Several QualitySolicitors firms are considering moving to alternative business structure status, the group revealed today.
Midlands firm QS Parkinson Wright today became the second of its stable to be licensed as an ABS by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
It joined four other firms to be approved by the regulator, taking the total number of ABSs to 88.
A spokesman for QualitySolicitors said its firms were free to make decisions about how to run and finance their businesses. Last month, Wigan firm QS Stephensons became the first of its member practices to convert.
The spokesman said: ‘QS and our partner firms are committed to innovation in this fast-changing legal marketplace.
‘ABS [status] can be an attractive option with a number of possible benefits and several of our firms are currently considering its potential, with QS’s support.’
Among the other successful applicants is Stratford firm GPB Solicitors, which specialises in commercial law and debt recovery.
The firm’s chief executive Tony Kirton told the Gazette that ABS status could lead to bolt-on arrangements with other services, as well as encouraging private equity investment.
Eastgate Chambers, formed in the Midlands in 2010 as a spin-off from Chris Clark Solicitors, is another new ABS.
Managing director Chris Clark said: ‘We see the advantages of an ABS as two-fold - firstly it allows legal organisations to develop in a changing legal landscape by diversifying with, in our case, other professionals but more importantly we are able to offer our clients a wider range of services under one roof.
‘The opportunity of outside capital investment I see more as a way of providing an easier route of succession.’
Its associate practice Chris Clark Ltd, which has a solicitors firm and estate agent, is also looking at a separate ABS application.
The other successful ABS applicants are full-service Oldham firm Pearson Hinchcliffe and MTA Solicitors, which has offices in London, Kent and Manchester.