Alternative business structures
A London-based sports law firm that counts among its clients the tennis star Maria Sharapova and world champion cyclist Lizzie Armistead, has become an alternative business structure with the aim of bringing analysis of substances in-house. We also round up ABS news from Crawford Legal, Gateley, Express Solicitors and Redde.
The Bar’s regulator will take a “cautious” approach to licencing alternative business structures (ABSs) and look closely at non-lawyer owners to ensure no “naughty” behaviour, but said over the weekend that there is strong interest in the possibilities on offer.
Most lawyers expect the law firm partnership model to wither over the next decade, as the legal services market embraces alternative business structures and technology, while ditching hourly billing – according to a new survey.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority has imposed conditions on PricewaterhouseCoopers’ new alternative business structure licence to ensure that lawyers working for the ‘big four’ firm continue to observe key principles of conduct when handling unreserved work.
The first shareholder class action over the huge fall in Slater & Gordon’s share price has been filed, with a second to follow shortly. Australian law firm Maurice Blackburn said that “in light of the amount of lost shareholder value, the compensation sought is expected to be of very significant magnitude”.
A West country agricultural law specialist firm has launched an alternative business structure with financial backing from a firm of accountants, with the aim of growing the practice five-fold. Rubric Law took external investment from Moore Scarrott, which is one of the largest veterinary accountancy practices in the UK.
A solicitor-led investment consultancy has sought an alternative business structure licence as part of its plan to expand and exploit what it called a “gap in the market” for lawyers in advisory services. It has two solicitor partners and until now offered unreserved legal activities.
One Legal – the externally funded alternative business structure that saved leading crime firm Kaim Todner earlier this year – has made its second acquisition as it looks to create a new model for criminal law, Legal Futures can reveal. One Legal is headed by Trevor Howarth, the founder of now-defunct Stobart Barristers.
AIM-listed litigation finance company Burford Capital has finally activated its alternative business structure after hiring a solicitor to act in judgment enforcement matters. Burford Law was licensed in January 2016 but will now start operating after the company hired litigator Tom Evans as its head.
AIM-listed law firm Gateley has launched an employee share scheme that will enable all members of staff to secure up to £500 of shares every month at a discount of 20% on their price. Some 44% of the firm’s 650 staff have signed up for shares since the scheme launched at the end of August.