Wills and probate company goes ABS
Birmingham wills and probate company Northwood Banks & Co has become the second company licensed as an alternative business structure (ABS) by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC).
The firm, which since 1987 has provided will writing and probate services, has now been licensed to provide conveyancing as well. It follows volume conveyancers Premier Property Lawyers (PPL) in being licensed by the CLC, which was the first regulator to begin licensing ABSs.
In contrast to PPL, Northwood Banks is a small company, run by husband and wife directors Roland and Stephanie Borriello. It employs 10 staff, including solicitor Kevin Parsons, who is the company’s head of legal practice.
Roland Borriello said: ‘This is something we have been working towards for a very long time as it allows us to offer conveyancing services for the first time and improves the delivery of our probate service.’
He said the firm had been looking at the idea since the Legal Services Act first mooted ABSs, and with the move to greater regulation, the company decided now was the time to make the change.
Borriello and his wife are the only equity holders in the company, which he said they planned to grow ‘organically’. He said they are not looking to secure external investment or tie-ups with other businesses.
Borriello said the firm chose the CLC because it was already familiar with dealing with ABS-type business structures. He added that the application process was rigorous, but straightforward.
Northwood Banks becomes the tenth ABS in total. The Solicitors Regulation Authority, which since January has been able to accept ABS applications, has so far licensed eight.