News releases

SRA licenses 15th ABS

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) has today taken the number of alternative business structures (ABSs) it has licensed to 15, with more promised in the coming weeks.

An ABS is a business providing regulated reserved legal activities but which has either, or both, non-lawyer owners and managers. Traditionally, law firms have had to be owned and managed only by lawyers.

The non-lawyer ownership and management of legal services providers – under the Legal Services Act 2007 - was one of a significant raft of reforms designed to liberalise the regulation and provision of legal services in England and Wales. The reforms will increase competition and provide consumers with greater choice and access to legal and related services.

Gloucestershire high street firm Langley Wellington has today become the 15th such firm to be authorised by the SRA. Langley Wellington has seven members and operates from Bruton Way, Gloucester, as well as The Parade in Cheltenham.

Antony Townsend, SRA Chief Executive, said: "The arrival of ABS should is stimulating competition, innovation, and choice for consumers. We expect to authorise a number of ABSs over the coming weeks. We are working with prospective firms to help them with their applications.

“Our authorisation system has been built to be flexible enough to deal with a range of organisations with hugely varying corporate structures and robust enough to apply the same stringent suitability criteria by which traditional firms are judged. We make no apology for ensuring that the systems we have in place are thorough, but will continue to make improvements to the process as we gain further experience."

Details on all the ABSs licensed by the SRA are available on the ABS pages of this website.

More information on alternative business structures

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