ABS applications

The only practical way for a law firm to operate with a non-lawyer involved as a manager, owner or investor is to become an alternative business structure (ABS).  Armstrong Watson has supported a number of firms with their application to become licensed as an ABS and we currently act for seven separate ABSs on an ongoing basis.

We will help you to understand the process involved in the ABS application, and whether you should decide to proceed. We’ll manage the process from end-to-end, ensuring a smooth and seamless application.

We will provide fixed fees for each stage of the application process in advance which will be dependent on the level and scope of our required input.

  • Initial assessment meeting to consider the application process; to understand what is involved and to assist with the decision whether to apply
  • Provision of the SRA application forms for both the practice and the individuals, with guidance on how to complete the forms
  • Creation of the chosen structure vehicle
  • Review of the SRA forms prior to submission to the SRA
  • Preparation, or review, of integrated financial forecasts prior to submission to the SRA
  • Review and sense check of business and continuity plans and risk analysis and assessments prior to submission to the SRA
  • Introductions to other advisers that will be required in the setting up of a new law firm, including legal sector specialist Professional Indemnity Insurance brokers, regulatory advisors, sector specific software providers, marketers and funders
Contact our Legal Sector Partner, Andy Poole, on 07828 857830 or andy.poole@armstrongwatson.co.uk to discuss how we can help you.

  Read more about the benefits of appointing Armstrong Watson

What is it?

A managed service to apply to become licensed as an ABS.

Who is it for?

Law firms interested in introducing non-lawyer involvement into their practice, or non-lawyers interested in the opportunities offered by the legal sector market.

What are the benefits for your firm?

  1. Raise finance from non-lawyer investment
  2. Reward and incentivise non-lawyer employees with partner/member/director status
  3. Potential to diversify and offer additional services
  4. Bring spouses into ownership which may generate tax benefits

What do I have to do?

Attend a meeting to plan the ABS application. Provide regular updates, information and draft plans. Action points from initial meeting.

What are the deliverables?

Your law firm becoming licensed as an ABS.

What is the cost?

£780+VAT* and disbursements for initial assessment and planning meeting. The above is the fixed fee payable in advance cost option. Additional fees to be agreed following the initial meeting in advance of services provided. All services will be provided remotely via video conferencing, however, options are available for face to face if required. *£780+VAT applies to existing law firms looking to convert to ABS. £1,630+VAT for entirely new law firm ABS applications to include law firm start-up checklist.

How long will it take?

Six months on average, but could be longer or shorter depending on the complexities involved.

Your Key Contacts

Andy Poole

Corporate Finance Partner - Legal Sector

07828 857830

Email Andy

Huw Nicholls

Audit & Assurance Director

07917 035854

Email Huw

Sally Jones

Accounting Director

Email Sally