Jordans eyes up ABS to expand beyond company services

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By Legal Futures

10 July 2012

Townsend: strategy is to move up the food chain

Well-known business services provider Jordans Ltd is to set up an alternative business structure (ABS) aimed at handling outsourced legal work for both companies and law firms, it has emerged.

Jordans is recruiting a head of legal practice for a new company, Jordans Legal Services Limited, which will be allied to its corporate services, property services and business information operation. He or she will be in charge of a team of two lawyers and five paralegals.

Jordans Publishing and Jordans International Limited, which provides corporate services to international clients, are separate companies within the group.

Divisional director Paul Townsend explained that as some of Jordans’ traditional core activities have become highly commoditised – such as company formation – “our strategy is to move up the food chain, and to build on our brand as a corporate legal services provider”.

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He explained that many of the clients of its compliance services ask what else Jordans can offer – the aim is to move into non-contentious company/commercial work such as terms of business, share schemes, due diligence and possibly intellectual property.

Jordans also has company secretarial work referred by the biggest law firms and “there could be other work” outsourced from these clients too, Mr Townsend added.

It needs to create an ABS because the new company will look to handle reserved work, such as going to court on behalf of clients, for example for debt collection work, although Mr Townsend stressed that this will only be initial stages and that “we’re not going to get involved beyond that in complex litigation”.

He acknowledged that there is a risk of the ABS being seen as competition by existing clients, although he said this was less likely with larger law firms; Jordans has faced similar considerations with its accountancy services.

“We will be careful not compete head on where we can,” he said. “By not doing property or litigation, we are less likely to come into collision with clients.”


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