The British Printing Industries Federation, a trade association representing the UK’s print and packaging industry, has been awarded an alternative business structure (ABS) licence.
The license is for BPIF Legal, the trade association’s legal department. Anne Copley, the COLP, is currently head of legal, and advises members at employment tribunals, as well as training members and staff in employment law.
Nicola Langley, the COFA, advises members on commercial legal matters. The federation employs a third solicitor, Carole Banwell, who advises on employment law.
The BPIF declined to explain its plans for its law firm. Its website said it can provide help with “technical or legal issues” as well as launching new insurance and financial services products.
The license was awarded by the Solicitors Regulation Authority at the beginning of this month, but it will not become effective until 1 October 2014.
The BPIF said on the website that it had developed an “unrivalled range of products and services that go well beyond those provided by a traditional trade association”.
The federation said it offered “practical, value-adding solutions” for all areas of a print organisation, ranging from health, safety, environmental and quality issues to “resolutions of technical or legal issues as well as advice and support on marketing, sales and finance”.
Rradar Limited, an employment, taxation, health and safety and environmental law service, based in Hull, has also been awarded an ABS license. The ABS goes live on 1 July.
It too has not expanded on the reasons for becoming an ABS. According to the firm’s website, its legal team works “around the clock” and covers the whole country and provides online access, telephone support and face-to-face help.
“At rradar, we believe that the law and regulations are necessary and serious, but so is life. We know we need them. But we believe they stop people from making the best decisions and taking calculated risks. Because our lawyers are people too.”
The company said it has also created its own “legalosophy”, which is at the heart of everything it does.
Among other things, this includes being “prepared to give first and not just say ‘what’s it in for me’ before agreeing to help, along with helping raise awareness and educating people so they can be “more informed, balance business risks and make good judgements”.
Rradar said: “People may forget exactly what we said or exactly what we did, but they will not forget how we made them feel.”