The ABS Advent Calendar

Published: 05/12/2011

It’s Monday 5th December which means we’re five chocolates into our advent calendars. The countdown to Christmas is well and truly underway; there’s now only 20 days until the big day. But, for those in legal services, there is another countdown, a date that could potentially deliver as plentiful a bounty as Santa’s sack.

From Tuesday 3rd January 2012, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) will finally start accepting applications for prospective Alternative Business Structures, with the first approved applications expected towards the end of February.

Antony Townsend is the Chief Executive of the SRA:

“We welcome the news that we will become an ABS licensing authority from 23 December. This is a milestone that we have been working towards for nearly two years. It means the public can have confidence that ABS providing reserved legal activities will be regulated according to the same rigorous professional standards as traditional law firms.”¹

The confirmation means Alternative Business Structures are now a very real entity to which legal service providers must adapt to and no longer sweep under the proverbial rug.

Many companies are already ahead of the ABS game; legal expenses insurer DAS, for example, has acquired online legal service company Everything Legal in preparation to become an alternative business structure while conveyancing services company, In-Deed, has unveiled its intentions to become the first law firm investor and is in talks with more than 25 practices.

Alternative Business Structures will allow non-lawyers to provide legal services in an attempt to make the industry more accessible to the consumer.

¹Legal Futures (Dec 2011)

Content correct at time of publication

Show All Articles