15 September 2019

Bar regulator seeks potential ABS for pilot; publishes case studies for authorised bodies

14 July 2016

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) is preparing to begin authorising Alternative Business Structures (ABS) later this year, subject to the Lord Chancellor's approval.

We are now seeking ABSs to participate in a pilot programme to help us to prepare. Anyone who would like to participate in the pilot is invited to email: entityregulation@barstandardsboard.org.uk on or before 31 July.

Since April 2015, the BSB has been regulating lawyer-only bodies known as "entities" or "authorised bodies" and we are today publishing some case studies with some specific examples of the type of innovative businesses already authorised:

Extending our regulation to ABSs (also known as "licensed bodies") will allow us to regulate businesses which are owned by both lawyers and non-lawyers.

The BSB website contains comprehensive information about authorised and licensed bodies including ABSs.

BSB Director of Supervision Oliver Hanmer said: "Broadening the scope of the BSB's regulatory regime to include legal services businesses is testament to our commitment to promoting innovation and customer choice in the market.

"We are pleased with the honest feedback we have received from the businesses who agreed to be our case studies. They illustrate we are a modern, forward-thinking regulator, providing proportionate regulation to businesses who are providing innovative services to the public.

"We encourage anybody who is thinking about establishing an ABS or entity to please get in touch with our entity regulation team to discuss your needs."

Read more about entities, including ABSs, on our website.


Notes to editors

About BSB authorised bodies

These were previously referred to as "entities", these are bodies fully owned and managed by authorised individuals, i.e, lawyers with current practising certificates.

About BSB licensed bodies

These are also referred to as Alternative Business Structures ("ABS"), these bodies are owned and managed jointly by authorised individuals and non-authorised individuals, ie non-lawyers.

About the Bar Standards Board

Our mission is to regulate the Bar so as to promote high standards of practice and safeguard clients and the public interest. For more information about what we do visit: http://bit.ly/1gwui8t

Contact: For all media enquiries call: 0207 611 1452 or email press@barstandardsboard.org.uk