19 February 2018

BSB welcomes LSB’s recommendation to the Lord Chancellor to enable us to regulate ABSs

The Legal Services Board (LSB) has recommended to the Lord Chancellor that the Bar Standards Board (BSB) be permitted to regulate Alternative Business Structures (ABSs), by designating the Bar Council as a licensing authority.

BSB Director of Regulatory Policy Ewen MacLeod said: "We welcome the announcement. We want to permit innovation in the legal services market, which we hope will increase choice and provide other lasting benefits for consumers."

ABSs to be regulated by the BSB are businesses that provide reserved legal activities, focused on advocacy, litigation and specialist legal advice, which can be jointly owned and managed by lawyers and non-lawyers.

In April 2015, we began regulating entities. Entities are businesses that are owned by lawyers (not necessarily barristers), but specialise in advocacy, litigation and specialist legal advice. Read two case studies from the 49 entities that we now regulate: Evolve Family Law Ltd and  Habeas Corpus Project.