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SRA announces start date for ABS applications

The Solicitors Regulation Authority will begin accepting licensing applications for alternative business structures (ABS) from 3 January 2012, it announced today.

The Order designating the SRA as a licensing authority for ABS was laid before Parliament today and will therefore come into force on 23 December. The SRA has set the date of  3 January—the first working day after the new year—as the date on which it will start accepting applications.

Chief Executive Antony Townsend said: “We welcome the news that we will become an ABS licensing authority from 23 December. This is a milestone that we have been working towards for nearly two years.

"It means the public can have confidence that ABS providing reserved legal activities will be regulated according to the same rigorous professional standards as traditional law firms."

Depending on the complexity of the first applications received, the SRA expects to announce the first successful applicants in the second half of February 2012.

Further details of how to apply can be found on the website at

Those wanting further information can contact the ABS team on or call 01527 519107. The relevant application forms will be published on the SRA website in the near future.

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