The legal textbook publisher that’s now a law firm

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12 September 2013

Farman: ABS process was lengthy but necessary

Jordans – the business known for company formation services and publishing legal textbooks – now has a corporate law firm after receiving its alternative business structure (ABS) licence.

The corporate services provider, which is 150 years old this year, launched Jordans Corporate Law Ltd on Tuesday in a bid to move up the legal food chain from selling commoditised services to providing legal advice to corporate clients and accountants, as well as legal process outsourcing to law firms.

Debbie Farman, the head of legal practice, said the move was “a natural progression” for Jordans given the range of services it already provided, on top of which it can now offer legal advice.

The law firm currently has seven lawyers – with a recruitment campaign now underway to boost the commercial law offering – while Jordans has chosen to fold its 14-strong corporate governance and company secretarial into the practice as well.

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Jordans says it already works with over 75% of the UK’s leading law firms and accountancy practices.

With the focus on non-contentious work, there was much that Jordans could in any case have done without being a law firm, but Ms Farman said the ABS licence acted as quality mark.

“Our mission for Jordans Corporate Law is to provide high quality, non-contentious corporate and commercial legal advice and services at fair and transparent prices,” she said. “We do not intend to explore areas of the law outside those that we are already experienced in and well known for. The establishment of the ABS is a consolidation and enhancement of the services we currently provide to our clients.

“We see the introduction of an additional regulator to our already highly compliant corporate governance and legal offering as an additional value-added benefit to our client base.”

Rather than competing with the company’s existing law firm clients, Ms Farman said Jordans Corporate Law could provide then with a “cost effective” answer to handling due diligence or dealing with transactional documents.

Jordans first announced its plans to seek an ABS licence in June 2012 and Ms Farman described the process of being licensed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority as “lengthy and painful” – but also “necessary” to protect clients.

She joined Jordans earlier this year from business process outsourcer Vertex, where she was head of legal.

The Jordans group of companies now comprises Jordans Corporate Law, Jordans, Jordan Publishing and Jordans Trust Company.

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