A solicitor is among the 13 new businesses authorised by the Bar Standards Board as a ‘BSB-regulated entity’.

Mark Johnson (pictured) opted to license his business Elderflower Legal as a single-person bar entity as he sought a more stable insurance market and to reduce the level of regulation, he told the Gazette.

Johnson, who ran TTP Law Limited for 12 years before selling it to Geldards in 2013, said that the ability to obtain insurance through the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund (BMIF) was one of the main attractions for choosing this business model. 

‘In my last practice I was aware of the turbulent insurance market for solicitors. Premiums varied and although at the beginning there were lots of different insurers these quickly dwindled,’ he said.

'If the Solicitors Regulation Authority is serious about encouraging small firms to emerge they need to sort out the insurance issue and look to the bar,’ he added.

Registering as a bar entity also gives a ‘proportional’ level of regulation in relation to the business model, Johnson said, adding that the BSB had just one handbook of rules and regulations compared to the volumes published by the SRA.   

Initially Elderflower Legal will operate as a single-person entity, but Johnson said that he wants to expand the practice in the longer term and take on legal assistance.

The new entity will target small and medium owner-managed businesses, not-for-profit organisations, charities and social enterprises, to help set up corporate entities, assisting on compliance tasks and putting in place commercial contracts.