Martin Partington: Spotlight on the Justice System

Keeping the English Legal System under review

Alternative business structures: a new beginning?

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Well, after the long wait, the Solicitors Regulatory Authority has finally given the green light to the first three ABS offering legal services. They are listed at http://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/freedom-in-practice/alt-bs/licensed-body-register.page which will be updated as new ABS come on-stream.

Further details about the best known of the three, Co-op Legal Service, is at http://www.co-operative.coop/legalservices/press-releases/Making-Legal-History/. Co-op Legal Services have made a clear statement of how they want to deliver legal services alongside the other professional services they offer, such as banking, pharmacy, and funeralcare. My hunch is that we will see a lot more from them over the coming months.

The other two authorised firms do not yet reveal the extent of their ambitions as ABS. At present they look more like traditional high street practices. LawBridge is a firm based in Sidcup, Kent. Details about them can be found at http://www.lawbridgesolicitors.com/AboutUs.aspx. Their website states that they want to use new technologies to cut down overheads, while continuing to offer a good service to clients. The third company is John Welch and Stammers, a firm of solicitors based in Witney Oxon. They have a website at http://www.johnwelchandstammers.co.uk/default.asp. At present this gives little clue as to how being an ABS will change the way they work.

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Written by lwtmp

March 31, 2012 at 1:53 pm

Posted in Chapter 10, Chapter 9

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