Will-writer eyes conveyancing opportunity after receiving ABS licence, while IFA plans MDP


Conveyancing: should bounce off probate work for instructions both ways

A will-writer is planning to use his new alternative business structure (ABS) licence to expand into the conveyancing market, Legal Futures can report.

Jim Goddard, a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners who has run Complete Wills since 1999, said he is primarily a will-writer but due to a chain of events arising from an abortive attempt to merge with a law firm, he has founded Cheshire-based Goddard Dunbar & Associates Limited to provide residential conveyancing.

He was close to merging his will-writing business – which he says has more than 12,000 clients – with the law firm when it closed down. He employed one of the firm’s conveyancers “so as to retain her expertise” and set up Goddard Dunbar “to complement my existing will-writing business; both businesses should bounce off each other in terms of introductions”.

The firm is licensed by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) for conveyancing work only. Mr Goddard said he plans to grow the conveyancing business and become regulated by the CLC for wills and probate work as well, at which point he will merge the will-writing business. He does not plan to seek external investment, having obtained start-up funding from the bank.

The process of applying for the ABS licence with the CLC was “time consuming in terms of gathering information” but it was “relatively simple” and working with CLC staff “has not been a chore”. In total the process has taken nearly 10 months, part of which was “our fault” in being slow to put information together.

Meanwhile, Care Matters – a firm of independent financial advisers in St Albans specialising in the over-55s – is working on plans to form a multi-disciplinary ABS with a law firm, Labrums. The two are in the same office building.

Care Matters founder Lorreine Kennedy said the two are still working on the details of what will be called ‘Beyond 55’, but that it was a “sound proposition” to combine “the expertise and excellence we have with the credibility of a forward-thinking law firm”.

The two already refer work informally and Ms Kennedy said the arrangement was working well for both the firms and their clients. However, she said the Solicitors Regulation Authority was not particularly helpful when she asked for guidance on setting up an ABS.

Tags:




Blog


EHCPs and the uphill struggle for justice

The staggering truth behind the education system supporting children with special education needs and disabilities is that 80% of SEND children don’t receive the regular in-school support they need.


How to practise in Australia without re-qualifying

Those of you looking for a lateral career shift will be encouraged by the UK government’s announcement in June that UK lawyers will be allowed to practise in Australia without having to requalify


How to achieve a return on your legal software investment

An unlikely source of inspiration for improving efficiencies and overall performance for your firm can be found in the British Cycling team. Its success was routed in continuous optimisation.


Loading animation