Friday 04 January 2013 by John Hyde
An international legal consultancy chaired by Cherie Booth QC and a franchise for individual lawyers are among a glut of new year alternative business structure (ABS) announcements.
In the space of 24 hours, the Solicitors Regulation Authority has confirmed seven new ABSs to bring the total it authorises past 60.
Consultancy firm Omnia Strategy LLP, which was jointly set up in 2011 by Booth, claims to help clients achieve their 'international goals through our integrated expertise in law, governance and economics'.
Booth (pictured), whose husband Tony Blair was prime minister when the Clementi Report setting in train the liberalisation of the legal services market was published in 2004, has not been named as either head of legal practice or head of finance and administration.
The firm will be authorised by the SRA to undertake the conduct of litigation.
Among the other new ABSs is Everyman Legal, a hub franchise which allows solicitors to start practices under the firm's name.
Founded in 2007 by former Needham & James partner James Hunt, the firm had intended to trade shares on junior stock market Sharemark by the end of 2012, although that move has yet to happen.
Sussex firm Anderson Longmore & Higham with Bevis Rowntree, which has five offices across the county, said its conversion to ABS status will enable the appointment of non-lawyers as equity partners and the chance to raise external investment.
Senior partner Christopher Wise said: 'It is a very important move for us and marks a real milestone which puts us in a position to take full advantage of the opportunities which we believe will spring from the changing legal landscape.
'We can now push on with our plans for growing the business.'
The other new ABSs include north-west claims management firm Jigsaw Law, Kent law firm Tassells and Cambridge firm Houlden Sweeney.