Farman: ABS is a natural progression for Jordans

Corporate services provider Jordans has turned to the head of legal at a leading business process outsourcer to spearhead its planned alternative business structure (ABS).

The company has recruited Debbie Farman as legal director from Vertex to lead a team of lawyers, paralegals and corporate compliance experts who will offer a broader range of corporate and commercial law services than at present.

Jordans says it already works with over 75% of the UK’s leading law firms and accountancy practices, providing formation, company secretarial and corporate legal services. It first announced its ABS plan last June.

Ms Farman, who practised at Eversheds before joining Vertex, said: “The ABS is a natural progression for Jordans and I am really excited to be joining them at this pivotal time. The company already has the advantage of a great reputation within the professional community and broadening our corporate legal service portfolio will enable us to provide an end-to-end service.

“We will be well placed to offer a value-for-money service, and a viable alternative, for work of this nature. I believe my previous experience both in private practice and as in house counsel will allow me to understand more fully our customers’ needs and expectations.

“At both Vertex and Eversheds I experienced Jordans’ service excellence from a customer’s standpoint, and I know there is significant demand for the type of legal services we will be providing.”

Announcing Jordans’ ABS plans last year, divisional director Paul Townsend explained that as some of Jordans’ traditional core activities have become highly commoditised – such as company formation – “our strategy is to move up the food chain, and to build on our brand as a corporate legal services provider”.

He explained that many of the clients of its compliance services ask what else Jordans can offer – the aim is to move into non-contentious company/commercial work such as terms of business, share schemes, due diligence and possibly intellectual property.

Jordans also has company secretarial work referred by the biggest law firms and “there could be other work” outsourced from these clients too, Mr Townsend added.

It needs to create an ABS because the new company will look to handle reserved work, such as going to court on behalf of clients, for example for debt collection work, although Mr Townsend stressed that this will only be initial stages and that “we’re not going to get involved beyond that in complex litigation”.

Jordans Publishing and Jordans International Limited, which provides corporate services to international clients, are separate companies within the group.

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