Will we be able to set up an ABS in Europe and how will this be regulated
Important: The FAQs below were written and published before the introduction of the SRA Handbook on 6 October 2011, and may refer to regulatory material that is no longer in effect. Although they may still be relevant, these FAQs have not yet been reviewed in light of the wide-ranging regulatory changes implemented on 6 October. They will be reviewed and updated (or archived) in due course.
Will we be able to set up an ABS in Europe and how will this be regulated?
This will depend on the jurisdiction. If ABSs are permitted in the jurisdiction you want to practise in, we are likely to relax our regulations to allow it provided there are equivalent safeguards in place.
Solicitors are already able to practise wholly overseas with non-lawyers through firms not regulated by the SRA, provided the firm is 75 per cent owned and managed by lawyers and, generally, as long as it doesn't breach rules for local lawyers. Although no decisions have yet been made, when ABSs are permitted in England and Wales, our aim would be to allow greater flexibility to solicitors overseas too. However, we will need to consider this area in some detail because many jurisdictions do not permit lawyers to practise with non-lawyers.