Alternative Business Structure (ABS) and New Firm Applications

Whether you are launching a new innovative service, or simply converting your existing firm to ABS status, we can get you a result in less time than you might think.

success rate

Unrivaled experience in setting up ABSs

Fully project managed from start to finish

Reduce the burden on your management team

Expert compliance and risk management advice

Find Out More About Alternative Business Structures ?

Do you have any questions? Call 02920 660160 or enter your details below and we’ll call you back during office hours.

    Why choose us?

    We have advised on a significant percentage of all SRA-regulated ABSs that have been licenced since 2012. Our vast experience means that we can quickly advise on your proposal and put together a solid SRA application. We know precisely what the regulator is looking for in these applications.

    The biggest compliment we receive is when an ABS client stays with us for our retainer compliance service (COLP-help). That would be most, then!

    Our risk management consultants are often praised for their ability to balance professional duties and commercial reality. The last thing we want is to tie you up in unnecessary red tape. Where there is a compliance issue, we will work with you to find a solution – involving direct engagement with regulators if need be.

    Alternative Business Structures (ABS) are a relatively “new kind of law firm”, permissible under the Legal Services Act 2007 (LSA). It enables non-lawyers to own and manage law firms. This new flexibility opens up a world of opportunities for external investment and innovative business models.

    ABSs are not just for the insurance companies and VC-funded disrupters. Businesses of all sizes – from high street practices to claims management companies – are making the decision to convert to ABS. Their motivations may vary, but the process is similar for all applicants.

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    Our ABS experts answers questions and offers guidance

    Let us guide you through your Alternative Business Structure application

    Whether you are a law firm looking to bring in non-lawyer owners, or a business entering the regulated legal services market for the first time, you will need to apply to the SRA for authorisation.


    Applying for an ABS licence can be a time consuming and forensic process.  The SRA will thoroughly inspect your business plan, governance and corporate structure and will expect you to demonstrate how you will comply with all your regulatory obligations.

    Get your project moving

    With unrivalled experience of the process, and practical compliance expertise, we can help by:


    From your business model to corporate governance and regulatory compliance systems, preparation is key to your application. We help identify potential problem areas and put in place measures to manage those risks. We can help you identify the best people to bring in.


    We will coordinate the project, liaising with you (and the regulator) regularly and ensuring that deadlines are met and momentum is sustained.


    We will recommend bespoke systems to enable your COLP and COFA to actively manage risks and discharge their duties to record and report compliance failures.


    We can supply policies, procedures, template documents, and of course prepare the ABS application forms.

    How much does it cost?

    We work on a fixed monthly retainer. The cost of the service depends on the complexity of the application and the amount of work involved. SRA costs are not included in our fee.

    Contact us for a quote

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    Forging future relationships

    We want to continue helping you after your ABS licence has been granted. Our COLP-help service will assist your new Compliance Officers comply with their regulatory duties, freeing them up to add value to the business in other ways.

    What our clients say

    • Jon’s advice and support has been very helpful in rationalising the requirements of COLP/COFA compliance. Putting in place the appropriate systems seemed a challenge on top of the day to day pressures of a busy legal practice, so we’re very grateful for the clarity and detailed knowledge that Jon brought to the process.

      Andrew Johnson Humfrys and Symonds
    • Jon’s support and practical guidance has given me peace of mind that our systems are compatible with the SRA’s Outcome Focused framework. I definitely recommend Jon and his company to any firm looking for cost effective legal support and advice.

      Victoria Mark Lofthouse Mark Solicitors
    • Thank you so much for guiding my firm through the new rules, which with your expert input were not as daunting as I first envisaged...You have convinced me that the new regulations are to be embraced and not to be feared!!

      C. Sedgwick Miles and Cash
    • Our meetings with Jon were refreshingly full of common sense and practical advice. It makes a big difference having a former solicitor with experience and understanding mentoring us rather than an administration consultant who has never had to juggle the pressure of constant phonecalls and client attendances!

      Tim Treherne Beaumonts Solicitors
    • Yet to find someone with their level of expertise in this field. Jonathon Bray gave me ABS insights and strategies beyond anything others provided. So I would strongly recommend you work with them. They are a true authority in this field and their results speak for themselves.

      Callum Davies M&I Group

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