I spoke at a conference organised by the Claims Standards Council earlier this year in Manchester on applying to become an alternative business structure. Inevitably the main topic of the conference was the Jackson reforms and the (then) possible threat to referral fees. The organisers thought that the impact of the reforms might lead many claims management companies to consider becoming an ABS by acquisition or merger with existing law firms or by developing an in-house legal function.
Pearse McCabe of brand and digital agency Rufus Leonard explains how important branding will become in the post-ABS world and considers some of the key issues that traditional law firms need to look at in response.
With the days of full distribution of profits to partners coming to an end, Mark Waddilove, a tax director at accountants Baker Tilly, and Jonathan Cheney, a managing associate at national law firm Addleshaw Goddard, explain how a corporate member of an LLP can mitigate the tax charges on retained profits
Chrissie Lightfoot argues that the two dominant umbrella business models coming to the fore in legal services can be summed up as “Face to Face” and “Interface”. She says the emergence of a legal franchising model such as face2face solicitors offers a real opportunity for entrepreneurial lawyers to embrace both.
Many law firms engage private investigators, but the phone hacking scandal illustrates the risk they run by hiring unregulated people, says Tony Immosi, president of the Association of British Investigators.