ABS licence allows Devon accountants to add legal service

Print This Post

11 September 2013


Gard: not seeking market share from solicitors

A firm of accountants in Devon has become only the third to launch a legal arm after winning an alternative business structure (ABS) licence.

Davisons Legal Services began trading last week, with former City lawyer Philip Vickery as its head of legal practice.

It will focus on commercial work and advice for high net-worth individuals, with the parent accountancy firm, Davisons, having a significant agricultural practice.

Davisons managing director Matthew Gard said the firm decided to create an ABS due to “demand within our growing client base”. It already has a financial services arm as well and so “the legal side seemed to be the missing part of the jigsaw”.

Mr Vickery has been with Davisons for 14 months, but the limitations imposed by the reserved legal activities is “like having one arm tied behind your back”, Mr Gard said. “We’ve been asked in the past to do certain things that we simply weren’t able to do.”

Davisons lists professional practices, including solicitors, as one of its target sectors and Mr Gard stressed that the firm was not looking to go into competition with its legal clients.

“We are looking to complement the services we already offer to clients, not grab market share,” he said.

The firm is now in the process of recruiting a probate specialist to assist Mr Vickery with private client work.

Accountants Price Bailey and Brookson were the first to receive ABS licences to supplement the services they offer clients, while last month the first ABS to offer legal and accountancy advice side by side – Direct Law & Finance – was launched.

Tags: , ,



Leave a comment

* Denotes required field

All comments will be moderated before posting. Please see our Terms and Conditions

Legal Futures Blog

The importance of being expert

Steve Rowley 3

I recently sat on a panel debate in Manchester, with the debate entitled – ATE insurers and sub-£250k claims. Whilst the title of the debate was probably written ahead of the government’s consultation paper to introducing fixed recoverable costs in lower-value clinical negligence claims, where £25,000 rather than £250,000 is being recommended, it nevertheless raised an interesting point on how after-the-event insurers can make premiums proportionate to damages, especially for cases worth less than £25,000.

April 26th, 2017