14 October 2019

Jane Walshe Limited: BSB-authorised entity case study

About the BSB regulating entities

In April 2015, the Bar Standards Board began authorising entities. Entities are businesses that are owned by lawyers (not necessarily barristers), but specialise in advocacy, litigation and specialist legal advice.

Jane Walshe Limited

Jane Walshe Limited is a BSB-regulated entity with a single barrister as the owner. It was authorised in July 2015 and is a vehicle through which barrister Jane Walshe provides services to Simmons & Simmons in the City of London.

What services do you provide the public?

I do not provide services direct to the public, but work as an entity for Simmons & Simmons LLP.  I am part of the financial services regulatory team in London, and assist Simmons' clients with regulatory change, most notably as a result of MiFID2.

What are the pros and cons of having your business regulated by the BSB?

There are no any real disadvantages that I can see.  You need to have proper record keeping and systems and controls, and a good accountant, but these are necessities for all barristers whether they have incorporated or not.

What advice would you give other lawyers considering setting up a BSB-regulated entity?

  • Give yourself plenty of time to navigate the application process (at least three months)
  • The BSB were very helpful, but there is a fair amount of paperwork to complete
  • You also need to ensure that you will be able to mitigate the potential risks you may face as an entity - especially if you are planning to deal directly with the public
  • Finally, get a good accountant who understands limited companies, and who can complete your personal and your limited company tax return