Simpson Millar granted ABS licence


National law firm Simpson Millar LLP has announced receipt of its licence for Alternative Business Structure status from the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

The Leeds-headquartered firm operates eleven offices across the country and is now planning further expansion of this network under the new regime, as well as providing new opportunities for its staff and partners. The business has grown both organically and via acquisition during recent years and ABS status presented Simpson Millar with an excellent opportunity, according to Craig Jones, Operations Director at the firm who orchestrated the licence bid.

"Since 2012, law firms have been allowed to provide legal services with involvement from non-lawyers – a ground-breaking change which is hoped will benefit consumers. "

"Application for ABS status was a logical step for Simpson Millar. This firm has historically been at the forefront of developments in the legal services arena; ours was the first firm to obtain the industry benchmark Lexcel Accreditation from the Law Society in 2000 and, more recently, the first to obtain the Diversity in Business Accreditation. The ABS application was a demanding and meticulous process; a reflection of the very high standards of conduct and ethics that legal services providers are expected to maintain."

According to Craig, ABS status presents a range of opportunities. "Simpson Millar has for some years now been an acquisitive business. As an ABS, we will now be able to explore the opportunity to integrate other business types if and when it serves the demands of clients and in line with the strategic direction of the partnership," he said.

Simpson Millar’s managing partner, Peter Watson added: "Rewarding the people who make Simpson Millar such an excellent place to work has always been important to me. As an ABS, we will have greater flexibility on how we retain, promote, incentivise and reward people."

In addition, the new licence provides further options for working with institutional introducers of work, particularly trade unions, in a modern, creative and compliant fashion.

"As an ABS we will continue to seek out opportunities to pursue our growth strategy and to further improve the range, quality, accessibility and affordability of legal service that we offer clients," said Peter.

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