I write in response to the letter ‘Raw deal for LDPs?’, concerning the process of passporting to an alternative business structure. To clarify, there is no fee for a non-lawyer manager LDP which elects to transition to the ABS regime ahead of the transition period (which the author is correct is delayed). A fee is only charged if the NLM LDP is changing in such a way that it is no longer the body we currently regulate, for example adding new non-lawyer managers or owners, a significant change to the business model, or a substantial increase in staff offering legal services. If a change of this type forms part of the application then we would view this as a change to the body we currently regulate and so charge the ABS application fee.
Ann Morgan, ABS team manager, SRA