Alternative business structures
Employee ownership of law firms is an opportunity to get the best young lawyers into early equity and minimise risk, according to Neil Kinsella, Slater & Gordon UK’s chief executive, as he outlined how the sector could respond to the changing legal landscape.
Well-known personal injury law firm Gorman Hamilton has launched a twin-track approach to life after LASPO, part of which has been to form an alternative business structure (ABS) in which a credit hire company has a minority stake.
Big legal businesses such as Co-operative Legal Services and Quindell “will all fail”, according to leading alternative business structure (ABS) critic Kerry Underwood. However, he welcomed the possibilities opened up by external capital for existing legal practices.
Plans to grow a criminal legal aid firm that has just received its alternative business structure licence – potentially through external investment – are on hold pending the outcome of the government’s current reform plans, according to its head of legal.
There needs to be greater control of alternative business structures (ABSs) set up by insurance companies to “ensure appropriate behaviour” and even a ban on ABSs operating in the small claims court, AXA Insurance has told MPs.
A defendant insurance law firm is to join forces with commercial claims handlers and loss adjusters within an alternative business structure to provide an outsourced service to insurance companies for professional indemnity claims.
Riverview Law, the fixed-priced commercial law business, has signed a strategic alliance with south-east firm DMH Stallard that will see the pair pitch jointly for new business. Riverview is also applying for an alternative business structure (ABS) licence.
National firm Shakespeares has become one of the largest law firms to date to become an alternative business structure. The ambitious firm, led by chief executive Paul Wilson, has been on the acquisition trail in the last five years, with six mergers.
The number of alternative business structures approved by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers has risen to 35 in recent weeks, but several of the new licensees have branded the process as “unnecessary” and delivering “no benefit” to their businesses.
A claims management company specialising in interest-rate swap mis-selling could become an alternative business structure in order to litigate its own cases. All Square Treasury has just announced the appointment of a legal director.