Thursday 30 August 2012 by John Hyde

More than a dozen alternative business structures were approved in August in the busiest period of licensing activity yet.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has approved 12 new ABSs since 1 August, taking its total up to 26. Irwin Mitchell was the highest-profile new entrant. The personal injury specialist became the first multi-licensed ABS with five licences covering a range of its business operations.

Parabis Law became the first ABS backed by private equity.

Of the other businesses approved by the SRA, five (Franklins, BLW, Langley Wellington, Isadore Goldman and Tracey Miller) were existing law firms that converted, while property management company Crabtree Law is a newcomer to the legal services market.

The SRA said it expects to announce more ABS licences in the coming weeks, with the initial surge of applications from the process opening in January now coming to fruition. Last week, the Council for Licensed Conveyancers added two new firms, Total Conveyancing and Enact, to its roster of five ABSs, having been authorised to grant licences last October.

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