Alternative Business Structures

Understand the implications and practicalities of converting to an ABS. 

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With the dramatic increase in the number of ABSs licensed, and large players now entering the field, it is clear that ABSs will have a sizable impact on the market.

Can you really afford to turn a blind eye? Taking the risk may well be at your firm’s peril.  

Managing Partner’s report, Alternative Business Structures, offers legal services providers and consumers with crucial advice on how best to deal with this new regime.

Whether you are considering taking the ABS route, or wish to know if you may need to, this report provides the basis upon which to make your decision. Included you’ll find:

  • A definition of what must be an ABS;
  • Practical advice on the regulatory requirements and issues to consider when applying for a license, and dealing with the licensing authority;
  • The different models of ABS available and factors that may affect investment;
  • Issues of supervision and enforcement that may arise post authorisation; and
  • The implications of ABSs on the wider legal market.

Insightful case studies on the implications and practicalities of converting to an ABS are featured from high profile and innovative ABSs, the Co-operative Legal Services, and Knights. 

You’ll also find a detailed international perspective on ABSs from Tina Williams of Fox Williams LLP, focusing specifically on the USA, Australia, and Europe.

And, an expert view from the LSB’s Crispin Passmore on the future of the legal market, and the risks and opportunities legal services businesses can expect to face. 


Chapter 1: History and background

Chapter 2: The evolution of ABSs from October 2011

Chapter 3: Becoming an ABS – requirements

Chapter 4: Approval of role holders in the ABS

Chapter 5: Becoming an ABS – investment and structure

Chapter 6: Choice of licensing authority

Chapter 7: Implications of ABS on the existing market

Chapter 8: The international implications of ABSs

Chapter 9: Future trends

Check our Executive Summary and full table of contents here


Patrick Reeve
Patrick Reeve is an independent consultant on legal practice management and regulatory compliance who has advised both regulators and individual firms. He also works with DG Legal, a company that offers specialist advice and support to law firms and other organisations providing legal services. Patrick was formerly deputy director responsible for civil and family justice and legal aid policy at the Ministry of Justice and Director of Strategy at the Legal Services Commission, and started his career as a solicitor in private practice. Patrick can be contacted via e-mail and at DG Legal.
Nicholas Wright
Nicholas Wright  is a solicitor (ret'd), is a solicitor who has specialised in partnership and regulation for many years and was Chief Executive of his Gray’s Inn firm before his retirement in 2012. He was a member of the Solicitors Assistance Scheme for over twenty years and was a contributing editor of Cordery on Solicitors. He has written reports for Ark Group on partnerships and conversion to LLP status.

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