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Ashfords LLP, a national provider of legal and professional services, has successfully been awarded its Alternative Business Structure (ABS) licence, in one of the quickest turnarounds recorded by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in recognition of the Regulator's continuous improvement.
The licence, approved by the SRA, further enshrines the firm's future proofing strategy of expanding its business offering though the provision of complementary business services in addition to pure legal services.
Sam Palmer, Partner and Head of the Professional & Financial Risks Team at Ashfords said:
"This is a great achievement for the firm and we are thrilled that our specialist regulatory team successfully obtained the ABS licence from start to finish in an exceptional 16 days! The accreditation of the ABS by our Regulator reinforces the firm's position as a national provider of both legal and professional services, and reflects our strong commitment to the region as the first top 100 law firm in the West Country to adopt an ABS."
The firm already has a number of complimentary business service offerings including a patent and trade mark agency, a dedicated health and safety consultancy, and recently launching its joint venture developed bespoke contract management and data room service. The ABS licence will allow Ashfords to significantly build on what it has already started and the firm has a number of projects in the pipeline aimed solely at ensuring the provision of the best legal and supporting business service to clients.
In addition, the ABS licence will enable the firm to welcome non-lawyers into its partnership and to consider possible external investment into the firm in the future.
Ken Bryant, Head of HR at Ashfords said:
"We are committed to ensuring that individuals working at Ashfords have as much opportunity as possible to further their career. In this ever changing environment, recruiting and retaining the best talent is fundamental to providing our clients with the best service. Being licensed as an ABS will enable us to provide our people with a much more varied and rewarding career path."
Jane Malcom, SRA Executive Director commented:
“We are continually reviewing and improving our processes to make sure that we can deal with applications as quickly as possible, which we know is important for the profession. The majority of applications are now dealt with inside a month.
“Ashfords provided comprehensive details of the firm’s structure and processes. That allowed us to work more quickly, completing authorisation in a very quick 16 days.”