LexisNexis UK has been licensed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority as an alternative business structure (ABS) to launch a compliance business combining content, technology and advisory services.
Cordery Compliance Ltd – though named after the leading textbook on the law and practice relating to solicitors – is targeted at compliance professionals and general counsel across all industries, not just the law.
Jonathan Armstrong, a partner in the London office of US law firm Duane Morris specialising in compliance and technology law, has been hired to lead the business and the team of advisers.
Andy Sparks, head of enterprise solutions at LexisNexis UK and a Cordery director, described compliance as a “big and growing market”, and that Cordery’s offering would stand out against the other information providers, technology companies, lawyers and accountants that sought to service it.
Having ABS status provided “a badge, quality assurance, confidentiality and particularly privilege”, he explained.
Mr Armstrong added: “For the past 20 years, I have advised heads of legal, general counsel and compliance professionals in dealing with the challenges of navigating ever more complex regulatory requirements. For in-house lawyers particularly, dealing with compliance is often a lonely experience. Compliance will be our heart and soul and we will help our clients effectively manage the compliance burden.”
Christian Fleck, managing director for LexisNexis UK & Ireland, said: “Legal and regulatory information has been our lifeblood for nearly 200 years. Driven by the ever increasing regulatory burden, we have had great success with practical compliance solutions in the last couple of years. With Cordery, we are taking the next step and we are looking forward to providing a wider solution to compliance professionals across industries.”
The move by one of the world’s leading legal information providers to set up an ABS is likely to cause some waves. In 2010, Professor Richard Susskind predicted  that law firms could find themselves competing with legal publishers, some which he described as the biggest legal businesses in the world. Shortly afterwards, ThomsonReuters bought legal process outsourcer Pangea3 .