Will-writers receive ABS licence

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By Legal Futures

25 May 2012


A Buckinghamshire-based will-writing company has today become the latest recipient of an alternative business structure (ABS) licence.

Parchment Wills & Legal Services Ltd of Gerrards Cross, which was established in 1989, is a founder member of the Institute of Professional Willwriters, which itself has ambitions to regulate will-writing once it becomes a reserved legal activity.

The company now offers a range of legal services in addition to will-writing, advising on will trusts and inheritance tax planning, lasting powers of attorney, elderly client matters and probate administration.

As a member of the IPW, Parchment already has to abide by its code of practice, which has been approved by the Office of Fair Trading under the Consumer Codes Approval Scheme, and hold £2m in professional indemnity insurance.

Senior partner Valerie Shiman is the head of finance and administration, while solicitor Helen Whiteley is the head of legal practice. It has been granted the right to conduct all reserved legal activities except notarial work.

The firm was only informed that it had been awarded a licence this afternoon and nobody was available for comment.

 

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Joint (ad)ventures in the legal sector

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We all know that nothing in life is certain. As the actor, director and philosopher Clint Eastwood once said: “If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.” He also said he’d tried being reasonable and didn’t like it. They should teach this kind of philosophy in law school. One thing in life is reasonably certain though. If you’re a law firm worth your salt, at some point you will be approached by another entity (most probably a work introducer) with a whizzy idea to ‘partner’ with you to ‘help you accelerate your growth’. In commercial speak this means, ‘we’d like to keep feeding you work but we’d also like to share in your profits’. The arrangement may be pitched to you as a joint venture – a win-win no less.

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