to disclosure convictions.

The House of Lords also passed legislation which elected the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal as the body which would deal with any appeals made against the SRA decision of ABS licences.

The rulings mean the SRA should be able to start accepting Alternative Business Structure applications by the end of the year, and start issuing licences in early 2012.

Content correct at time of publication

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