In the third part of our series in which we catch up on the progress of the new breed of alternative business structures (ABSs), we speak to Castle Park Solicitors, which was the first ABS to be created by a legal advice charity.
A legal advice charity in Leicester has become the first not-for-profit organisation to set up an alternative business structure (ABS), Legal Futures can reveal. The Community Advice and Law Service has won approval to launch Castle Park Solicitors Community Interest Company.
Nearly a fifth of not-for-profit legal advice centres are planning to charge for services as a strategy to survive cuts in legal aid, a study into the impact of the reforms has revealed. But the study found widespread fear of redundancy across the sector.
Not-for-profit (NFP) advice agencies should be allowed to charge for providing legal services soon, the Legal Services Board said yesterday, while also announcing a delay in the creation of an alternative business structure licensing scheme until at least April 2015 because no regulator is ready to provide it.
A north London law centre is on course to become the first owner of a not-for-profit alternative business structure, subject to receiving approval. The venture is an example of government-approved efforts by law centres to mitigate the effects of legal aid cuts.
Instant Law – the legal video-conferencing business that currently offers its service through major libraries in London and Birmingham – is to move into the not-for-profit sector next month by partnering with Greenwich Citizens Advice Bureau in London.
The ban on law centres and other not-for-profit organisations charging for advice should be lifted as part of plans to bring them into the alternative business structure regime, the Legal Services Consumer Panel has said.
Law centres and other not-for-profit organisations should be allowed to charge for advice to help counter the impact of legal aid cuts and reduced local authority funding, the Legal Services Board said today.
The legal aid reforms will open up opportunities for law firms, with alternative business structures (ABSs) offering one way to exploit them, justice minister Jonathan Djanogly claimed last week. The significance of ABSs “cannot be overstated”, he said.
The Legal Ombudsman should press to extend its jurisdiction to complaints about non-lawyer will-writers and the not-for-profit sector, while the government needs to review its inadequate powers over complaints against CMCs, a study has recommended.