The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has licensed 48 alternative business structures to carry out probate work in its first six months as regulator, it has emerged.
A proposed £50,000 cap on compensation claims against alternative business structures licensed by the Intellectual Property Regulation Board is too restrictive, it has been argued as the board prepares to become an ABS licensing authority.
The Legal Services Board has warned regulators not to go further than the legislative requirements for the impending ban on referral fees in personal injury, calling for “a liberal approach” that does not prevent alternative business structures effectively circumventing it.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority should develop a fast track for legal disciplinary practices seeking approval to operate as alternative business structures, according to the largest of three firms granted their ABS licences yesterday.
Prospective clients and third parties will be able to make complaints about lawyers, if plans unveiled by the Legal Ombudsman today go ahead. The one-year time limit for making complaints to LeO will also be extended, as will the level of compensation it can award.
Leading defendant insurance law firm Keoghs has confirmed that it is exploring opportunities to raise external funding. Reports in the north-west suggest that private equity firm Bowmark Capital is in exclusive talks to take a stake in the business.
Merger and acquisition activity is becoming a far greater strategic priority among the largest law firms, new research has shown – although most still remain wary of alternative business structures. It also highlighted how top firms are being forced to offer fixed fees.
The Bar Standards Board has launched its final scheme for regulating advocacy-focused alternative business structures in what it described as a “declaration of intent” to become the regulator of choice for advocates.
News in brief: solicitors, accountants and IFAs join forces, "ABSs are future for conveyancing", and more
Our latest news round-up takes in an innovative partnership to combine financial, taxation and legal advice, an update on ABS applications, the role for ABSs in the conveyancing market, growing fraud claims against solicitors, support for provisional assessment, and new blood at the OLC.
The ban on referral fees will not be a criminal offence and is to be enforced by the legal profession’s regulators instead, justice minister Jonathan Djanogly announced yesterday. Work is also underway to cut the £1,200 payable to solicitors under the RTA portal.