Alternative business structures

ABS update: Clifford Chance buys would-be ABS, private client firm enters regulation, PE-backed firms expand

Angus Houston

The plan by Carillion Advice Services to become an alternative business structure looks to be at an end after the business was bought by magic circle firm Clifford Chance. We also report on two private equity backed ABSs that have used their financial muscle to expand, and a private client firm that has decided to enter regulation with the CLC.

February 15th, 2018

Exclusive: ABS starts to build portfolio of “local hero” law firm acquisitions

David Sedgwick Echelon

An alternative business structure launched at the end of last year to invest in profitable “local hero” law firms, has already taken over one practice this year and is on the verge of taking a share in another. London-based Echelon Law offers back-office support and has a particular focus on firms of one to three partners.

February 1st, 2018

Law firm ownership “completely irrelevant” to risk, says SRA director

Legal Futures Conference Nov16: Innovation

The ownership structure of law firms is “completely irrelevant” when assessing risk, a director of the Solicitors Regulation Authority said yesterday. Crispin Passmore also reaffirmed the regulator’s determination to change the approach to the minimum cover limit for professional indemnity insurance.

January 25th, 2018

Solicitors and technologists form CLC-licensed ABS to launch digital conveyancing venture

Ricardo Mapp dos Anjos Juno ABS

An alternative business structure set up by ex-government IT specialists has launched an online service that hopes to harness technology to simplify the conveyancing process. The co-founders of Juno Property Lawyers have worked on some of the highest-profile government IT projects and hired two senior solicitors.

January 23rd, 2018

Exclusive: Unique ABS joining licensed conveyancers with accountants looks to expand

Regulatory Accounting is merging with Hoffman Briggs to create a

A multi-disciplinary alternative business structure is looking to build on its unique combination of licensed conveyancers and chartered accountants. Known as Optimum Professional Services, it is hoping to expand into commercial property work and possibly other areas of law.

January 22nd, 2018

ABS update: Gordon Dadds acquires first law firm post-float, Co-op launches divorce platform, will writers go under

Co Op Legal services Almondsbury Bristol

Gordon Dadds Group has made its first law firm acquisition since listing on AIM last summer, buying a specialist technology and corporate practice for up to £3.4m. In other ABS news, Co-operative Legal Services has launched an online platform for uncontested divorces with solicitor support, while a will-writing ABS has gone into liquidation.

January 16th, 2018

“Business as usual” on legal aid helplines following Carillion collapse


The Ministry of Justice has said it was “business as usual” on the housing and debt legal aid phone lines operated by Carillion Advice Services yesterday, following the collapse of the parent company. However, a law firm that markets a partnership with the paralegal business declined to talk about the implications.

January 16th, 2018

Exclusive: Solicitors choose “practical and proportionate” BSB regulation in ABS first

Alex Atkins

Solicitors setting up an alternative business structure this month in Marlborough, Wiltshire, have chosen to be regulated by the Bar Standards Board. It is understood to be the first time a BSB-regulated ABS has been created without barrister involvement.

January 12th, 2018

“We don’t want to replicate a traditional law firm” – Deloitte announces ABS move


Deloitte is to become the final member of the Big Four accountancy firms to set up an alternative business structure (ABS), it announced today. It has previously said it would not go down this road due to the number of legal clients it has, but a spokeswoman explained that this position had been kept constantly under review.

January 10th, 2018

Exclusive: LegalZoom accused of using ABS to “unlawfully practise law” in the US


Alternative business structure LegalZoom Legal Services is being sued in the United States as part of a claim that its American parent company is engaged in the unauthorised practice of law, Legal Futures can reveal. California-based LegalForce claims LegalZoom is using ownership of the ABS as a way to offer legal advice in the US.

December 22nd, 2017