Alternative business structures
Competition in the law is to increase further after the Legal Services Board backed accountants to handle reserved probate work and set up alternative business structures, as well as chartered legal executives to set up their own conveyancing and probate practices.
The In-Deed conveyancing brand has been acquired by the owner of an online property panel – the final step in the dissolution of the country’s first alternative business structure (ABS) failure.
The prospect of external investment in intellectual property firms is set to soar after the Intellectual Property Regulation Board won the support of the Legal Services Board to become the third alternative business structure licensing authority.
One of the country’s largest debt advice companies has bought a high street law firm to offer additional services to customers and become “a major player in the legal services market”. MoneyPlus Group is backed by private equity firm Palatine.
The prospect of a strike by legal aid lawyers is “regrettable”, but there are lawyers who will operate under the new regime, justice minister Shailesh Vara has insisted. Mr Vara also urged lawyers to embrace the innovation showcased by alternative business structures.
A multi-discipinary financial services group has obtained an ABS licence to complete its broad-based professional advice offering by bringing legal services in-house. Meanwhile, a specialist fertility law practice is considering using its licence to introduce employee ownership,
HB Public Law, the merged legal teams of the London boroughs of Barnet and Harrow, is to seek an alternative business structure as a defence against outsourcing. Meanwhile, Kent Legal Services, the first council legal team to express ABS ambitions, has its plans on hold.
Alternative business structure (ABS) Quindell Portfolio Plc has raised £200m through a share placement to fund “significant growth opportunities” amid other ABS news that has seen the first failure formally consigned to history.
Small and medium-sized law firms are looking to external investment to counter growing concerns about the impact of alternative business structures, new research has found, even though they are recovering well from the effects of recession.
Irwin Mitchell has made its first major move in the personal injury market since rival Slater & Gordon began its acquisition spree by taking over well-known Manchester firm MPH Solicitors, Legal Futures can reveal.