What is an alternative business structure (ABS)?

What is an Alternative Business Structure (ABS)?

An alternative business structure is a firm that has non-lawyers in its ownership and management structure. This allows firms to involve key people who bring additional experience and skills. The non-lawyer can be involved through investment or as a partner or director.

An ABS arrangement can work where:

  • an established lawyer-owned firm wants to take on a non-lawyer partner
  • an established law firm wants its non-lawyer practice manager to become a co-owner
  • a lawyer wants to set up a law firm with a non-lawyer partner/owner
  • a non-legal business sees legal services as complementary and sets up a standalone business

CILEx Regulation welcomes applications from prospective firms whose:

  • legal services are connected to the firm’s core business
  • legal services are ringfenced in a separate company
  • head of legal practice is a manager or owner

CILEx Regulation also welcomes applications from existing ABS firms seeking to switch regulator, click here.

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