Corporate/commercial specialist launches newest ABS


Bligh: greater flexibility with ABS

A corporate/commercial solicitor has launched the latest alternative business structure (ABS) with a view to forming partnerships with other professionals.

Joanne Bligh, who was until the end of last year an equity partner and head of the Birmingham office at Browne Jacobson, has set up Thinking Legal in Birmingham with her husband as a non-lawyer partner.

It is the 12th ABS in all, and 10th licensed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

“I wanted a change in the way I worked,” Ms Bligh said. “I wasn’t enjoying management as much as the legal work. The appeal of ABS is to have the potential for working with other professionals.” There are no plans to seek external investment.

Thinking Legal advises on a wide range of corporate and commercial matters, and Ms Bligh has an arrangement to refer other matters to Shoosmiths if appropriate.

The firm’s website says it wants to challenge and improve the way legal services are provided. “Law is often made overly complicated – clients expect a quality service, but rarely find one that finds solutions to problems rather than merely highlighting them.”

Ms Bligh said she had been surprised by the length of time the ABS application process took for what was a “simple structure”. She put in her stage one application on 3 January, when the process opened. After dealing with requests for information following submission of the stage two application, she paid the application fee – which triggers the start of the formal six-month consideration phase – in early April.

In the meantime Ms Bligh was forced to be a consultant at another firm so that she could continue servicing her clients. “It’s great that I can now actually work through Thinking Legal,” she said.

 

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    Readers Comments

  • Now this is an interesting and oh so practical twist to the ABS debate – well done Joanne. As for 6 months to process the application, it might be excusable if the numbers were prodigious and highly complex but really…
    The one clear differentiator here is the focus on what really matters – a good outcome for the client. Too many lawyers forget that the client in many cases is completely incapable of separating good from poor advice – until it is too late – concentrate on the achievable and deliver solutions -, don’t identify and highlight the problems. Clients should not have to pay to hear why they can’t do something. Hopefully this new ABS will fly.


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