The Bar Standards Board has announced a new step towards becoming a licensing body for alternative business structures by beginning the process of picking intervention agents.

The regulator's long-standing ambition to handle ABSs was approved by the Legal Services Board in March this year but the body is still awaiting formal designation by the lord chancellor.

In anticipation of beginning authorisations this autumn, the BSB today published an invitation to tender for intervention agents to act in the event of ABSs getting into difficulties. 

The organisation said it is seeking to partner with suppliers that have the 'knowledge, experience and capability to provide end-to-end intervention services within England and Wales'.

According to the BSB, it would take control of an ABS if it was in the interests of clients and the public. This could include situations where an authorised body is failing, is in breach of any of the conditions of its licence or has been abandoned by its owners and managers.

The BSB said it ‘cannot predict with any degree of certainty’ how many interventions are likely to arise each year and is therefore proposing to enter into a call-off contract with the successful bidders.

The deadline for receipt of tenders is Friday, 30 September.