Free Publicity Materials
16 March 2012
Law Society Publishing
234 x 156mm
Alternative Business Structures
A Compliance Guide
Enabled under the Legal Services Act 2007, ABSs will increase competition in the legal services market, paving the way for new entrants and for third party investment in law firms.
Alternative Business Structures provides businesses with a clear and comprehensive guide to the regulatory requirements and duties for ABSs. A key obligation is for the ABS to institute two new roles, a:
- Compliance Officer for Legal Practice (CoLP) - to be held by a lawyer responsible for ensuring compliance with the terms of the ABS licence
- Compliance Officer for Finance and Administration (CoFA) - responsible for accounts compliance.
Furthermore, the legislation builds in protection for externally owned businesses to ensure:
- 'fitness to own'
- ring-fencing of the legal part of the business to clarify what is and is not covered by legal regulation
- duties to comply with regulatory responsibilities, including to the court and to the client, are prioritised above duties to shareholders.
About the Author
Iain Miller is a partner in Bevan Brittan LLP and is head of the Regulation Team. He has acted in the field of legal services regulation for over 15 years and has been involved in several leading cases in this area.
Mark Pardoe is a former in-house legal advisor with the Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority and now works as a consultant.