The Solicitors Regulation Authority, once criticised for taking too long to approve alternative business structures, is now regularly approving applications from legal disciplinary practices in only two weeks, it has emerged.
Until recently barristers have not featured that much in talk about alternative business structures. But the Bar Council’s launch of a corporate vehicle that can be attached to chambers raises some difficult questions that barristers have to address about how they will develop their businesses in the future, and what may become of the junior bar.
The first barrister to become a partner in a legal disciplinary practice is a consumer credit specialist in the West Midlands, Legal Futures can reveal. Portia O’Connor, who practises from her own chambers in Birmingham, Pegasus Chambers, set up Pegasus Legal Research in conjunction with solicitor Sameena Kauser.
The Legal Services Board has approved plans to allow barristers to become partners in legal disciplinary practices but warned that the changes “go only part of the way towards opening up the market in the interests of consumers”.