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The legal world is full of them, at academic level through to professional level in the names of firms, forms and processes. It is safe to say that Lawyers love a good acronym (LLAGA). The latest however seems to have caused some confusion. ABS – Alternative Business Structure. Some have argued that it is potentially replacing the formative LLP, or at least providing a new and arguably up-to-date alternative. It’s all in the name really.
Just to be clear, this is not something we ought to be shocked by with the ABS structure having been in place for some time now. But what is an ABS? We’re not talking about a vehicular braking system by any stretch of the imagination! I’ll admit to initially trying to draw a comparison but I quickly put the brakes on that idea and decided to stick to the fundamentals. In short, an ABS is a firm that breaks (pun certainly intended but grammatically fraught…) from tradition and allows non-Lawyers as well as Lawyers to be involved in the running of the firm and control of the business as a whole, whilst also opening the doors for external investment. But what does this all mean? Some big name firms have already made taken the leap of faith, a bit like making the switch from a petrol engine to an electric motor (more automotive puns); Knights move has been well publicised and joining them in the ABS realm are Irwin Mitchell, Gateley and Weightmans.
Certainly the new kid on the legal block, and who knows what the real intentions are? Some have said It would be difficult to deny that ABS offers newer and alternative ways for Lawyers whom are willing to embrace, and new ways for clients to access legal advice, if they choose to. As an industry Legal is fairly traditional but ABS could possibly be a much needed breath of fresh air. That being said, it has been noted that there are likely to be very few changes or differences in the ways firms operate on a day to day basis.
So It is fairly safe to say, or at least rather a common assumption, that this brings a great potential for new wealth into law firms. Greater investment, regeneration, expansion, so on and so forth. But what are the real benefits? In terms of growth, simply put, this creates more jobs. So if you’re a Lawyer within the Private Practice sphere or in-house looking for a new challenge, firms are looking to recruit across all levels from NQ to Partner. BCL Legal can help you find that new role and prepare you for the journey.