The legal arm of big four accountant PricewaterhouseCoopers has been granted an alternative business structure licence by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

PwC Legal, which has around 200 fee-earners, will become a separate legal firm within PwC.

Shirley Brookes, senior partner at PwC Legal, said the decision marks ‘an important step for PwC Legal.’

Crispin Passmore, SRA executive director of policy, said: ‘The authorisation of PwC Legal as an ABS is another example of the innovative changes taking place in the legal market. Nearly two years on from the first ABS licensed by the SRA, we are seeing further increased diversity in the supply of legal services, and that provides consumers with greater choice.’

Tax advisory firm Maitland has also been granted ABS status.