Two new alternative business structures (ABSs) are set for approval next week, as the Leeds-based Progeny Group comes into life. The group will combine a commercial law and private client ABS with a separate, FCA-regulated wealth management business.
Currently Progeny Private Law, Progeny Corporate Law and Progeny Wealth are separately owned, but that will change when the Solicitors Regulation Authority approves the ABS licences, set for next week.
Mark Burns, managing director of Progeny Corporate Law, said the group’s base would be in Leeds, with an office in London. Mr Burns is the former managing partner of Leeds commercial firm Clarion.
“We’ve created a whole business with a single entry point for clients, which they don’t get everywhere,” he said.
“We don’t talk about putting client service at the centre of our business, because the SRA tells us to do but because the clients are actually already there.
“The big advantage for the client with the new group is that, for example SME owners can get their corporate and personal wealth all dealt with at the same place, with one relationship manager.”
Mr Burns said businesses often involved themselves with lawyers as a reaction after an event, such as selling a business with no plans for proper investment.
He said Progeny aimed to avoid this by offering clients the chance to sit down with a group of professionals from the different disciplines and work out a way of solving a potential dispute.
Mr Burns added that the Progeny Group would provide “common ownership” through its stakes in the new ABSs and Progeny Wealth, formerly the Lawrence Scoffield Group.
In terms of structure, the Progeny Group is owned by Neil Moles, managing director of Progeny Wealth, and Patrick Leoni Sceti, chief executive of investment firm LSG Holdings.
Frances Davies, director of Progenyprivatelaw, said the structure of the ABS was to have four different companies
Ms Davies trained at what is now Addleshaw Goddard, where she worked for almost 10 years, before moving to Gordons and remained there for 12 years before becoming a founding director at Progeny Private Law.
“Some clients want things done under one roof. Clients will be able to engage with each of the independent companies. We are all very used to working with each other.
“The new structure will be more cost-effective for the client. We are still exploring the options at the moment and seeing what we can do. Lots of ideas are being thrown around.”