High Court enforcement officers and niche property firm become latest ABSs

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19 January 2015


J B Leitch

Property firm bought its new offices last year.

A debt collection business has become an alternative business structure (ABS) and can now offer an end-to-end service that enables it to collect, litigate and enforce clients’ debt.

Burlington Credit, based in London and Surrey with a client base of banks, lenders and utilities/telecoms providers, converted to ABS status from the start of this month.

According to the firm’s website, “as an alternative business structure authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, Burlington provide debt litigation services as part of a suite of services that include multi-channel ‘soft’ collections and judgment enforcement services.

“Subject to the level of requirement, we can include debt litigation as a complementary service within a wider debt management process, giving us a competitive edge over other debt collection agencies. Our capabilities as High Court Enforcement Officers also allow us to enforce judgments we that we obtain on behalf of our clients.”

It said that Burlington’s in-house solicitor could provide legal services “at vastly reduced rates, when compared to other debt recovery solicitors”.

Meanwhile, Liverpool firm JB Leitch which specialises almost entirely in residential property debt recovery for property management companies and developers – particularly in collecting outstanding service charges and ground rents – will become an ABS at the end of January.

The firm was set up by Jonathan Leitch and his wife and practice manager Michelle 17 years ago. It now has over 100 staff – including 13 solicitors – and last year bought and refurbished new offices in the city centre.

Finance director Andrew Taylor, head of finance and administration in the ABS, said JB Leitch aimed to extend the services it provided, particularly into the area of leasehold enfranchisement and renewals.

“We want to become more of a one-stop shop for the private rented sector,” Mr Taylor said. “Its growth has helped us grow.

“Becoming an ABS allows us to look a little more widely at the market and see if there are any other avenues we can pursue while keeping to the same sector.”

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