As one of those who pioneered the introduction of the alternative business structure model for law firms, could someone please point me to a successful ABS?
So far, success has had to be judged from a rich outflow of PR hype and revolutionary-sounding claims of the old partnership model not ‘being fit for purpose’.
We know all too much about the examples of profitless growth and the expensive failures. But what about the successes?
One of the problems seems to be getting the ABS trailblazers to own up to their own financial performance.
Some are happy enough to tell you how outside investment has enabled them to increase their lawyer numbers and thereby their turnover. But disclosing how profitable they are (or not) does not come so easily. It seems that the old taboos of partnership secrecy still apply.
You can put the business into lawyers, but you can’t get the lawyers out of partnership.
Christopher Digby-Bell, Law Society Council member for the City, London W1