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Jordans ABS prepares to take on world after rapid growth

Farman: Lot of new clients for us to go for

The head of the alternative business structure set up by company formations specialist and legal publisher Jordans has set its sights on international expansion.

Debbie Farman said Jordans Corporate Law (JCL) was “a concept we can replicate globally”, after growing its turnover from £67,000 in 2014 to £1.1m this year.

Ms Farman, managing director of JCL, said the purchase of Jordans by global corporate services provider Vistra at the end of last year would be the key to its international success.

“Just like PwC or Deloittes, we can have a legal arm and still be friends with law firms. It’s early days, but it’s exciting. There are a lot of new clients for us to go for.”

Ms Farman said that although “not every country” had ABSs, multi-disciplinary practices were permitted in Australia, Mexico and Brazil, and some countries might permit ABS-type operations under extended licenses.

She said Brexit was a problem mainly for companies who wanted Britain to be their foothold in Europe, and the US, China and emerging markets were excited at the prospect of new opportunities.

“They are interested to see if there might be different ways for us to do business and whether they might be more freedom for them.”

JCL offers a combination of corporate and commercial law, with employment, compliance, corporate governance and legal training.

She said a team of five when the ABS launched in 2014, had grown to 20, including 14 lawyers and five chartered company secretaries, housed in new offices in Bristol following the acquisition by Vistra.

Ms Farman said the most active area with the highest turnover was corporate, particularly mergers and acquisitions, shareholder and partnership agreements. However, commercial law had the biggest clients.

“It’s expanding really well, but we are remaining niche. Once our clients understand what we do, they never go.”

Ms Farman has two fellow directors – Simon Bates, head of commercial and a former partner at Shakespeares, and Anthony Young, head of corporate and a former partner at Veale Wasbrough Vizards.

Following the acquisition by Vistra, Jordans has amalgamated its service units into three divisions – business information, corporate law and corporate services.

Jason Burgoyne, managing director of Jordans Corporate Services, said: “The acquisition, and now the restructuring and the office move, have given us an exciting platform for growth.

“Critically, our new offices will allow us all to work on one floor – encouraging greater collaboration, enabling cross-selling of services and making our total business offer to clients an integrated, seamless one.”