16 December 2018

Are you interested in Alternative Business Structures?

We hope to begin licensing BSB licensed bodies, also called Alternative Business Structures ("ABSs"), later this year. Our application to be approved as a licensing authority has been approved by the Legal Services Board and will shortly be considered by the Lord Chancellor. Secondary legislation must also be in place before the regime can be launched. BSB-licensed ABSs mean that businesses that provide legal services can be owned by a combination of lawyers and non-lawyers. The idea is to promote innovation and flexibility in the legal marketplace, and to draw on the skills and knowledge of both lawyers and non-lawyers.

In April 2015 we began accepting applications from prospective entities, which are businesses owned by lawyers, but not necessarily barristers. We are currently working on a series of case studies to show the range of entities that can now operate under the BSB's regulation, including how they are adopting innovative ways of working, meeting perhaps previously unmet consumer need, reducing costs or increasing access to justice. These new businesses include Habeas Corpus Project, a non-profit entity providing immigration legal services to refugees, and Captivate, an entity providing legal services to sports people and sporting bodies.

We will soon have revamped website pages for those looking to set up both types of BSB entity. We will include answers to Frequently Asked Questions to help you understand which type of entity may be of interest you.

If you're interested in finding out how we can help you establish an entity or you want to participate in the ABS pilot please register your interest by contacting us at entityregulation@barstandardsboard.org.uk